A study recently published in Physiology & Behavior found that a dietary supplement ingredient designed to support eye health called Lutemax 2020 from OmniActive Health Technologies (Morristown, NJ) also supports cognitive health. The ingredient is made up of a combination of lutein, zeaxanthin, and the zeaxanthin isomer meso-zeaxanthin (collectively, macular xanthophylls).
In the study, 59 healthy subjects between the ages of 18 and 25 were randomized to receive either placebo, 13 mg, or 27 mg per day of Lutemax, and then tested for cognitive performance at baseline and six months. Blood samples were taken at baseline and six months to measure brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and antioxidant capacity (AOC), and the pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-1β. Researchers also measured serum macular xanthophylls (MXans) and MXan concentration in the retina, called macular pigment optical density (MPOD).
Results showed that compared to placebo, both doses of Lutemax significantly increased levels of serum MXan, MDOP, BDNF and AOC, as well as significantly reduced IL-1β. Cognitive measures for subjects taking both doses of Lutemax also improved significantly, specifically for composite memory, verbal memory, sustained attention, psychomotor speed, and processing speed. These measures of cognitive function remained unchanged for the placebo group.
Researchers found that changes in BDNF were related to changes in IL-1β and MPOD, and changes in serum MXans were strongly related to AOC. There was also a correlation between the change in BDNF and cognitive scores in composite memory and verbal memory. Changes in MPOD were correlated to changes in psychomotor speed and processing speed. Changes in serum lutein were found to be correlated to changes in verbal memory, composite memory, and sustained attention, while changes in serum zeaxanthin isomers were only correlated with verbal memory. Changes in AOC were correlated with changes in verbal memory, composite memory, and sustained attention.
"This new publication on Lutemax 2020 further strengthens the notion that the eyes and brain are connected, and supplementing with a combination of lutein, RS-zeaxanthin and RR (meso)-zeaxanthin can positively influence outcomes associated with vision, cognition, and stress," said Arun Balakrishnan, CSO, OmniActive Health Technologies, in a press release. "As consumer demand for natural solutions to support cognitive function and performance continues to grow, our science shows that Lutemax 2020 can fill this need in the market."