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New research, commissioned by Kemin Health, has found that Brits are leaving their European counterparts in the dark when it comes to protecting their eyesight. Almost a third of us now realise the benefits of taking supplements such as lutein to protect our eyes, while less than a quarter of those living in France have the foresight to do so.

The research revealed that British women in particular are driving interest in ocular nutrition amid growing concerns about conditions such as cataracts and age related macular degeneration.

With a whole raft of research supporting the role of antioxidants in promoting eye health, 34% of women now say they would take supplements because they are concerned about their eye health. Over the past two years awareness of lutein among British women has leapt from 12.8% to 28.7%.

The case for lutein is strong. It has been fuelled by a host of evidence in recent years from more than 35 clinical trials and studies which suggest that lutein, and its isomer zeaxanthin, can help supplement macula pigment that may have been depleted through years of exposure to UV/blue light and oxidative stress. In fact, studies suggest that increasing our daily lutein intake from the current average of 2mg to 6mg may reduce the odds of developing AMD by up to 57%1.

And the good news for the estimated 3million people in the UK2 who already have some degree of AMD is that more recent research has shown lutein may even help reverse symptoms from damage already done. Richer et al3, found that men with early stage dry AMD who took 10mg lutein daily, could improve macular pigment density by up to 45%, while subjects noticed a marked improvement in distance and near visual acuity, contrast sensitivity and glare recovery.

Tom Bremridge, Chief Executive of the Macular Disease Society comments, “It is good to see that we, in the UK at least, are finally starting to take eye health seriously. AMD is currently the leading cause of blindness in the Western world. We need to encourage people to take steps to protect their eyes from an early age. We hope this heightened interest in nutrition for eye health will have a knock on effect in terms of numbers diagnosed with the condition in future.”

Pedro Vieira, Marketing Manager for Kemin Health Europe adds, “We are delighted with these figures. Consumers have been quick to realise the benefits of lutein, and this has been supported by the wide range of supplements now available to them. It’s reassuring to know that the message is sinking in.”


Further information about lutein is available from the Lutein Information Bureau
To find out more please call Lisa Chick, Chick Communications, 07946 583685

The Macular Disease Society can be contacted via or tel 0845 2412041

Notes to editors:
Research undertaken by independent research company Synovate, January 2005. 961 people were questioned in the UK; 462 male, 499 female.

Other key facts from the survey:
• 37.6% had heard of AMD (41.3% of women, 34.9% of men)
• This was markedly higher in the age group most at risk; 49.5% of 55-64 year olds had heard of AMD
• 97.8% had heard of cataracts (98.6% of women, 92.5% of men)
• 63.8% of all respondents believe diet plays a moderate to great role in maintaining healthy eyes
• 25.8% had heard of lutein (28.7% of women, 22.5% of men)
• Among those aged 55-64, 31.3% had heard of lutein
• 31.3% said they would take dietary supplements because they are concerned about their eye health (34% of women, 28.5% of men)

FloraGLO Lutein is now included in a number of supplements from key suppliers:
- Ocuvite Lutein (Bausch & Lomb)
- ICaps (Alcon)
- Holland & Barrett Lutein 6mg and Multicarotene
- Pure Focus Spray (Natural Focus)
- Visiobalance (Omni Nutraceuticals)
- Eye-XL (Genesis)
- Lutein Carotenoid Complex and Lutein Lycopene Carotene Complex (Solgar)

1. J Seddon et al, JAMA. 1994 Nov 9; 272(18): 1413-20
2. 25% of over 60’s are thought to suffer from some degree of visual loss as a result of AMD. Based on Census 2000 research that equates to 3,052,314
3. Richer S P et al (2004). The Lutein Antioxidant Supplementation Trial”. J Am Opt Assn (75) 4: 216-230

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