This post is a bit technical. But I think it’s worth your while to know this information, and I believe that you’ll be impressed with the detail that goes into making sure that you’re getting the lutein and zeaxanthin amounts that you’re paying for. And before I get going, remember to keep your VisiVite eye vitamins stored in a light-tight cabinet or drawer.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are the two important “carotenoids” that are responsible for nourishing the center of the retina, known as the macula. They are not compounds that can be manufactured by our bodies, so we must get them from our diet. AREDS 2 and other research showed that in order to be effective in supporting the health of the eye and protecting against blue light, these molecules need to be present in substantial amounts, more than most people get in their diets.
The problem with both lutein and zeaxanthin is that they get readily destroyed by air and light. In their natural forms that we use for our VisiVite AREDS 2 supplements, they’re also fluffy and sticky to work with when placing in capsules. There are two ways to protect these two carotenoids against losing potency over time. One way is to put them in liquid-filled softgels. When done this way, the pure powder form of the molecules is used. Doing this prevents the free powder from being exposed to air. Of course, bulky softgels can be difficult to swallow for elderly people.
The other way is to protect the powder in tiny spheres of protective material, known as beadlets. This protects the powder against air in the same way, and allows these sensitive compounds to be packaged into dry vegetarian capsules.
Specialty laboratories exist in the world that can test the capsules, be they softgels or dry capsules, for their potency, to assess whether what is claimed to be in the capsules on the label is actually inside. And since these are expensive ingredients, especially when selected in their natural form, many companies fail to fulfill their promise. Some laboratories, it should be noted, specialize only in measuring the free powder in softgels and are unable to accurately measure beadlets. But the best laboratories in the world have devised detailed methods shown at the bottom of this post to measure carotenoids in beadlets.
Independent testing is different from a Certificate of Analysis (COA). COA’s only measure what was put into the capsules at the time of manufacture. Only independent testing confirms, after the fact, that what’s on the label is actually in your capsules. What does independent testing look like? In the image below, we want to make sure that the Percent of Target is at, or above, 100% for lutein and zeaxanthin.
VisiVite AREDS 2 formulas use micro-encapsulated beadlets from top-shelf, trusted brand name manufacturers: FloraGLO lutein from Kemin and OmniXan zeaxanthin from Omniactives. And unlike most other eye vitamin manufacturers, we tell you on every bottle from WHERE we are sourcing these ingredients. These two premium companies provide time-tested, reliable assay results that we can trust. Because frankly, I couldn’t put my head on my pillow each night knowing we were missing the mark.
Going overboard on quality ingredients and obsessive testing for you is the way I have run this company since 2001.
Paul Krawitz, Present, Founder and C.E.O.
Vitamin Science, Inc.