Lutemax Kids improves dynamic visual and cognitive performance in children: Study

By Asia Sherman

- Last updated on GMT

© Christopher Hopefitch / Getty Images
© Christopher Hopefitch / Getty Images

Related tags Lutein Zeaxanthin Eye health Brain health children

Natural ingredients supplier OmniActive has released findings from a six-month study supporting the benefits of its eye and brain health ingredient in preadolescent children.

“The study results demonstrated that Lutemax Kids supplementation contributes positively to aspects of eye health and cognitive performance in school-aged children, echoing the well-documented benefits observed in adults,” said Billy Hammond, PhD, a professor with the Behavioral and Brain Sciences Program at the University of Georgia and lead researcher on the study. 

Published in the journal Advances in Therapy​ and funded by OmniActive Health Techonologies, the study is the first to be completed on lutein and zeaxanthin supplementation in children.

The developing eye and brain 

Lutein and zeaxanthin levels in the retina and brain play an important developmental role in visual and cognitive health during early life stages, particularly considering rapid maturation of the central nervous system.

The study noted that humans likely evolved mechanisms for accumulating the dietary carotenoids to protect and promote optimal nervous system development, with protection likely involving the reduction of actinic (exposure to ultraviolet rays from sunlight and UV lamps), oxidative and inflammatory stress. 

In today’s digital world, not only is the young brain and retina more vulnerable to oxidative and inflammatory stress, but children face additional screen time stressors that likely contributes to increasing rates of myopia and asthenopia/digital eye strain. The researchers also noted a general evaluation that younger children are often undernourished and therefore have low intakes of lutein and zeaxanthin, which are only acquired through the diet.

“Dietary deficiencies are particularly impactful on a system that is rapidly building and, hence, requires both foundational support and enhanced protection from the increases in metabolism that such building entails,” they wrote.

This current study builds on OmniActive's earlier published research in adults, including the LAMA I​ and LAMA II​ (Lutein, Vision and Mental Acuity) and B.L.U.E. (Blue Light User Exposure)​ studies, which showed improvements to many aspects of visual and cognitive function.

Study details​ 

The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial assigned 60 healthy male and female children between the ages of 5 and 12 years to receive either a daily dose of Lutemax Kids gummies, containing 10 mg of lutein and 2 mg of zeaxanthin isomers, or a placebo for 180 days.

The primary endpoint was macular pigment optical density (MPOD). Secondary endpoints included serum levels of lutein and zeaxanthin and the neuroprotective brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), critical flicker fusion, eye strain and fatigue, sleep quality, focus/concentration, episodic memory and learning, and visuospatial working memory and processing speed. 

Results showed that supplementing with Lutemax Kids increased lutein and zeaxanthin status, MPOD levels and visual processing speed; reduced eye strain and fatigue from digital device use; and significantly improved multiple aspects of cognitive performance.

“From improved visual processing speed to eye strain that may result from digital device use, these outcomes serve as a foundation for tailored supplementation in children,” Dr. Hammond said. “It also emphasizes the potential to help meet specific needs of children during a critical developmental phase." 

The researchers highlighted the attenuation of digital eye strain in children as novel finding and that the study demonstrated the high bioavailability of lutein and zeanxanthin when administered in the kid-friendly gummy format.

Commenting on the research, Dr. Arun Balakrishnan, chief innovation officer at OmniActive, called the outcomes promising. 

“Understanding the profound impact of these vital nutrients on young eyes and minds is a game changer, shedding light on their role in fostering well-being from an early age,” he said. “Our pioneering efforts with this study come at a critical time when supplement brands are looking to cater to children’s health and wellness needs with safe, plant-based, and efficacious ingredients.”

Sources: Advances in Therapy
doi: 10.1007/s12325-024-02785-1
“Lutein and Zeaxanthin Supplementation Improves Dynamic Visual and Cognitive Performance in Children: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Parallel, Placebo-Controlled Study”
Authors: Rajesh Parekh et al.

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