Xangoldâ natural lutein esters may benefit those at risk or already showing early signs of Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness in the developed world. In a study published in the April edition of Experimental Eye Research, findings add to compelling evidence that Xangoldâ natural lutein esters play an important role in eye health. (Trieschmann, M. et al., Changes in macular pigment optical density (MPOD) and serum concentrations of its constituent carotenoids following supplemental lutein and zeaxanthin: The LUNA study, Exp. Eye. Res. 2007).
The LUNA study, conducted by ophthalmologist Dr. Meike Trieschmann and colleagues at the Institute of Ophthalmology, St. Franziskus Hospital, Muenster in Germany, set out to investigate what effect a supplement would have on blood levels of lutein and zeaxanthin and on the density of the macular pigment.
An intervention group of 108 adults received a daily supplement containing antioxidants - including 12 mg lutein from Xangoldâ lutein esters - for six months. The men and women, with an average age of 71.5 years, nearly all exhibited early symptoms of AMD. A control group of 28 subjects received no food supplements.
Results in the intervention group showed substantial increases in blood levels of lutein and a statistically significant average increase of 16% in macular pigment density. Moreover, 25% of the group had increases in MPOD averaging an astonishing 50%. No such increases were seen in the control group.
“A significant augmentation of macular pigment density was found in a majority of study subjects, including those afflicted with AMD. The importance of these findings rests on the fact that the beneficial effects of these antioxidants can also be extended to subjects with established disease,” said Dr. Trieschmann.
The macular pigment is made up entirely of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin and is located at the center of the retina, at the site of highest visual acuity. The antioxidant properties of the carotenoids and their ability to screen harmful blue light are widely believed to help protect the eye against the development of AMD.
The authors concluded: “Given the anatomic, biochemical and optical properties of MP (macular pigment), there is a biologically plausible rationale to suggest that supplemental lutein and/or zeaxanthin may delay, prevent, or modify the course of AMD.”
The supplement used in the study consisted of 12 mg lutein and 1 mg zeaxanthin, both provided in the ester form as Xangoldâ, 120 mg vitamin C, 17.6 mg vitamin E, 10 mg zinc and 40 µg selenium. In the intervention group, macular pigment density was measured on 5 occasions during the supplementation phase of the trial, and once again 3 months after supplementation had been discontinued. The control group was examined at baseline and once again at the end of the study.
Dr. Holger Becker, Global Product Line Manager for Xangoldâ, expressed delight at the new findings: “It is a fact: Lutein from Xangoldâ gets absorbed into the bloodstream and increases macular pigment density”, he said, adding: “These significant findings provide valuable insights as Cognis works with customers worldwide to formulate products for rapidly aging populations facing declining eye health.”
Cognis is a worldwide supplier of innovative specialty chemicals and nutritional ingredients. The company employs about 8,000 people, and it operates production sites and service centers in 30 countries. Cognis has dedicated its activities to a high level of sustainability and delivers natural source raw materials and ingredients for food, nutrition and healthcare markets, and the cosmetics, detergents and cleaners industries. Another main focus is on products for a number of other industries, such as coatings and inks, lubricants, textiles, as well as agriculture and mining. The company holds a 50-percent stake in the joint venture Cognis Oleochemicals, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of natural-source oleochemical basestocks. Cognis is owned by private equity funds advised by Permira, GS Capital Partners, and SV Life Sciences. In 2006, Cognis recorded sales of 3.37 billion euros and an Adjusted EBITDA (operating result) of 394 million euros.