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Vision Congress presents latest insights on dietary macular carotenoids and eye health

Kaiseraugst, CH, 06 Jun 2013 10:00 CEST

Numerous studies and clinical trials provide evidence of the vital role of lutein and zeaxanthin in eye health. Deposited in the macula and lens, these dietary carotenoids act as ‘internal sunglasses’ protecting the eye against light-induced oxidative damage. During the Vision Congress, hosted by Kemin Industries and DSM Nutritional Products Europe Ltd., world-renowned experts presented the latest research and insights. The congress in Lisbon, Portugal, 6 June 2013 showcased an increasing evidence for the role of lutein and zeaxanthin, and other micronutrients, in eye health and visual performance.

Dr. Rubens Belfort Jr. from Federal University of São Paulo opened the Vision Congress, highlighting the importance and function of different eye structures, age-related macular disease and related eye pathologies affecting the aging population.

Prof. J. Dawczynski from the University Hospital of Leipzig presented results of the LUTEGA study, which 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 age related macular degeneration (AMD) patients. Results showed that supplementation with dietary macular carotenoids and omega-3-LCPUFAs may be beneficial for AMD patients. FloraGLO® Lutein, the most clinically researched lutein brand worldwide, was the lutein used in the supplement provided to patients.

Results from the Zeaxanthin Visual Function Study (ZVF) and Lutein Antioxidant Supplementation Trial (LAST) were presented by Dr. Stuart Richer from James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center, North Chicago, Illinois, U.S. Results showed lutein and zeaxanthin may help to improve visual function and performance in AMD patients, namely 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, as highlighted by Prof. B. Randall Hammond from the University of Georgia. Hammond also addressed the importance of lutein and zeaxanthin across the lifespan and presented exciting data indicating a role for lutein in brain function.

Dr. John Paul SanGiovanni, of the National Eye Institute, presented the primary and secondary analysis of the latest Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2) results. He noted that the 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. 

Cynthia Rousselot, from EAS Strategic Advice, guided the group through the challenging European Union claims procedures and implementation of the regulation, presenting the latest updates and practical impact for eye care supplement products. 

Peter Wennstrom, from The Healthy Marketing Team, shared innovative marketing ideas and concepts for functional ingredients in the Health Claims European Food Safety Authority EFSA area.

The Vision Congress reiterates that lutein benefits several parameters of eye health. Many 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 foods and beverages. Kemin and DSM have joined forces and are working under an exclusive strategic alliance to globally commercialize FloraGLO Lutein products.

About FloraGLO and OPTISHARP®

Kemin’s FloraGLO Lutein and DSM’s OPTISHARP Zeaxanthin are all formulated by DSM. FloraGLO Lutein and OPTISHARP Zeaxanthin are trusted sources of lutein and zeaxanthin because of their quality and established safety profile. Actilease® technology maximizes nutrient absorption to achieve optimum bioavailability.

  • Sourced from marigold flowers and purified from marigold flower oleoresin, FloraGLO Lutein is the world's leading patented, purified lutein, manufactured by Kemin and formulated by DSM.
  • Identical to the zeaxanthin found in nature, OPTISHARP Zeaxanthin is produced using DSM’s superior formulation technology.

Kemin – Inspired Molecular Solutions™

Kemin provides “inspired molecular solutions” specifically developed to provide nutrition and health benefits for humans and animals. Committed to feed and food safety, Kemin maintains top-of-the-line manufacturing facilities where approximately 500 specialty ingredients are made for the global feed and food industries as well as the health, nutrition and beauty markets. A privately held, family-owned and operated company, Kemin has more than 1,600 employees and operates in 90 countries with manufacturing facilities in Belgium, Brazil, China, India, Italy, Singapore, South Africa and the United States. 

Kemin and DSM Strategic Alliance

In 2008, Kemin and DSM joined forces working under an exclusive strategic alliance. Kemin supplies FloraGLO brand lutein exclusively through DSM, and DSM globally commercializes FloraGLO brand lutein products through distributors and directly to customers. Customers and consumers benefit from the synergies achieved by the collaboration through DSM's global reach, unique formulation technology and broad product portfolio when combined with Kemin's lutein knowledge, intellectual property, technical know-how and market development expertise.