Experts Confirm Positive Role of Lutein at March Eye-Health Congress

April 7, 2011

The benefits of carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin on vision were discussed at a congress convened in March in Schloss Hohekammer, Germany.

World-renowned experts in the eye-health field presented data supporting the benefits of carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin on vision, at a congress convened in March in Schloss Hohekammer, Germany.

Paul S. Bernstein, MD, PhD, from the Moran Eye Center, University of Utah, presented the latest scientific research on the biological significance of lutein.

“Our focus is to understand mechanistically how and why the macular pigment carotenoids are concentrated in the human foveal region at the highest concentrations found anywhere in the human body,” he said.

He provided insights on future directions of research to clarify the role of these proteins in retinal health and also discussed noninvasive approaches, such as in vivo resonance Raman spectroscopy and lipofuscin autofluorescence, to quantify and image macular pigment in the living human eye.

B. Randall Hammond, PhD, of the University of Georgia, presented results confirming earlier reports of a significant relationship between the variation in retinal concentrations of lutein and zeaxanthin and immediate effects on visual function such as photostress recovery, glare disability, and chromatic contrast sensitivity.

Finally, Edward P. Norkus, PhD, from the Montefiore Medical Center in New York spoke about the importance of the bioavailability of supplemental lutein. “Current data suggests great variability in serum response following lutein supplementation from various sources,” he stated.

Kemin Health LLC, which cosponsored the event, titled “Lutein and Its Benefits to Eye Health,” said Norkus’s statement is supported by evidence showing a significantly greater relative serum lutein response from supplements containing free lutein, such as Kemin’s FloraGLO lutein, than from supplements containing lutein esters. The event was also cosponsored by DSM Nutritional Products Europe Ltd., which provides its OptiSharp zeaxanthin, as well as the Actilease beadlet technology used by Kemin’s FloraGLO to improve bioavailability.