Kemin hones eye health vision

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Eye health Macular degeneration

Kemin Health has launched an initiative with the American Optometric Association (AOA) to deliver eye health information to optometrists and their patients as it expands its lutein-based, eye health education program.

Kemin has long understood the importance of educating health professionals in an area as sensitive as eye health, and has undertaken schemes in the past that keep eye doctors up-to-date with the latest research, practices and nutritional methodologies.

Lutein is clinically backed to benefit eye health, with much evidence demonstrating its ability to ward off the effects of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and fight cataracts.

AMD​ is a progressive eye disease that affects the central macula of the eye, leaving sufferers with only peripheral vision. It is the most common cause of blindness in the over-50s in the Western world, according to AMD Alliance International, and is estimated to affect 25m-30m people.

Mail-outs and more

“As of today, the Kemin-AOA educational outreach extends not only to optometrists, but directly to patients and the general public, as well,”​ Iowa-based Kemin said.

The initiative includes a mail-out to more than 20,000 AOA members and includes printed materials that explain which nutrients can benefit eye health, as well as recommended daily intakes.

Kemin has also come up with a digital presentation optometrists can use to assist communication with patients and consumers as well as adding nutrition-related content to the AOA website.

This will include an Ocular Nutrition Library consumers that will contain new research information, including the latest lutein research that demonstrates lutein can benefit eye health, AMD and cataracts in doses up to 10mg per day.

"The AOA and its member optometrists are the front line in delivering eye care and eye health information, so we are pleased to be working with them on these projects,”​ said Kemin global marketing director, Andy Martin.

A Kemin-sponsored survey in Europe last year found lutein awareness was growing with awareness getting up to levels of about 40 percent in countries such as Poland and Germany. Awareness in the UK stood at 27 percent in 2007. In Spain it was 13 percent.

New ventures

Kemin this week also announced a global partnership with​AVT Natural Products Limited, which is the world’s biggest oleoresin supplier.

The two companies have worked together in the past and the two companies said the new formal arrangement would ensure “supply chain efficiency, reliability, safety and quality.”

The deal means Kemin is bound to purchase all the marigold oleoresin it uses to make FloraGLO crystalline lutein from AVT.

The deal follows a partnership between Kemin and DSM signed in late 2007 that has DSM buying all the lutein it needs from Kemin.

Frost & Sullivan put the global lutein market at $105m in 2006 and forecast it would grow to $124.5 million by 2013.

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