Help fight dementia, food and drink industry urged

By Nicholas Robinson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Brainwave contains green tea extract, which is claimed to boost cognitive health
Brainwave contains green tea extract, which is claimed to boost cognitive health

Related tags: Health care, Health, Green tea

The fight against the rise of dementia in the UK could be helped if functional food and drink manufacturers did more to promote good brain health, an industry leader has claimed.

Brain health will be of increasing interest to consumers, as dementia diagnoses continue to rise and consumers continue to look for ways of improving their health and fitness. That’s the opinion of Richard Baister, md of the ‘braintenance’ drinks brand Brainwave.

Brainwave was developed by Baister to target “any consumer with a brain”​ who wanted to maintain a healthy mind and ward off Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, he said.

The drink has been formulated with green tea extract, jasmine extract, caffeine and other “secret” ​ingredients, claimed to have cognitive health benefits, said Baister.

Students of particular interest

Although it was being targeted at all consumers, students particularly interested Baister, as he claimed they were consuming too many energy drinks.

“But we’ve also had a lot of interest from consumers in their mid- to late-30s too,” ​he added.

Baister came up with the idea for the drink after learning about the rise of dementia cases in the UK, as well as witnessing the suffering of a close relative with Alzheimer’s.

“We got our first production run through at the beginning of October and we’ve had lots of retail interest,” ​he said.

Despite claiming to have encouraging retailer interest, Baister refused to disclose any names or sales plans.

“We’ve had some very promising retailer conversations and there’s also massive interest for overseas distribution,” ​he added.

Increasing demand

There will be increasing demand for drinks that reduce the risk of dementia, as the global population got older, research company Canadean said earlier this year.

“Ageing populations mean the market for preventative cognitive health products will grow,” ​Ronan Stafford, senior analyst at Canadean, said.

“However, marketers first need to find a way to target a need most consumers prefer not to talk about​ [their brain health].”

Meanwhile, a new system of screening patients to attain their risk of dementia was revealed by Public Health England (PHE) earlier this month (November 2).

Plans drawn up by PHE would see middle-aged people screened by their GPs and told what their brain age was compared to their actual age.

If the computer-based test – which has been described by some as a way to “scare” ​people into adopting a healthier lifestyle – was successful, it would be rolled out across England, said PHE.

Dementia in the UK

  • 42,325 cases of early-onset dementia
  • 21,519 cases are in men
  • 20,806 cases are in women
  • 32,000 cases involve those aged 60 to 65
  • 7,700 cases involve those in their 50s
  • 2,010 cases among 40 year-olds
  • 707 cases among 30 year-olds

Source: Alzheimer’s Society

Related topics: Food Ingredients, Health & Nutrition

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