What do you do when you bang your head? You pop a concussion recovery supplement, of course!
You Mouse Brain
A 2012 study discovered that increasing the brain’s omega-3 level reduces brain inflammations.
Which would be great if the study wasn’t done on mice and the effect never replicated in human brains.
But in the supplement business technicalities like that don’t keep entrepreneurs from seeing an opportunity.
Concussion? Just Pop Our Pill!
In the same year Texas-based Trinity Sports Group, Inc. started marketing “Neuro Impact,” a supplement containing unspecified ingredients, but having very specified claims:
Neuro-Impact is the world[‘]s first supplement formulated specifically to assist concussion recovery. Developed to help those who suffer a concussion recover more rapidly […] Neuro-Impact has the dynamic ability to minimize long-term effects and decrease recovery time.
Evidence for any of this? Yes, of course, they conducted “clinical tests” and “trials,” whose results we, unfortunately, can’t read anywhere.
How does the ruthless FDA react to all this? They sent Trinity Sports a warning letter to change their claims.
How does Trinity Sports react to the letter? In the best traditions of the supplement industry they change the wording (“supports healthy brain function”), keep selling the stuff and the powerless FDA has to tell consumers that they are on their own.
Two Bangs Can Make One Dead
It would be the same-as-usual pill peddling, weren’t it for some unusual possible consequences. The “clean skin” vitamin pill that does nothing leaves you with your pimples. A concussion pill that doesn’t work has more in store.
A concussion is your brain banging against the inside of your skull. The result is swelling or more severe damage to the brain’s structure. Give the brain just one more bad jolt and looming on the horizon is the permanent condition we refer to as “rather dead.”
In the warning I linked to above, the FDA writes:
A growing body of scientific evidence indicates that if concussion victims resume strenuous activities—such as football, soccer or hockey—too soon, they risk a greater chance of having a subsequent concussion. Moreover, repeat concussions can have a cumulative effect on the brain, with devastating consequences that can include brain swelling, permanent brain damage, long-term disability and death.
Imagine what could happen if the hordes of teen football players that last month returned to school read Neuro Impact’s saucy promises and relied on them.
Get Your Head Checked!
There is zero scientific evidence that a dietary supplement prevents concussions or reduces post-concussion brain injuries. All you can do is rest and getting your head checked before you get back into action.
Picture courtesy of John Martinez Pavliga.