Cepham’s Luteye combats eye aging and additives with olive oil carrier

By Claudia Adrien

- Last updated on GMT

Oleocanthal is known to help with the clearance of senescent cells and promotes growth of healthy cells in the body. @ Jonathan Storey/ Getty Images
Oleocanthal is known to help with the clearance of senescent cells and promotes growth of healthy cells in the body. @ Jonathan Storey/ Getty Images

Related tags Eye health Age-related macular degeneration Zeaxanthin Lutein

Ayurvedic ingredients supplier Cepham has introduced Luteye, an eye health product that packages lutein and zeaxanthin in an extra virgin olive oil carrier enriched with anti-inflammatory phenolic compound oleocanthal.

Commenting on the launch, Anand Swaroop, founder and president of Cepham, said that while there was no better candidate for eye health than proven carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, his team determined that the best way to deliver an enhanced product was to use a unique carrier.

“We started experimenting with different carriers with a clear objective of keeping the final product free of synthetic additives,” he said. “In this quest, we discovered extra virgin olive oil with oleocanthal provides better stability to lutein and zeaxanthin, and we don’t have to use synthetic additives or surfactants.”

He added that oleocanthal is also known to help with the clearance of senescent cells and promotes growth of healthy cells in the body. As eye cells are among the most biologically active and are bombarded with oxidative stress, removing dysfunctional senescent cells can be critical to eye health.

Eye aging

According to the National Institute on Aging, ​cellular senescence occurs when “damaged cells resist removal by apoptosis, linger and harm neighboring normal cells.” It is a process that can advance aging, and this process is connected to the progression of age-related macular degeneration and related symptoms, Swaroop said.

Common symptoms of eye aging are dry eyes, eye floaters, wrinkles on eye corners, sagging eyelids, dark circles, slow adjustment to glare and the inability to read small print. Between 40 to 45 years of age, early effects of aging show up in the eyelids, lacrimal system, cornea, lens, vitreous, retina and optic nerve, and these symptoms continue into people’s sixties.

“The best time to start supplementation is around the late thirties,” Swaroop said. “There are cellular senescence cycles which are irreversible, and using supplements to delay the metabolic pathway is the best option.”

However, researchers note that eye aging is occurring even sooner with adoption of digital devices by younger populations, especially since the beginning of COVID-19​.   

The Mediterranean diet connection

Eye aging may also be emblematic of overall health. When researchers examined dietary patterns such as the Mediterranean diet​, known for its plant-based foods and healthy fats, they noted it was protective against late age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The researchers also stated that improved eye health “may reflect the effect of healthier overall lifestyles, rather than individual components, which reduce progression to late AMD.”  

Although more research is still needed to determine oleocanthal’s direct role in ocular aging, Swaroop said Cepham uses AI tools to investigate the cellular aging pathways and phytochemicals that may delay the onset of this aging process.  

He added that oleocanthal is found to inhibit cell growth and induce apoptosis, downregulate extracellular-regulated kinase (ERK)-1/2 and AKT signal transduction pathways, reduce the fibrillization of tau protein, inhibit COX, impede the expression of MIP-1alpha and activate AMPK pathways.

“Oleocanthal is also reported to have an effect on DNA methylation which is a key epigenetic mechanism that can regulate gene expression,” Swaroop said. 

In addition to its potential health benefits, Swaroop emphasized that the innovation aligns with a market increasingly focused on removing additives from the food supply, as the polyphenols in Cepham's customized EVOO naturally stabilize macular carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin without the use of additives commonly derived from corn, wheat and soy. 

"We are eating a bunch of chemically synthesized and overly processed surfactants and stabilizers in our processed food every day," he said. "In our business of wellness, we wanted to offer an alternative option with the least processing and nearest-nature products for eye health." 

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