The launch of NKOFocus continues Neptune’s launch of NKOBeat combining NKO krill oil with Coenzyme Q10 and NKOFlex combining vitamin D with the NKO and other ingredients.
“We took the ‘original’ NKO and gave it a boost, targeting brain and vision health,” explained Jacqueline Khayat, Neptune’s Sales Director. “This is the first krill oil blend to offer such a powerful delivery mechanism to support brain and vision health. NKO is the perfect vehicle to increase bioavailability of other ingredients.”
NKO Focus combines the company’s krill oil ingredient with lutein esters and several other ingredients including vitamin A and thiamine (vitamin B1), said the company.
The company decided to not publish the findings of its clinical trial in order to protect its intellectual property regarding the formulation, but they did share the following details with us. The company compared the pharmacokinetic profile following a single-dose administration of the NKO formulation against the respective comparator products available in the marketplace.
Neptune recruited 10 healthy subjects aged between 20 and 55 and gave them a single dose (2 softgels) of NKO Focus and comparator products. Lutein levels in the plasma were measured at the start of the study, and again after 10, 12, 14, 16, 18 and 24 hours. The participants then underwent a minimum ‘washout’ period of 14 days before crossing over to the other intervention.
The data showed that lutein absorption was significantly increased in the NKO Focus formulation, with the maximal absorption difference of lutein of 7.95-fold observed at 14 hours.
“This indicates that the bioavailability of the primary complementary ingredient, lutein is superior to the comparators. These findings support that the unique composition and concentration of the bioactive components within NKO offer exceptional advantages for formulating ingredients,” states the company.
Lutein – eyes and brain
While the majority of the science to date in the literature is to support the eye health benefits of lutein (along with zeaxanthin) with the carotenoids found in high concentration in the macula, a yellow spot of about five millimeters diameter on the retina.
Since the eye and the brain are connected, there is also emerging science to support the role of lutein in brain health. Indeed, according to Elizabeth Johnson, PhD, from Tufts University, data from pediatric brain tissue studies have shown that about 60% of the total carotenoids in the pediatric brain tissue is lutein, and yet NHANES data show that lutein is only about 12% of the carotenoids in the diets, so there is a preference for lutein in the brain.
Neptune is not making any claims for the product relating to this emerging area, however. Specifically, the company makes the following recommendations for US Market Label Claims:
• Contains Omega-3 DHA and phospholipids that support healthy cognitive function.
• Provides a unique composition that makes DHA available to the brain.
• Contains naturally occurring choline, which is the precursor of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter involved in memory.
• Lutein Esters helps maintain eye health
• High potency vitamin A helps maintain normal vision.
• Thiamine (vitamin B1) Helps maintain healthy cognitive function.