By Meaghan Sands
Companies selling energy supplements in the form of products such as Red Bull have a good market among college students. Those looking for a burst of energy during and after a long night of studying can turn to various products found on store shelves. Students looking for an increase in energy as well as focus and euphoria turn to prescription drugs such as Adderall, a stimulant drug used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
These products, when misused and overused, can have damaging effects on a student’s mind and body.
Two Cal Poly Pomona students, Reilly Breaux, a biochemistry major who is preparing for pharmacy school, and Levon Rshtuni, a fifth year microbiology student, believe in the importance of getting college students off harmful products and onto something natural that really works. They have developed a natural supplement that helps students study more effectively.
Breaux came across the key ingredient in this product during Alzheimer’s treatment research he did last year.
“I just got fascinated with genetic linkages and all these mental diseases,” he said.
According to Breaux, the key ingredient is an amino acid that comes up in a multitude of clinical research on Alzheimer’s disease and has been proven to help with focus, recognition and cognitive functions.
“It’s a beautiful clear headedness that is prolonged and you can retain more information in a given frame of time,” said Breaux about the effects of his product.
The product, named PolyRx, will be sold in CPP campus stores and will be marketed as “Made by Cal Poly Students, for Cal Poly Students.”
Due to the high cost and low profit, it will be individually sold in 2oz bottles similar to the 5 Hour Energy drinks. They will have about 100 available for the first few weeks of fall quarter and products hit shelves this week.
According to Breaux, what makes this product safer and more effective than what students are currently using are the high quality ingredients, which are also what makes it so expensive to produce.
“The potential benefits that a student can take away from this far outweigh the cost,” said Breaux. “The goal was to make our school the best test scoring school possible.”
During his research on Alzheimer’s treatments Breaux discovered that the amino acids used in various clinical trials were only being administered in pill form. No one had been administering it in liquid form despite the fact that amino acids are water soluble.
“These are just well known ingredients that haven’t been used well in the market,” said Breaux.
According to Rshtuni, they had originally wanted it to be in a chewable tablet form, but were having difficulties getting it into that format.
“Our lab work went from compressing a bunch of chemicals down, to figuring out how to make it all water soluble,” said Rshtuni.
Rshtuni said that his education at CPP allowed him to better understand what effect each ingredient would have on a person’s body.
The primary ingredients in Poly Rx provide just the right amount of long term memory boosters. They have much better cognitive implements than drugs such as Adderall even though the effects do not feel as strong. Also, it has no stimulants and it provides a clear headedness without the side effects some drugs give.
“You’d be able to notice some cognitive improvements,” said Breaux.
“I tested it on myself and a couple of friends of mine,” said Rshtuni. “I felt more focused and relaxed.”
The ingredients directly stimulate a part of your brain, such as the cerebrum, which stimulates memory retention, and the hypothalamus, which controls stress hormones. One 2oz bottle will last the entire time that you study.
Breaux’s focus is on the goal of replacing harmful pharmaceuticals with good ones. He wants to replace prescription drugs like Adderall with natural supplements such as PolyRx.
“We wanted to introduce students to a very very safe alternative to Adderall,” said Breaux.
Rshtuni teamed up with Breaux because of intrigue and the chance to create something.
“We saw a lot of college students using Adderall during midterms and finals and you could see the toll it had on their health and mind,” said Rshtuni. “[PolyRx] is to help eliminate that problem. It’s another choice for students.”
Breaux and Rshtuni had to produce extensive research for each individual ingredient in the product to get it cleared for sale on campus.
The challenge of getting their hands on these difficult and expensive ingredients was also mitigated due to support from CPP.
“[CPP] is prepping their students to be successful in life,” said Rshtuni.
The future plans for PolyRx are uncertain, but if it does well here at CPP there are plans to take it to other local colleges and CSUs and in the even distant future the application of it to treat ADD and ADHD.
Rshtuni would also like to continue trying to get it into that chewable tablet form and would also like to better the ingredients.
“It feels comforting to know we’ve finally reached that stage that we thought wouldn’t happen,” he said.
Rshtuni feels that this experience has prepared them for the future. Now that they have gone through these hardships they will know how to handle them in the future.
“Hopefully more students will follow suit and do the things they want to do,” he said.
Nathan Guerard/The Poly Post
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