West Chicago, IL (February 21, 2006) – When people are polled about their health concerns, loss of vision is one of the top conditions listed: according to the Natural Marketing Institute, up to 75% of the general population indicate they are concerned about preventing vision problems. During Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Month, many organizations are working to alert the general public to this condition, what indications to look for and ways to avoid the related loss of vision. While some nutrients that support eye health are well-known and growing in popularity, recent attention is focusing on natural zeaxanthin as an important addition to eye health supplementation.
Zeaxanthin (pronounced zee-uh-zan’-thin) is a dietary carotenoid found mostly in the macula, the central part of the retina in the eye that is responsible for most fine vision. Zeaxanthin, like its better-known cousin lutein, is thought to be a critical nutrient for eye health and can help guard against age-related vision loss.
People who are at risk include those over 50 years old, people who smoke, those with hypertension and those with a family history of AMD. It affects the central vision, making it difficult to impossible to read, drive, and recognize faces. While not physically painful, AMD is debilitating.
Last fall a study by the well-respected Lewin Group determined that by taking lutein with zeaxanthin senior citizens can lead healthier, more productive and more independent lives. The Lewin Group estimates a $2.5 billion net savings to the Medicare system over five years (2006-2010) from a reduction in the relative risk of AMD through daily intake of 6-10 milligrams of lutein with zeaxanthin. Research shows that those with larger amounts of fat tissue, including women, are more likely to need zeaxanthin supplementation due to the fact that zeaxanthin can become trapped in the fat cells before it ever reaches the eye.
Lutein has become increasingly popular, and is now included in many multivitamins. Zeaxanthin, however, is only beginning to be recognized as an important supplement by the general population.
Chrysantis™, Inc., the maker of the only natural zeaxanthin from Marigolds on the market, is working to build awareness about the importance of zeaxanthin in eye health, which has the potential to positively impact millions of people that either have or are at risk of having AMD.
According to Chrysantis General Manager Manuel Pavon, “Macular degeneration is one of the age-related conditions which people are learning to guard against through supplementation. The Lewin study correctly points out that when it comes to the prevention of AMD one should look for products containing both zeaxanthin and lutein. Several zeaxanthin and lutein products have been launched over the past year or so, making it possible for people to have the best possible protection.”
Pavon goes on to say, “The body of recent epidemiological studies have now provided enough evidence for the National Eye Institute to launch a clinical trial to evaluate the potential therapeutic effects of lutein, zeaxanthin and omega 3 fatty acids. This trial, named AREDS II, was initiated in late 2005 and it intends to follow patients for at least five years. It will test a formulation containing 10 mg of lutein and 2 mg of zeaxanthin (with and without the addition of omega 3 fatty acids) against a placebo and it will be conducted in 20 to 70 clinical centers throughout the nation. When the original AREDS study was being planned in the early 1990s, lutein and zeaxanthin were not commercially available and thus were not included in the seven year study.”
Chrysantis’ zeaxanthin is sold under the brand name EZ Eyes™ and, like lutein, is made from Marigold flowers. A typical Marigold flower carotenoid profile is 80 percent lutein and 5 percent zeaxanthin. Chrysantis has a wide range of proprietary zeaxanthin-lutein Marigolds with profiles that range from 75 percent zeaxanthin and 5 percent lutein to 50 percent zeaxanthin and 50 percent lutein.
Chrysantis, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Ball Horticultural Company based in West Chicago, IL, is dedicated to developing high-quality plant-based products for dietary supplement manufacturers and the functional foods industry that will enhance human health. Family-owned Ball Horticultural Company has been researching, breeding and selling the highest-quality flower seed varieties for 100 years.
For more information, call 630 588-3474 or visit www.Chrysantis.com.
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