Cornell University

Venture capitalists look beyond tech to the dietary supplements market. Scientists express worry.

Venture capitalists look beyond tech to the dietary supplements market. Scientists express worry.

How do you stay sharp and fit despite fatigue and age? By consuming substances extracted from blueberries, flowers and algae, say the makers of a new group of unregulated and unproven health pills.

Trusting natural chemicals to solve inevitable ailments is familiar to anyone who has visited a GNC store or contributed to the $30 billion spent annually in the U.S. on dietary supplements.

But the new supplement firms are grabbing attention because they’re founded and funded by people more at home at a Silicon Valley technology campus than a late-night infomercial.

Led by tech world veterans and funded by venture capitalists, dietary supplement start-ups such as Ritual,...

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