Limitless evidenceless trend: The growth of nootropic supplements


The all-too-under­stand­able urge to buy a bet­ter brain (Vox):

… unfor­tu­nate­ly, Bradley Coop­er is part­ly to blame for the boom of the edi­ble brain-improve­ment industry.

In 2011, he starred in Lim­it­less, a movie about a man who takes a spe­cial pill and becomes smarter and more capa­ble than any­one else on Earth. I’m jok­ing about the cul­tur­al sig­nif­i­cance of this movie, but I’m also not. It was a wild card and an unex­pect­ed hit, and it main­streamed an idea that had already been tak­ing hold among Sil­i­con Val­ley bio­hack­ers and human opti­miza­tion zealots. (TechCrunch called the pre­scrip­tion-only nar­colep­sy med­ica­tion Modafinil “the entrepreneur’s drug of choice” in 2008) …

The brain sup­ple­ments indus­try is still expand­ing. A recent report by Grand View Research esti­mat­ed it could reach $10.7 bil­lion annu­al­ly by 2025, grow­ing steadi­ly at about 8 per­cent per year. “Grow­ing health con­cerns over depres­sion, anx­i­ety, anti-aging, and sleep recov­ery issues” will con­tribute to the con­tin­ued rise, the report states. Over a quar­ter of this busi­ness is expect­ed to come specif­i­cal­ly from “mem­o­ry enhanc­ing” products.

This year, nootrop­ics have gone thor­ough­ly main­stream by inter­sect­ing with oth­er pow­er­ful con­sumer trends. Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop recent­ly launched an anti “brain fog” sup­ple­ment called Nerd Alert (it’s just caf­feine and the same L‑theanine you’d get from a cup of tea), at a price point of $1 per chew­able. Lux­u­ry well­ness and beau­ty brand The Nue Co. intro­duced its lat­est sup­ple­ment Nootro-Focus in April, which you can buy on Net-a-Porter. New York City’s newest ultra-hip acupunc­ture start­up WTHN is sell­ing a nootrop­ic. There are, seri­ous­ly, nootrop­ics mixed with CBD.”

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About SharpBrains

SHARPBRAINS is an independent think-tank and consulting firm providing services at the frontier of applied neuroscience, health, leadership and innovation.
SHARPBRAINS es un think-tank y consultoría independiente proporcionando servicios para la neurociencia aplicada, salud, liderazgo e innovación.

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