(July 24, 2008) – GENEVA / MILAN – New research published in the July issue of Molecular Vision demonstrates that natural supplement Mirtogenol™, a combination of standardized bilberry extract Mirtoselect® and French maritime pine bark extract Pycnogenol®, lowers high intraocular pressure (IOP), which significantly reduces the likelihood of developing glaucoma. This study describes the discovery of the first effective nutritional intervention supporting a healthier pressure in the eyes. While several circumstances are believed to be involved in the development of glaucoma, an elevated intra-ocular pressure is certain to represent the greatest variable risk factor.
According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness. While all populations are at risk, there is an especially high risk for adults over 40 as well as young African Americans. The National Eye Institute estimates that OAG affects 2.22 million U.S. citizens and will increase by 50 percent to 3.6 million in 2020.
“The study results are extremely promising as this is the first demonstration showing a natural food supplement, Mirtogenol™ can contribute significantly to control intraocular pressure which is a major risk factor in developing glaucoma,” said Dr. Robert Steigerwalt, Jr., lead researcher of the study. Because this formula is completely natural there are no serious side effects, making it a viable natural preventative option for anybody concerned about vision loss.”
The study, which was held at the University of Chieti-Pescara in San Valentino, Italy, divided 38 individuals into two groups. The first group consisted of 20 subjects who were given Mirtogenol™, once in the morning and once in the evening for six months. Each Mirtogenol™ tablet contained 40mg of Pycnogenol®, French maritime pine bark extract and 80mg of Mirtoselect®, standardized bilberry extract. The control group, consisting of 18 participants, were followed without treatment. The IOP was measured with the standard Goldmann applanation tonometer at the same time in the morning. Prior to testing, subjects had complete eye exams, ocular hypertension and no signs of glaucoma.
At the end of the testing, Mirtogenol™ lowered IOP in 19 of 20 patients versus one of the 18 patients in the control group. Throughout the study there was a total decrease of IOP from 25.2 mmHg to 22.0 mmHg in the Mirtogenol™ group (-13%) compared to the 24.6 mmHG to 24.5 mmHG in the control group (-0.4%).
The pressure in the eyes builds up when the amount of oxygen and nutrient rich fluid brought into the eye exceeds the amount drained from it. The increased pressure is believed to progressively destroy the optic nerve with symptoms setting in with a blurred peripheral vision. Investigation of the eye’s arteries by color Doppler imaging suggest that Mirtogenol™ supports a better blood flow helping to restore an equilibrium of fluids in the eye.
“What’s interesting about these results is it reveals Mirtogenol™ may decrease the risk of developing glaucoma, an eye disease which is particularly dangerous because it can progress gradually and go unnoticed for years,” said Dr. Steigerwalt. “This is an age-related condition we have previously not been able to take preventative measures against.”
“This discovery is a breakthrough in nutraceuticals of the eye health category” commented Victor Ferrari (CEO of Horphag Research Ltd.) and Daniele Giavini (General Manager of Indena S.p.A.). “For other degenerative eye disorders such as cataract, AMD and retinopathy nutritional preventative measures are well known. The association between nutrition and glaucoma was the “missing link” and now there’s finally a nutritional approach for decreasing the risk for developing glaucoma by normalizing the intra-ocular pressure.”
Previous studies on the two ingredients in Mirtogenol™ have demonstrated benefits for eye health. In past studies, Mirtoselect® has been suggested to be useful as therapeutic application for ophthalmic problems and was found to have significant reduction of retinal micro-hemorrhages in retinopathy patients. Pycnogenol® has previously been shown to significantly enhance generation of endothelial nitric oxide and lower plasma endotelin-1 in patients with Type II diabetes. Five clinical studies with more than 1200 patients have demonstrated Pycnogenol’s® effectiveness at reducing retinal micro-bleedings and its affinity to seal leaky capillaries halting gradual vision loss.
Indena S.p.A and Horphag Research established a partnership built on their similar business practices of scientific research and development. Through research discoveries, they focused on the uniqueness of their respective ingredients and potential to advance to a new level in eye care with a combination formula. Mirtogenol™ is a safe and efficacious product, offering consumers an innovative, superior choice when searching for natural alternatives to incorporate into their eye health routine.
Mirtogenol™ Lowers IOP Page 3
The companies will market the patent pending formula on an exclusive basis with selected retailers in specific countries world-wide.
Mirtogenol®, a trademark of Indena S.p.A and Horphag Research Ltd., is a patent pending proprietary combination of standardized bilberry extract Mirtoselect® and French maritime pine bark extract Pycnogenol®, offers natural eye health benefits. Mirtoselect® is a standardized extract containing anthocyanins and is obtained exclusively from Vaccinium myrtillus L. fresh fruits that are harvested when ripe, between July and September. Mirtoselect® is a registered trademark of Indena, S.p.A., Milan, Italy. Pycnogenol® is a natural plant extract originating from the bark of the maritime pine that grows along the coast of southwest France and is found to contain a unique combination of procyanidins, bioflavonoids and organic acids. Pycnogenol® is a registered trademark of Horphag Research, Ltd.: Guernsey.
About Horphag Research
Horphag Research Ltd. is the exclusive worldwide supplier of Pycnogenol® (pic-noj-en-all) French maritime pine bark extract. Pycnogenol® is a registered trademark of Horphag Research Ltd.; Guernsey and its applications are protected by U.S. patents #5,720,956 / #6,372,266 and other international patents. For more information about Pycnogenol® visit our Web site at www.pycnogenol.com
Horphag Research press contact
Indena is the world's leading company dedicated to the identification, development and production of active principles derived from plants, for use in the pharmaceutical, health food and cosmetics industries. Backed up by over 80 years of botanical experience, Indena has more than 150 primary patents and has published around 700 scientific studies.
The Company's experts communicate and interact constantly with the major international regulatory authorities such as WHO, EMEA, and ESCOP, and work with all the main pharmacopoeias. For more information about Indena, visit www.indena.com. For more information about Mirtoselect® visit www.mirtoselect.com