Lutein and zeaxanthin have long been linked to reducing the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD) - a degenerative retinal disease that causes central vision loss and leaves only peripheral vision, and the leading cause of legal blindness for people over 55 years of age in the Western world, according to AMD Alliance International.
The new ingredient is composed of approximately 85 per cent total xanthophylls, of which about 85 percent is trans-lutein, 7.5 percent is the trans-isomer of R,R zeaxanthin, and 7.5 percent is the trans-isomer of R,S zeaxanthin (also known as trans-meso-zeaxanthin), said the company, the two later forms are those contained in the human eye, added the company.
"Eye health is of the utmost importance to all individuals, especially aging boomers, and as the vision health supplement category continues to grow, we are confident that Lutemax 2020 will take center-stage," said Dr. Jayant Deshpande, chief technology officer for OmniActive Health Technologies.
"Lutemax 2020 allows manufacturers to create new nutritional formulations or update their existing eye health product offerings with an ingredient that delivers nutritionally relevant, enhanced levels of zeaxanthin isomers with lutein, at an affordable cost-in-use. And formulators will enjoy the fact that upgrading to Lutemax 2020 is nearly effortless," he added.
The new ingredient is available in vegetarian beadlets, oil suspensions and powder forms to meet all preferences and manufacturing requirements, said the company.
Despite the fact that approximately 25 to 30 million people worldwide are affected by AMD, awareness of the condition is low, according to AMD Alliance International. And as the generation of Baby Boomers gets older, the Alliance expects incidence to be on the rise and triple by 2025.
AMD is a degenerative retinal disease that causes central vision loss and leaves only peripheral vision. Early detection is cited as a means of prevention so that treatment or rehabilitation can be undertaken early enough. However, links to diet have also been underscored.
No current data is available for the US eye health market, but a recent market report from Frost & Sullivan valued the European market at $43m in 2007 and estimates this to more than double over the next five years to reach $87m in 2014.
OmniActive is headquartered in India, with the corporate offices based in Mumbai. The company has secured several patents free lutein and lutein esters in the US, Australia, Canada and Japan.