Martek to Launch Eye Health Formula

October 26, 2010

The company is showing greater interest in the visual health market.

Martek Biosciences (Columbia, MD) is releasing an eye health formula, Life’sDHA Plus+, incorporating lutein and zeaxanthin with the company’s branded omega-3 docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), Life’sDHA.

“DHA is a very large component of the eye and there have been some associations between higher DHA levels and lower risk for some eye diseases, especially as you age,” said Martek spokeswoman Cassandra France-Kelly in an interview with Nutritional Outlook.

Recently published science is supporting the theory that DHA benefits in eye health in several areas. In one study published in the British Journal of Opthalmology, 2924 patients from the famous AREDS eye health study were assessed for DHA intake and higher intake of the nutrient was linked to reduced incidence of age-related macular disease (AMD). A link between higher DHA levels and reduced AMD risk was also observed in a recent study where AMD donor eyes were found to have reduced DHA levels and greater omega-6 to omega-3 ratios compared to non-AMD donor eyes. This study was published in August at the Journal of Lipid Research.

Several studies on infants have also drawn associations between high DHA and improved visual acuity.

Zeaxanthin and lutein, two carotenoids found naturally in the eye’s macula, are known to deplete with age and have been the subject of a wealth of in vitro, animal, and human clinical trials. The two ingredients are seeing increased attention with the Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2), an ongoing federally-funded multi-year study in which intake of these nutrients (along with omega-3s) is being assessed in 4,200 human patients at risk of AMD.

The sources of carotenoids in Martek’s formula are Floraglo Lutein, manufactured by Kemin Health (Des Moines, IA), and Zeagold zeaxanthin, manufactured by Kalsec Inc. (Kalamazoo, MI).