New Study Shows 91% of Eye Doctors Believe Lutein Promotes Eye Health

DES MOINES, IOWA (April 1, 2002)—A recent survey of eye doctors commissioned by Kemin Foods and conducted by an independent research firm reveals that 91 percent of eye doctors believe poor nutrition plays a role in the development of common eye diseases and they believe lutein plays an important role in promoting eye health.

Lutein and zeaxanthin are the major carotenoids present in the retinas of healthy eyes. Lutein is an abundant carotenoid found in many fruits and vegetables and, in nature, protects cells against light-induced damage. Spinach and kale contain the highest levels of lutein, but it is also present in such foods as corn and egg yolks.

“As patients and doctors become increasingly aware of the benefits of lutein, eye care professionals should be interested in what their peers across the country are thinking,” said Dr. Robert Abel, an ophthalmologist in private practice and a member of the Lutein Information Bureau Advisory Board.

The Lutein Information Bureau works to promote awareness and education of lutein and the role that it plays in the prevention and treatment of diseases.

“I’ve always believed that lutein plays an important role in promoting eye health,” Abel said. “I’m pleased to know that my colleagues agree. It’s important to note that the overwhelming majority of eye doctors also agree that regular use of lutein can minimize macular degeneration.”

The study, conducted by Jefferson Davis Associates, an independent research firm based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, surveyed 150 ophthalmologists and 150 optometrists throughout the United States. It was commissioned by Kemin Foods, manufacturer of FloraGLO® brand lutein. The study also found that 84 percent of eye doctors currently recommend lutein to their patients, while 80 percent of these eye doctors believe the regular use of lutein is helpful in maintaining eye health.

Among the other findings:

      • 86 percent of eye doctors believe consumers who take a multivitamin should take one that includes lutein.


      • 89 percent of eye doctors believe lutein is natural and safe.


      • 55 percent of all eye doctors consider lutein to be as important for eyes as calcium is for bones.


      • 71 percent of all eye doctors believe consumers should supplement their diet with lutein daily.


      • 90 percent of all eye doctors believe consumers should eat foods naturally high in lutein, such as spinach.


    • 58 percent of eye doctors believe that lutein is the nutrient that best supports long-term eye health.

The study, conducted between June and July 2001, was designed to assess eye care specialists’ levels of awareness, acceptance of and commitment to lutein. The responses of ophthalmologists and optometrists were analyzed separately. All of the doctors had active practices. The eye doctors surveyed were asked to respond without prompting and were selected at random.

About FloraGLO® Lutein
FloraGLO® Lutein is made with a patented purification process that results in lutein identical to that found in foods like spinach, broccoli and collard greens. Lutein helps maintain vision health by depositing in the lens and macula, reducing the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of irreversible blindness in the industrialized world.

FloraGLO is an ingredient in more than 100 products found in health food stores and popular mass-market brands worldwide, including Centrum®, Centrum Silver®, Bausch & Lomb’s Ocuvite® and Wal-Mart’s Sentury-Vite® multivitamins. For more information about the benefits of lutein, visit the Lutein Information Bureau Web site at

About Kemin Foods
Kemin Foods, L.C. is a global manufacturer and marketer of natural antioxidants for the food, dietary supplement and personal care markets. Headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, the company is part of Kemin Industries, which has manufacturing facilities in Iowa, Texas, Belgium, India, Singapore and Thailand. Kemin Foods is the maker of FloraGLO Lutein, the purified, patented and proven form of lutein on the market today.

For more information about Kemin Foods, FloraGLO Lutein and the Lutein Information Bureau, visit

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