Verdure Sciences (Noblesville, IN) recently launched a new ingredient targeting the eye- and cognitive-health markets. The ingredient, Neuralum, is a blend of two of the company’s existing ingredients—Longvida, a curcumin ingredient, and Lutevida, a lutein-based eye-health ingredient. Kristen Marshall, marketing coordinator, Verdure, tells Nutritional Outlook that Neuralum was developed as a way to “harness the synergistic opportunities in support of brain and eye health.”
Neuralum benefits from the combination of Longvida and Lutevida in a couple of key ways, says Marshall. For one thing, both Longvida and Lutevida are formulated using Verdure’s patented solid lipid particle technology (SLP), which Marshall says boosts bioavailability and absorption in the body. In addition, she says, the clinical and preclinical science backing Longvida and Lutevida’s independent eye- and brain-health benefits would indicate that Neuralum is an ideal ingredient for both retinal and cognitive-health applications.
Cognitive health continues to be an area of growing interest, with research shedding new light on the connections between eye health and cognitive health. For example, Marshall says, Verdure’s research1 on Longvida as a “natural, cost-effective, non-invasive retinal imaging tool” indicated that it was able to bind the amyloid plaques, which are early indicators of Alzheimer’s disease, in the retina. In the study, the authors wrote that Alzheimer’s patients exhibit a myriad of retinal pathologies. Marshall explains how an ingredient like Neuralum can help.
“The patented SLP technology allows the uptake of free curcumin and lutein through the lymphatic system by delivering to target tissues via chylomicrons,” Marshall explains. “This allows the curcumin in Neuralum to cross the blood-brain and retinal barriers and illuminate the amyloid plaques, opening up a number of possibilities for early detection of retinal and cognitive pathologies, as well as screening, assessing progression, and monitoring response to therapy.”
Marshall adds that it’s becoming increasingly important to develop natural solutions that support both eye and brain health. She points to a 2017 study2 which analyzed the prevalence of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in Europeans. The results from that study indicated that the number of those affected by AMD is set to increase considerably over the next two decades. In North America, Marshall adds, roughly 11 million people have a form of AMD, and that number is projected to reach 196 million by the year 2020.
“When one combines this knowledge with recent evidence that the eye serves as a biomarker for brain health, it is all the more important to address both the eye and brain when seeking ways to support healthy function,” Marshall says.
1. Koronyo Y et al., “Retinal amyloid pathology and proof-of-concept imaging trial,” Journal of Clinical Investigation Insight, vol. 2, no. 16 (2017).
2. Colijn JM et al., “Prevalence of age-related macular degeneration in Europe: The past and the future,” Ophthalmology, vol. 124, no 12 (December 2017): 1753-1763.