June 7, 2013

3 Min Read
Vision Congress Highlights Role of Carotenoids in Eye Health

PARSIPPANY, N.J.The latest research on the role of lutein and zeaxanthin, dietary macular carotenoids, in eye health were presented during the Vision Congress in Lisbon, Portugal on June 6, 2013.

The congress was hosted by DSM Nutritional Products Europe Ltd. and Kemin Industries. Experts presented several studies and clinical trials showcasing an increasing amount of evidence for the role of lutein and zeaxanthin, and other micronutrients, in eye health and visual performance.

Results from the Zeaxanthin Visual Function Study (ZVF) and Lutein Antioxidant Supplementation Trial (LAST) were presented by Stuart Richer, O.D., Ph.D., from James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center, North Chicago, Ill. Findings showed lutein and zeaxanthin may help improve visual function and performance in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) patients by contributing to improved night driving skills, visual acuity and shape discrimination, photopic contrast sensitivity and improved glare recovery times. A complementary role between lutein and zeaxanthin was observed for some of the assessed parameters. Improvements in visual performance and visual comfort parameters have been associated with lutein and zeaxanthin supplementation, highlighted by B. Randall Hammond, Prof. from the University of Georgia. Hammond also addressed the importance of these dietary carotenoids across the lifespan and presented data indicating a role for lutein in brain function.

Primary and secondary analysis of the latest Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2) results were also discussed. John Paul SanGiovanni, Sc.D., of the National Eye Institute, noted that dietary supplements, lutein and zeaxanthin, helped reduce the progression of AMD. People reporting lowest intakes of lutein and zeaxanthin from dietary sources were less likely to progress to advanced AMD if they took the AREDS2 dietary supplement with lutein and zeaxanthin.

Results of the LUTEGA study were also presented by J. Dawczynski, Prof., University Hospital of Leipzig. The study looked at long term effects of lutein, zeaxanthin and omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) supplementation on optical density of macular pigment in AMD patients. Findings showed that supplementation with dietary macular carotenoids and omega-3 LCPUFAs may be beneficial for those with AMD. Clinically researched, FloraGLO Lutein was the lutein used in the supplement given to patients.

Further, the Vision Congress reiterated that lutein benefits several parameters of eye health. Various studies show supplementation with FloraGLO Lutein increases macular pigment optical density (MPOD) levels, improves visual function and reduces the risk of age-related eye diseases. Thus, increasing the consumption of lutein may be a safe, easy and effective measure for maintaining healthy vision. FloraGLO Lutein is manufactured by Kemin and is intended for inclusion in food supplements or as an ingredient in food and beverages. Kemin and DSM have joined forces under an exclusive strategic alliance to globally commercialize the supplement.

Also at the congress, Cynthia Rousselot, from EAS Strategic Advice, guided the group through the European union claims procedures and implementation of the regulation, presenting the latest updates and practical impact for eye care supplement products. And Peter Wennstrom, from The Healthy Marketing Team, shared marketing ideas and concepts for functional ingredients in the Health Claims Europe Food Safety Authority EFSA area.

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