April 25, 2017
Ingredients Insight


Macular carotenoid extract for a digital world

The increase in exposure to blue-light-emitting screens could have serious implications for eye health. OmniActive Health Technologies has developed a macular carotenoid extract to combat this problem.

Of the hundreds of carotenoids found in nature, only three are found in the eye: lutein and the two zeaxanthin isomers – RR-zeaxanthin (3R,3’R-zeaxanthin) and RS-zeaxanthin (3R, 3’S-RS-zeaxanthin). Known as macular carotenoids, they protect an area of the retina responsible for highest visual performance – and susceptible to the greatest amount of photo-oxidative damage. Their primary roles are as effective blue-light filters, and antioxidants to reduce oxidative stress and support visual performance. 

Our eyes are constantly exposed to high-energy blue light emitted from a variety of sources, including digital devices like computers, tablets and smartphone screens, energy-efficient lighting and sunlight. Prolonged exposure affects everyone from infants to adults, as it penetrates deep into the eye and has the potential to damage the macula through photochemical and photo-oxidative reactions. Short-term exposure to blue light can lead to eye fatigue, eye strain and headaches, while long-term exposure may lead to gradual loss of visual function.It is estimated that children spend about 5.5 hours a day using media, with adults spending 9.5 hours a day in front of computers and various digital screens. 

The mechanisms by which blue light damages the eye are primarily mediated through photo-oxidative reactions and the generation of free radicals.

"Lutemax 2020 is a complete macular carotenoid formula containing lutein and the two zeaxanthin isomers in a balanced 5:1 ratio, as found in nature."

Macular carotenoids improve visual performance

With increased exposure to high-energy blue light, and its implications for visual health, OmniActive Health Technologies sponsored the Blue Light User Exposure (BLUE) study to examine how macular carotenoids can support visual health during long-duration exposure to digital screen use. This randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study showed that supplementation with Lutemax 2020 significantly improved visual performance in subjects using digital devices or during time spent outdoors.

The BLUE study confirms recent studies demonstrating the numerous benefits of Lutemax 2020. LAMA I and II (Lutein and Mental Acuity), have shown that Lutemax 2020 supplementation rapidly increases serum levels of lutein and zeaxanthin isomers, and macular pigment optical density (MPOD) – an indication of the ‘thickness’ of macular carotenoids deposited in the macula. MPOD is inversely associated with the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration. LAMA II showed further benefits of supplementing with Lutemax 2020, with improved markers of visual performance, including contrast sensitivity, glare performance and photostress recovery.

A balanced extract

While lutein is well known for its benefits to the eyes, visual health requires all three macular carotenoids. OmniActive’s Lutemax 2020 is a complete macular carotenoid formula containing lutein and the two zeaxanthin isomers in a balanced 5:1 ratio, as found in nature. Multiple studies with Lutemax 2020 demonstrated rapid retinal uptake and increase in MPOD; one study in particular showed these benefits in as few as eight weeks. Additionally, Lutemax 2020 is produced under a fully vertically integrated supply chain, which means OmniActive controls the entire process, from seed selection and cultivation of the marigold flowers to finished ingredients.

Built-in redundancies across the operation guarantee a consistent supply of high-quality ingredients. Using OmniActive’s oil suspension and OmniBead technologies, OmniActive’s Lutemax 2020 formulations are highly stable and offer formulators a wide range of specifications to cover all product development needs.

Further information
OmniActive Health Technologies
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