GENEVA, May 20 Valensa International (Eustis, FL USA) announced the introduction of a new eye health formulation that combines the leading eye health ingredients in a single, easy-to-use product. Called Eye Pro MD, the new formulation contains carotenoids astaxanthin, lutein, and zeaxanthin and features a proprietary Omega-3/phospholipid delivery system as well as Vitamin D3. The formulation has been developed based on the results from the CARMIS clinical trial (Carotenoids and Antioxidant in Age Related Maculopathy Italian Study) that were reported in the journal Ophthalmology in 2008 and other studies. Astaxanthin is known to cross the blood-brain/blood-retina barrier and preferentially resides in the central foveal region of the macula. Published research points to astaxanthin's dramatic reduction of light-induced oxidative stress processes that damage cells and associated cellular mechanisms. Valensa holds the rights to the University of Illinois patent (US 5,527,533 and its foreign equivalents) for the use of the astaxanthin in eye healthcare supplement applications and has begun a broad outlicensing program in conjunction with its Zanthin® brand Natural Astaxanthin ingredient. Eye Pro MD will be introduced to the market with a similar outlicensing program. Valensa was a recent recipient of a 2009 North American Frost & Sullivan Award for Customer Value Enhancement for its work in developing the global eye health market.
According to Dr. Rudi E. Moerck, President & CEO of Valensa International, Eye Pro MD is based on the most current thinking in supplementation for eye health. "The CARMIS study that employed astaxanthin as a key component suggests that it is an excellent addition to eye healthcare supplements that already contain lutein and zeaxanthin. Lutein is known to accumulate in the outer region of the macula, where light impingement is relatively low in comparison to the central macular region (also known as the fovea), where the highest light impingement always occurs and where maximum antioxidant protection is required. If we are talking about antioxidant functionality, as the most reactive of the three carotenoids in question with the broadest UV absorption spectrum, astaxanthin can be considered the first line of defense and should, in fact, allow the other ingredients to function more effectively. We feel that astaxanthin is an excellent complement to lutein and zeaxanthin in these formulations," he added.
Patented Support for Eye Health
Valensa's patent, known as the "Tso Patent," covers the use of astaxanthin as a dietary supplement for amelioration of free radical- and light-induced retinal damage, age-related macular degeneration, photoreceptor cell retinal damage and damage to neurons of inner retinal layers, among other claims. Numerous studies point to the fact that astaxanthin crosses the blood-brain/blood-retina barrier, resides in the central retina and protects retinal cells from photo-induced oxidative stress. There is also data that suggests that astaxanthin, in eye formulations that include lutein and zeaxanthin, reacts with free radical and singlet oxygen species first and that lutein and zeaxanthin act as a "catch fence" to mitigate further cellular damage after astaxanthin has done its job.
According to Moerck, the Eye Pro MD eye health formula recognizes the science that supports both lutein and zeaxanthin and adds the remarkable antioxidant potency of astaxanthin into the mix. "At Valensa, we are not marketers of single ingredient products and recognize the excellent potential for astaxanthin, lutein and zeaxanthin for supporting eye health in combination. The use of astaxanthin in a supplement form is all the more important when you consider how difficult it is for the human body to acquire it via diet. While lutein and zeaxanthin are available from a healthy diet featuring leafy greens and vegetables, natural astaxanthin is only available in diets high in wild salmon, certain shellfish and supplements," he said. Moerck went on to point out that Valensa is currently designing a multi-arm eye healthcare clinical trial that includes a standalone arm for astaxanthin to further explore its unique properties and utility in eye healthcare in conjunction with a second arm exploring the benefits of mixed carotenoids and advanced Omega-3 delivery systems.
Omega-3s, Vitamin D and Phospholipids
Rounding out the Eye Pro MD formulation are two more ingredients that have shown promise in supporting eye health and a proprietary method of delivering all the ingredients. A number of studies have shown that Omega-3 fatty acids - and particularly DHA and EPA - support healthier eyes. Researchers have suggested that omega-3 fatty acids might influence processes involved in the development of blood vessel- and nerve-related diseases of the retina. In a study examining milk consumption and Vitamin D supplementation, researchers found evidence for inverse associations between age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and higher serum Vitamin D levels. The phospholipids that are contained in the Eye Pro MD formulation are present to assist with absorption and to improve overall efficacy.
According to Moerck, the potential exists for marketers of eye health support products to work together in bringing the benefits of supplements to the attention of consumers. "Eye health is a major concern for aging baby boomer populations of the United States, Europe and parts of Asia. Today, nearly 30% of people over the age of 55 suffer from visual impairment due to age-related eye health disorders - primarily cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) - both of which are primary causes of blindness," he said. "Better eye health is a very powerful message for the retail audience. Particularly in a time when baby boomers are looking to 'age gracefully,' regular supplementation with a formulated, science-based products has the opportunity to improve the lives of millions of people," he added. For more information on Eye Pro MD, visit http://www.valensa.com.
This press release was issued through eReleases(R). For more information, visit eReleases Press Release Distribution at http://www.ereleases.com.
For further information contact: Dr. Rudi Moerck, President & CEO Voice: 352-357-2004 ext. 701 Fax: 352-483-2095 http://www.valensa.com
SOURCE Valensa International