A brain enhancer dubbed citicoline that supposedly sharpens intelligence is becoming increasingly popular in beverages and dietary supplements and is sought after by people looking forward to boost their brainpower and have a mental edge over others.
"What you drink when you want to think," says the label of Nawgan, a drink from Nawgan Products LLC. The St. Louis company's website invites consumers to track their mental performance with an online memory and focus test, Fox News reported.
Go GungHo Inc.'s gel packets has the slogan, "Ninja like focus" and the Orem, Utah, company expects that its recently introduced product will become popular with gamers.
Citicoline is an organic molecule found naturally in the body, especially the brain. Scientists consider that citicoline speeds up formation of brain cell membranes and may boost production of neurotransmitters vital to brain function.
In certain countries, citicoline is sold as a prescription drug to help regenerate the brain after a stroke. But attempts to get Food and Drug Administration approval in US were foiled when clinical trials found citicoline was no more effective than a placebo.
Amongst the numerous dietary supplements and energy drinks aimed at healthy people, citicoline is often found under the brand name Cognizin, sold by Kyowa Hakko USA, a unit of Japan's Kirin Holdings.
The popular 5-Hour Energy drink from Living Essentials LLC, Farmington Hills, Mich., contains citicoline in a "proprietary energy blend," but the company did not reveal how much. The company's website mentions that it helps "recapture the bright, alert feeling you need to power through your day."