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New Study Demonstrates That Xangold® Natural Lutein Ester Supplements May Benefit Those With Early Stage Macular Degeneration

A newly published study with Cognis’ Xangold® natural lutein esters is one of the first to demonstrate that people with early stage Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) can accumulate lutein in the macula of the eye.

Mounting evidence shows that it may be possible to reduce the risk of AMD by adding extra amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin to the diet. The findings of this pilot study, just published in the July issue of Experimental Eye Research1, not only support this proposition, they go further, demonstrating that the potential benefits of supplementation may also extend to those who already have early stages of the disease, known as ARM (Age Related Maculopathy).

Lutein and zeaxanthin from the diet are deposited as a layer known as the macular pigment (MP), in a tiny part of the retina called the macula. There are strong indications from previous studies that the macular pigment may give the eye built-in protection. People with a higher density of MP are at lower risk of AMD, the degenerative disease that is already the leading cause of blindness in aging Western societies.

In this study, Dr. Ian Murray and his group from the Department of Optometry and Neuroscience at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom evaluated the effects of a supplement of lutein esters over a period of 18-20 weeks, in seven patients with early stages of the disease (ARM) and six age-matched controls. The subjects were given 20 mg Xangold® natural lutein esters daily, ‘equivalent to the consumption of 10 mg free lutein’, according to the researchers.

Macular pigment density and levels of lutein in blood plasma were measured at regular intervals throughout the study. Both increased significantly, and to the same extent in the controls and in the ARM patients, providing evidence that the macula can accumulate lutein, not only in healthy eyes but in those with the early stages of AMD.

Dr. Murray commented: "I have seen many patients who are suffering from the disabling effects of AMD. Of course we are excited by the prospect that a simple addition to the diet may impede the progress of the disease and prevent others who are at risk experiencing such problems. Right now, dietary intervention is the only hope for most of them".

With a growing body of evidence supporting the role of lutein ester supplementation for eye health, Cognis has recently petitioned the US Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a qualified health claim (QHC) linking consumption of Xangold® natural lutein esters to a reduced risk of AMD and cataracts. The study by Dr. Murray and his group will strengthen their case for official recognition of the benefits of this valuable ingredient.

Xangold® Natural Lutein Esters, extracted from marigold flowers that are grown specifically for Cognis, are available in two forms suitable for foods and dietary supplements: 15% oil for soft gel capsules and oil based food products, and 10% microencapsulated beadlets for tablets or dry foods. Both forms are available in IP-certified, non-GM grades. Xangold®, which was the first source of lutein to complete the GRAS notification process in January 2003, is the natural ingredient of choice for successful eye health products, offering excellent bioavailability and stability.

For more information about Xangold® Natural Lutein Esters visit or in North America, please call 800.673.3702 to place an order, e-mail, or fax 513.482.3576.

For information in Europe, call +49.211.7940.9692, e-mail, or fax +49.211.798.2390.

For information in Asia Pacific, call +61.3.9584.4588, e-mail, or fax +61.3.9584.8348.

1Koh HH, Murray IJ, Nolan D, Carden D, Feather J, Beatty S. Plasma and macular responses to lutein supplement in subjects with and without age-related maculopathy: a pilot study. Exp Eye Res. 2004 Jul;79(1):21-27

About Cognis

Cognis is a worldwide supplier of innovative specialty chemicals and nutritional ingredients. It employs 8,500 people, and has production sites and service centers in almost 30 countries. The company delivers natural source raw materials and ingredients for food, nutrition and healthcare markets, and the cosmetics, detergents and cleaners industries. Additionally, Cognis provides solutions for a number of other industries, such as coatings and inks, lubricants, textiles and plastics, as well as agriculture and mining. Cognis has dedicated its activities to a high level of sustainability. Setting the standards on a global basis, Cognis, in 2001, became the first chemical company to achieve worldwide certification for both ISO 9001 (Quality Management Systems) and ISO 14001 (Environmental Management Systems).

Cognis is owned by private equity funds advised by Permira, GS Capital Partners, and Schroder Ventures Life Sciences. In 2003, Cognis recorded sales of 2.95 billion euros and an operating profit before depreciation, amortization and exceptional items (EBITDA recurring) of 312 million euros.

Caron Blitz, BLITZ + Associates, Inc.
Cognis Nutrition and Health
Email Address:
Telephone: 847/945-0101

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