Kyowa Hakko launches clinically-researched paraprobiotic for eye health

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

© simonapilolla / Getty Images
© simonapilolla / Getty Images

Related tags paraprobiotic eye fatigue Eye health eSports gamers blue light protection

The EyeMuse-branded ingredient is supported by published studies, giving formulators a new option for products for consumers with digital device-related eye fatigue, from everyday professionals to gamers.

The ingredient is heat-killed Lactobacillus paracasei​ KW3110 and supports eye health by balancing the immune system, reducing inflammation, and supporting a proper response to stresses. Notably, the retina is made up of millions of immune cells.

“We are at a point in society where more and more adults are likely to face eye strain and fatigue from increasing reliance on technology and spending prolonged hours of the day staring at digital devices,” ​said Karen Todd, MBA, RD, Vice President of Global Brand Marketing at Kyowa Hakko USA Inc.

“This poses a real health and quality of life issue, so we are thrilled to be at the forefront of this scientific breakthrough that utilizes a novel mechanism of action that may help reduce digital stress related eye fatigue and other ocular discomforts.”


Studies performed by Kyowa Hakko’s parent-company Kirin Holdings Co., Ltd. indicate that the heat-treated bacterial strain has anti-inflammatory effects and mitigates retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cell damage caused by blue-light exposure.

A paper published in Nutrients​ in 2018 reported results of in vitro​ and in vivo​ human studies. The in vitro​ data indicated that EyeMuse could protect human retinal pigment epithelial (ARPE-19) cells from the damaging effects of blue light.

The subsequent human study included 62 healthy Japanese volunteers who had experienced eye fatigue and were randomly assigned to receive either EyeMuse or placebo for eight weeks. The data indicated that exposure to digital displays led to greater eye fatigue, but this fatigue was improved in the EyeMuse group, compared to placebo.

Another study, published in the International Journal of Molecular Science, ​extended these findings by exploring the potential mechanism of action for the ingredient. Data from a mouse cell study showed that EyeMuse led to significantly higher levels of the anti-inflammatory interleukin-10 (IL-10) compared with other lactic acid bacterium strains.

“We also showed that KW3110 suppressed human RPE [retinal pigment epithelial] cell senescence and the aberrant expression of tight junction molecules induced by chronic inflammatory stress signals from macrophages,” ​wrote the researchers.

In addition, the Kirin scientists performed a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled parallel-group study with 88 healthy adults aged between 35 and 50. The volunteers were randomly assigned to consumer supplements of EyeMuse or placebo for eye weeks. Data from this trial indicated that EyeMuse again improved measures of eye fatigue.

“Therefore, KW3110 might be a useful and safe tool to improve ocular disorders including eye fatigue,” ​concluded the researchers.

Daily professionals and gamers

Commenting on the target consumers, Todd said everyone can benefit from the ingredient. “We envision EyeMuse to be geared toward the screen-glued multitaskers, young professionals who are always ‘on,’ and gamers, who are spending 14 hours a week playing video games, up from 12 hours a week in 2018,” ​she said.

The ingredient is non-GMO, vegetarian, and GRAS, according to Kyowa Hakko.

2018, 10​(8), 1058; doi: 10.3390/nu10081058
“Effect of Heat-Killed​ Lactobacillus paracasei KW3110 Ingestion on Ocular Disorders Caused by Visual Display Terminal (VDT) Loads: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Parallel-Group Study”
Authors: Y. Morita et al.

International Journal of Molecular Science
2020, 21​(14), 5091. doi: 10.3390/ijms21145091
“Lactobacillus paracasei KW3110 Suppresses Inflammatory Stress-Induced Premature Cellular Senescence of Human Retinal Pigment Epithelium Cells and Reduces Ocular Disorders in Healthy Humans”
Authors: T. Yamakazi et al.  

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