VitalMACULA provides all the nutrients needed to help rebuild the damaged part of the retina as well as a unique extract from blue-green algae that has been shown to significantly improve visual acuity (see below for research studies). VitalMACULA is rich in the pigments Zeaxanthin and Lutein and other vital carotenoids (alpha, beta and gamma carotene, canthaxanthin, astaxanthin and lycopene) all in a highly bioactive form. These pigment molecules are concentrated in the macula at the back of their eye and supplementng with them has been shown to improve vision with people who have AMD.
Directions: Take 1-2 capsules three times a day with food.
Age-related Macular Degeneration
The macula or macula lutea (from Latin macula, “spot” + lutea, “yellow”) is an oval-shaped pigmented area near the centre of the retina of the eye. Because the macula is yellow in colour it absorbs excess blue and ultraviolet light that enter the eye, and acts as a natural sunblock (analogous to sunglasses) for this area of the retina. The yellow colour comes from its content of lutein and zeaxanthin, which are yellow xanthophyll carotenoids, derived from the diet. Zeaxanthin predominates at the macula, while lutein predominates elsewhere in the retina. These pigment molecules (present at the fovea part of the retina at the back of the eye) act as “internal sunglasses” filtering out harmful UV rays to protect the photo-receptors that are concentrated here. Visual input from the macula occupies a substantial portion of the brain’s visual capacity and damage to the macula will result in loss of central vision.
A diet rich in the pigment nutrients lutein and zeaxanthin has been shown to protect against the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) but often, our intake of these pigment molecules, found in dark green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale and collard greens (lutein)), corn, orange peppers and oranges (zeaxanthin) and egg yolks (both lutein and zeaxanthin) can often be too low to offer protection against diseases of the eye. The absence or reduced intake of either of these pigments may account for the development of the structural changes that lead to AMD, which is a major cause of blindness among individuals with European ancestry, accounting for more than 50% of all blinding conditions.
Other risk factors for the development of AMD are age, positive family history and smoking, which constricts the small blood vessels in the retina, reducing the delivery of nutrients to cells.
1) Certified organic Klamath blue-green algae (Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA))
The most nutrient-abundant food source on our planet, AFA is a rich natural source of zeaxanthin, lutein and other carotenoids; alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lycopene, cryptoxanthin and aphanin (a carotenoid unique to AFA). Research has found that a diverse selection of natural carotenoids works synergistically and offers greater antioxidant protection than large amounts of a single antioxidant like beta-carotene often found in other supplements. Additionally AFA provides all the 22 amino acids the body needs along with 14 vitamins and the essential fatty acids omega-3 and 6 (in the optimum ratio of 2:1).
2) AFAninPLUS, a specific antioxidant/antiinflammatory extract from AFA
Research has shown that this specific extract significantly improves visual acuity, both immediately and after 1 hour after taking it. Additionally, the strong anti-lipoperoxidation property of this extract protects cell membranes producing a highly beneficial effect on the health of the eye and the nervous system.
3) Natural ionic minerals that provide additioanal highly bioavailable minerals.
1) A double-blinded randomized pilot study of 20 healthy adults found that, compared to placebo, 2 grams of AFAninPlus®:
Significantly improved cognitive function and visual acuity, as demonstrated by evaluation of the physical blind spot (PBS)—a traditional neurological test that measures the ability to focus and concentrate.
The researchers believe that the rapid improvements in both cognitive function and visual acuity are due in part to the phenylethylamine (PEA) content of AFAninPlus. Naturally produced by the human brain, PEA is also a unique constituent of Aphanizomen flos-aquae. It is a neuromodulator of aminergic synapses; in other words, it modulates brain cell function by releasing neurotransmitters (norepinehprine and dopamine).
2) In a separate study of eight healthy adults, consumption of AFAninPlus:
Significantly improved reaction time and ability to multitask—both indicators of cognitive function—as measured by an interactive computer method that required subjects to respond to alternating auditory and visual commands.
Significantly improved visual acuity, as demonstrated by a reduction in PBS.
The improvements in visual acuity were both immediate and prolonged. After taking AFAninPlus, subjects:
Showed a rapid improvement in visual acuity (within 2-10 minutes).
Showed a prolonged effect, with improvements still noticeable 1 hour after consumption.
Additional testing showed at least part of the effect of AFAninPlus on cognitive function was due to rapid oral uptake of psychoactive compounds, such as PEA.