Natural Products Insider

MAY-JUN 2018

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54 INSIDER May/June 2018 The adage that carrots are good for the eyes is certainly true—but orange vegetables aren't the only things that can promote healthy eye development and protect vision. "Recent developments in technologies that allow us to measure and understand the role of key nutrients for vision have resulted in major fi ndings," explained John Nolan, Ph.D., principal investigator of the macular pigment research group and premier research scientist for Stauber's Xanthosight™ carotenoid blend. That's good news, since optimal vision and eye health is becoming increasingly important to consumers. "Eye health has largely been a category associated with an older population to prevent age-related diseases," said Brian Appell, marketing manager, OmniActive. But today, he said, "The need to protect the eyes against blue-light exposure because of our digital lifestyle is growing." At the same time, evidence continues to mount regarding nutrients that are critical for fetal and infant eye development. From the moment babies are born, they rely on their eyes to take in important information, learn new things and communicate with others. Getting the right nutrients early in life sets the stage for healthy eye development in the years and decades to come. "The human visual system is not completely developed at birth and develops rapidly during the fi rst 12 months of life," said Gretchen Vannice, head of global nutrition education, Organic Technologies. Later in life, key nutrients can help minimize the effects of tech-driven lifestyles. As children and younger adults engage in more screen time, the risk for eye problems can increase. Computer Vision Syndrome is marked by symptoms such as headaches, blurred vision, eye fatigue and dry eyes, according to the American Optometric Association (AOA). The culprit is the blue light emitted by devices—computers, smartphones and tablets—that penetrates deep into the eye. "The macula, the region of the eye responsible for sharp, clear vision, is most susceptible to blue light's effects because it receives the highest concentration," Appell explained. That can cause eye discomfort in the short term—and a gradual loss of vision over time, he added. Nutrition can play a critical role in managing and potentially preventing eye disease that can affect older adults. Those 60 and over are most likely to be affected by age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma, cataracts and diabetic rhinopathy, said Gilbia Portela, marketing manager, Algalif. Seniors, especially women, may also be more likely to suffer from dry eyes. These conditions affect tens of millions of people today, according to the National Eye Institute—and as the population ages, the need to address these problems will continue to grow. Nutrients for Eye Health Top nutrients that contribute to vision health tend to work through one of two important mechanisms. Certain vitamins and minerals have noted antioxidant functions, and can also exert an anti- infl ammatory effect. "These nutrients can decrease oxidative stress and reduce infl ammatory events, and are important in all age groups," said Mal Evans, Ph.D., scientifi c director, KGK Science. If you've ever wondered why carrots are always credited as the go-to food for sharper vision, carotenoids are the reason. Pigments and potent antioxidants— carotenoids like lutein, zeaxanthin and meso-zeaxanthin—are the main nutrients present in the eye. This trio works by preventing the retina from absorbing too much harmful blue light, as well as scavenging harmful free radicals. But, macular pigment carotenoids work best when they're present in eyes at the right ratio, said Nolan. Thanks to the CREST Vision study, there's now fi rm evidence that supplementing with macular carotenoids in a ratio of 10 mg of meso- zeaxanthin, 10 mg of lutein and 2 mg of zeaxanthin shows demonstrable improvement in vision among people with healthy eyes. 1 These carotenoids also benefi t those with AMD. In a separate CREST study of adults with early-stage AMD, nearly 35 percent of participants who took 10 mg of Eye Health Eye health is important for every life stage, and nutrients can help minimize negative vision effects of modern lifestyles. Carotenoids such as lutein, zeaxanthin, meso- zeaxanthin and astaxanthin help improve vision by reducing cellular oxidation. Zinc and vitamins C and E are considered eye antioxidants, while omega-3s help reduce risks of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Focus on Eye Health: Nutrients That Matter by Marygrace Taylor INSIDER's Take Healthy Aging Digital Magazine Consumers of all ages are embracing the concept of healthy aging—looking to nutrition, lifestyle and supplements to help them not just live longer, but healthier, more productive lives. Advances in health care and general nutrition continue to increase global life expectancy, and hence, the population of aging adults. But healthy aging is no longer an afterthought heading into the senior years; consumers across the generations are actively seeking products that will help them pursue healthy lives across the continuum. Whether young or old, the market will need new products and brands to meet this growing consumer base. Download INSIDER's "Healthy Aging: Optimizing Life With Supplements and Nutrition" Digital Magazine for the latest on the niche. Vol. 8, No. 4 April 2018 naturalproductsinsider.com US$20.75 Healthy Aging east.supplysideshow.com Secaucus, NJ Meadowlands Exposition Center APRIL 10 & 11 Optimizing Life with Supplements and Nutrition Scan Here naturalproductsinsider.com/healthy-living/healthy-aging-optimizing-life-supplements-and-nutrition

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