Waterford Research Boosts Value of Key Nutritional Supplements

The real-world impact of this research is underlined by how the new formulation is being commercialised in the U.S. by MacuHealth and in Europe by MacuPrime

A new formulation can greatly increase the efficacy of nutritional supplements that are increasingly recognised for their value to eye health. That’s the key finding of research published this week by a team led by Dr Marina Green-Gomez at the Nutrition Research Centre Ireland (NRCI) in the School of Health Science at Waterford Institute of Technology.

Titled COAST (Carotenoid-Omega Availability Study), the research compared bioavailability of key carotenoids when they were taken as microcrystals suspended in sunflower or omega-3 oil with a new method of delivery. In the innovative Micro-Micelle formulation, zeaxanthin and meso-zeaxanthin travelled more efficiently into the bloodstream, increasing the bioavailability and impact of these carotenoids.

Findings published in Antioxidants journal

Speaking about the research, Dr Green-Gomez said: “Previous NRCI research showed that these carotenoids – along with lutein – improve vision in the general population and those with age-related macular degeneration.

“This work set out to examine how best to achieve those positive benefits consistently for all those taking the supplements. 81 volunteers were recruited for the research which was funded by the WIT President’s PhD Scholarship Programme; Howard Foundation (UK) and Industrial Organica (Mexico). Now published in the Swiss-based, peer-reviewed open access journal Antioxidants, the findings provide high-quality evidence to the field supporting the role of targeted nutrition for human function.”

Commenting on the publication, Dr Mark White, Vice-President, Research, Innovation & Graduate Studies, Waterford Institute of Technology, said: “This calibre of research by a strong international team is something WIT and the wider community in Waterford and the southeast should be very proud of. This is work of real and enduring value that builds on an excellent track record at one of our most prolific research centres.”

Disruptive and emerging

Prof John Nolan, founder, NRCI and senior author on the paper, added: “This ground-breaking research really is disruptive science in the best sense where emerging technology and new knowledge are applied to boost the effectiveness of proven supplements. The real-world impact of this research is underlined by how the new formulation is being commercialised in the U.S. by MacuHealth and in Europe by MacuPrime.”

Along with Dr Green-Gomez and Prof Nolan, the research team also included Dr Alfonso Prado-Cabreror; Dr Rachel Moran, Tommy Power and Jim Stack from NRCI and Dr Laura Gómez-Mascaraque from the Teagasc Food Research Centre in Fermoy, Co Cork.


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