Our Scientific Evidence – Simplified

We are often asked about the independent Irish research behind our products – what exactly was researched and what did the results show?

So in this blog, we wanted to share a bit more detail on the most important studies carried out on Irish patients at Waterford Institute of Technology over the last 20 years.Read on to find out what question each research study was designed to test and click the Show Answer button to see what was discovered about MacuPrime.

Q

If a person has very little protective macular pigment, can we rebuild it using MacuPrime supplements?

Some people cannot convert retinal lutein into meso-zeaxanthin meaning they have little or no macular pigment, which causes a dip at the centre of the macula. These people are at higher risk of developing Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). In the Central Dip Study, some patients were given MacuPrime (10mg Lutein, 10mg Meso-Zeaxanthin and 2mg Zeaxanthin) and others were given a carotenoid supplement that did not contain Meso-Zeaxanthin.

Central Dip Study – “Macular carotenoid supplementation in subjects with atypical spatial profiles of macular pigment” Nolan, et al Experimental Eye Research, 2012

A

Yes we can! MacuPrime has all three carotenoids and the ‘Central Dip’ study showed that Meso-Zeaxanthin is critical in rebuilding macular pigment.

100% of patients taking MacuPrime for 8 weeks not only rebuilt the dip at the centre of their macula but also increased macular pigment optical density (MPOD) across the entire spatial profile. The other formulations lacking Meso-Zeaxanthin were not as effective at increasing levels of macular protective pigment in the very center of the fovea, where Meso-Zeaxanthin gathers.Expert Comment – Prof Nolan, Director NRCI, Waterford Institute of TechnologyThis research proved that in order to rebuild macular pigment across the entire macula a person needs to use a supplement such as MacuPrime with all 3 carotenoids not just one or two – it is the synergistic benefit of Lutein, Meso-Zeaxanthin and Zeaxanthin that produces most effective results and protection
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Q

Do individual carotenoids (e.g. Lutein) have the same antioxidant effect as Lutein, Zeaxanthin and Meso-Zeaxanthin combined?

Some supplements on the market have just one or two carotenoids rather than all three. This study tested the antioxidant effects of individual carotenoids compared to the antioxidant effect of having all three carotenoids found in MacuPrime.

“Studies on the singlet oxygen scavenging mechanism of human macular pigment” Li, et al Archives of Biochemistry & Biophysics, 2010

A

No they don’t – you need Lutein, Zeaxanthin and Meso-Zeaxanthin together to get the most powerful antioxidant effect on the macula.

Meso-Zeaxanthin was found to have the strongest antioxidant action of all three of the carotenoids present in macular pigment (L, M & Z). Most importantly, it was also found that when all three carotenoids (as contained in MacuPrime) are combined together, they provide the most potent antioxidant effect on the macula, over and above any carotenoid on its own.Expert Comment – Prof Nolan, Director NRCI, Waterford Institute of TechnologyIn our research we’ve shown Meso-Zeaxanthin is a very, very important part of the formula to increase macular pigment and improve vision. This study confirms that Meso-Zeaxanthin is the most critical macular pigment carotenoid and when combined with Lutein and Zeaxanthin has the greatest antioxidant capacity. With AMD we are fighting oxidative damage and MacuPrime offers the most potent antioxidant defence as it contains the ideal mixture (10:10:2) of all three carotenoids, which have now been shown to be effective.”
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Q

Should we treat early signs of Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) with carotenoid supplements instead of waiting until the disease is established?

When diagnosed with early AMD, a person’s biggest fear is losing their vision. MOST study scientists at WIT tested and compared the impact of different macular carotenoid formulations on macular pigment and visual function (contrast sensitivity) in patients showing early signs of AMD.

MOST Study – “Sustained supplementation and monitored response with differing carotenoid formulations in early age-related macular degeneration” Akuffo, et al, Eye, 2015

A

Yes the sooner the better – and with all three carotenoids (MacuPrime).

In this 3-year study, the early AMD patients taking MacuPrime triple carotenoid formula saw improved macular pigment volume, significant improvements in vision (contrast sensitivity) and no progression of their disease.Expert Comment – Prof Nolan, Director NRCI, Waterford Institute of TechnologyOur MOST Study demonstrated that it’s a case of the earlier the better when it comes to supplementing with macular carotenoids. Taking MacuPrime is like putting sun cream on your skin before going out in the sun –  prevention and early intervention is key to protecting people’s sight and slowing down the progression of disease. This research work also shows that the longer a person supplements the better the outcomes in terms of improvement of macular pigment and visual function.”
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Q

Can a person with healthy eyes, free of disease benefit from taking a MacuPrime carotenoid supplement?

Research normally focusses on disease prevention or cure – this CREST Normal study was unique in that it studied healthy eyes.  Many people with healthy eyes and 20/20 visual acuity still complain about lack of sharpness in their vision or difficulty driving at night and glare sensitivity. Research has shown that these complaints can be linked to having a low macular pigment & poor contrast sensitivity.

CREST Normal – “Enrichment of Macular Pigment Enhances Contrast Sensitivity in Subjects Free of Retina Disease: Central Retinal Enrichment Supplementation Trials – Report 1” Nolan, et al, IOVS, 2016

A

Yes they can!  Carotenoid supplementation was proven to help enhance vision in healthy eyes.

After 1-year of supplementing with MacuPrime, healthy patients with baseline visual acuity of 20/20 and low levels of macular pigment, demonstrated statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvements in contrast sensitivity and associated improvements in visual performance.Expert Comment – Prof Nolan, Director NRCI, Waterford Institute of Technology Many people may already consider themselves to have ‘good’ eyesight, but thanks to this study we now know that many of these people would benefit from MacuPrime supplementation to help enjoy meaningful benefits to their visual function. We can achieve a new normal for vision when macular pigment is enhanced with MacuPrime supplementation”
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Q

Can carotenoid supplementation help people with Age-related Macular Degeneration?

50% of people diagnosed with early AMD usually go on to develop advanced AMD and lose their vision. This 3 year research study investigated the impact of MacuPrime PLUS supplementation on a patients visual function.

CREST AMD – “The Impact of Supplemental Antioxidants on Visual Function in Nonadvanced Age-Related Macular Degeneration : A Head-to-Head Randomized Clinical Trial” Akuffo, et al, IOVS, 2017

A

Yes it can – MacuPrime PLUS was proven to help improve visual performance in AMD patients.

After 24 months of supplementing with MacuPrime PLUS, patients with early stage AMD experienced improvements in their vision.Expert Comment – Prof Nolan, Director NRCI, Waterford Institute of Technology“This study proves that MacuPrime supplements are effective for patients afflicted with AMD – we’ve been able to enhance their visual performance with improved contrast sensitivity and reduced glare disability. This is a remarkable discovery given that vision normally declines in patients with Age-related Macular Degeneration.”
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