Tomato, Rosemary, and Lutein May Play Synergistic Role in Promoting Eye Health, Study Finds

Jan 25, 2018

Lycored (Secaucus, NJ) announced results of a pre-clinical phase I study showing a “powerful biological synergy” attributable to the ingredients in its LycoInvision nutrient complex for vision health. The ex vivo study1—funded by Lycored and designed to assess the nutrient complex’s effects on immune cells from patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD)—appears in the peer-reviewed journal Molecular Vision.

Researchers at Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center in Israel separated monocyte immune cells from the blood of seven female and three male AMD patients and let the cells mature to macrophages. From there, each patient’s cells received treatment with a variety of antioxidant combinations including lutein+zeaxanthin, zinc, carnosic acid, beta-carotene, and standardized tomato extract containing lycopene and other tomato phytonutrients. The researchers measured levels of anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and pro-angiogenic gene and protein expression.

The results showed that the antioxidant combination containing lycopene and carnosic acid in addition to lutein+zeaxanthin and the minerals zinc and copper was most effective at providing antioxidant protection and boosting the body’s overall natural mechanisms against stressors.

“The exact role that lycopene plays in eye health has been a long-standing mystery, as lycopene does not accumulate in the eye,” said Karin Hermoni, head of the science and nutrition team at Lycored, in a press statement. “This study allowed us to finally reveal the pivotal and synergistic role that it plays in vision protection.” The research also suggests that lycopene “sacrifices” itself to lutein by protecting the latter from oxidation and permitting its effective transport to the eye. “The current study emphasizes that although lycopene does not contribute directly to macular pigmentation—like lutein does—it works in tandem with the other nutrients to help create the most potent combination of eye-protecting nutrients.”

Going forward, Lycored aims to use this ex vivo study as a springboard to further research in the field. Indeed, the company will continue the clinical phase II portion of the research program, and will focus on macular blood flow, in early 2018.

References: 
  1. Rinsky B et al., “Characterizing the effect of supplements on the phenotype of cultured macrophages from patients with age related macular degeneration, online at Molecular Vision,Molecular Vision, vol. 6, no. 23 (December 2017): 889-899
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