Chrysantis Comments on Latest Eye Health Studies presented at ARVO

West Chicago, IL (June 7, 2006) -- When the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) held its annual conference earlier this month, a record 10,250 people attended the conference. Attendees were presented with the latest advances in the fields of Clinical and Epidemiological Research, Retinal Cell Biology, and Biochemical and molecular biology, among others.

“This is the first time we have seen so many important papers and posters about zeaxanthin and its role in eye health being presented at the conference,” said Chrysantis general manager Manuel Pavon. “Researchers this year talked about how zeaxanthin supplementation could be part of a therapy to inhibit the development of retinopathy in diabetics, and how long term use of statins to lower cholesterol might decrease the density of the macular pigment. This is especially interesting to us because macular pigment is composed of zeaxanthin and lutein. Researchers also discussed how people with high lutein/zeaxanthin intake had 30% reduced likelihood of developing moderate or mild cataract.”

These results are particularly important in light of the alarming increase in people developing diabetes (especially type 2 diabetes), the number of people that use statins to control their cholesterol and the number of cataract surgeries performed every year in the US.

It is well documented that people with diabetes have 25 times greater risk for blindness from cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration, and that diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults 20 to 74 years of age. The work presented by Dr. Gierhart and Dr. Kowluru at the ARVO conference showed that zeaxanthin supplementation to diabetic rats inhibited the increase in retinal oxidative stress and nutritive stress that is associated with the pathogenesis of retinopathy in diabetics.

Research on statins has shown that their use could be beneficial for retinal health, but the mechanism for this protective effect is not clear. Based on the fact that statins change serum lipid concentrations and that the serum lipid fractions do transport zeaxanthin and lutein to the retina, Dr. Renzi et al wanted to see if altering lipid serum concentrations influence macular pigment levels. They did find out that macular pigment concentration was inversely related to duration of statin use.

Last but not least, Dr. Jain et al examined the association between dietary carotenoid intake and cataract prevalence, type and severity.

“Future studies along the same lines are needed to confirm these findings, as we try to better understand the role that zeaxanthin plays in eye health,” Pavon said.

The abstracts of these studies are available at

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 on natural, true, 3R 3’R zeaxanthin, call 630 588-3474 or visit

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Suzanne Shelton
[email protected]

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