Blue California, based in Southern California, said the partnership means it will now be able to offer its clients a more bio-available lutein.
"We will offer lutein ester 45 percent powder, 20 percent oil and 5 percent beadlets, all on 'free' lutein equivalent basis, with other lutein products planned for the near future," said Cecilia McCollum, vice president of sales and marketing for the company that specializes in the manufacture of botanical extracts and other specialty ingredients using raw materials.
Lutein is a naturally occurring molecule found in dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale and collard greens and numerous studies have suggested that lutein intake fortifies the macula of the eye. The macula filters out blue wavelength light from the sun and artificial light, suppressing the oxidation of retinal cells that can otherwise cause degenerative eye disease.
More recent studies have intimated that Lutein supplements may also increase macular pigment in people at earlier stages of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), suggesting that a much larger group of at-risk individuals than previously thought may gain some benefit from taking the supplements.
Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in the western world, affecting an estimated 30 million people worldwide. This number is expected to double by 2030.
The average American ingests only 1-2 mg of lutein daily and several brands of lutein supplements are now available in North America.