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It's True - Marigold Flowers May Prevent Senility

The many hats that I wear include my position as a member of the Ocular Nutrition Society's Industry Advisory Panel. Yesterday, ONS held its Annual Educational Symposium in Boston. And for any disbelievers in the health value of the carotenoids, Lutein and Zeaxanthin, there was enough scientific evidence that added immensely to our understanding of these important molecules. Lutein and Zeaxanthin, for those of you new to the discussion, are the plant pigments that concentrate in the macula like iron filings to a magnet. They are vitally important for macular pigmentation, visual function, and overall macular health. Dr. Johanna Seddon, Director of the Ophthalmic Epidemiology and Genetics Service at the University of Pittsburg presented an excellent overview of several epidemiologic studies showing relationships between nutritional health and reduction in macular disease. While we now know that genetic vulnerability plays a large role, nutritional and environmental factors are important as well. Dr. Alex Iannaccone from the University of Tennessee's Health Science Center demonstrated several studies which showed that Lutein and Zeaxanthin concentrations could be accurately measured in the retina using instruments that measure heterocrhomatic flicker photometry (HFP), and furthermore, that these levels improve with Lutein and Zeaxanthin supplementation. One of the ground-breaking presentations was by Dr. Elizabeth Johnson of the Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University. Dr. Johnson presented studies showing that early cognitive decline was lessened in the presence of increased brain Lutein. Furthermore, brain Lutein and Zeaxanthin levels correlated with retinal levels, which can be measured non-invasively with flicker photometry. Of course, we've been believers in Lutein and Zeaxanthin since for many years, and were the first company worldwide to offer VisiVite macular degeneration supplements with these two molecules as early as 2003. Fat ingestion improves the absorption of Lutein and Zeaxanthin, so if you take VisiVite supplements, take them with food. P.S. VisiVite Formulas exclusively use FloraGLO brand Lutein, which is derived from Marigolds.* -- Paul Krawitz, M.D., F.A.A.O. President and Founder Vitamin Science, Inc.

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