EFSA Rejects Kemin, DSMs Claim on Eye Health

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) rejected Kemin and DSM Nutritional Products’ claim that lutein and zeaxanthin help maintain eye health and visual function, but the companies still affirm their results.

LIBSON, Portugal—The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) rejected Kemin and DSM Nutritional Products’ claim that lutein and zeaxanthin help maintain eye health and visual function, but the companies still affirm their results.

In a double-blind, placebo-controlled and randomized study, researchers at the University of Georgia found that an oral dose of 10 mg of lutein and 2 mg of zeaxanthin per day increased macular pigment optical density, and in turn, improved photo stress recover and contrast energy. The study has not been published yet.

“To visual scientists, the fact that macular pigment affects visual function is accepted as an axiom," said B. Randy Hammond, the principal investigator and a professor of behavioral and brain studies. “This is the basis for how most methods for measuring macular pigment operate: to wit, the methods are based on how macular pigment influences the behavioral response to a visual stimulus."

This study confirms the results from an earlier trial conducted at the same site with an open label design. More importantly, it demonstrates that a cause-effect relationship exists between the ingestion of lutein and zeaxanthin, increases in MPOD and the resulting meaningful visual benefits. The study’s findings are consistent with epidemiological studies published in the last decade.

Lutein and zeaxanthin act as antioxidants and blue-light filters, having protective and functional effects within the eye in both healthy people and patients suffering from degenerative eye diseases. Recently the Age Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2) reported a 10 percent reduction in progression to advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in subjects who received 10 mg FloraGLO® Lutein and 2 mg OPTISHARP® Zeaxanthin daily when compared to subjects who did not receive these two ingredients. (Ophthalmology, 2012 Nov.; 119(11) 2282-2289.doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ophtha.2012.05.027)

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