Chromium Picolinate – Chromium is a chemical compound and trace mineral found in food and water. Chromium maintains function of the ciliary muscles, which help the eyes focus. A study in the Journal of the International Academy of Preventative Medicine found that a chromium deficiency can promote nearsightedness. Low chromium levels can increase the risk of developing cataracts. People with diabetes and the elderly are more likely to have a chromium deficiency. Chromium improves blood-glucose control which reduces diabetes-related vision loss.
Quatrefolic (B9/Folic Acid) – Studies have suggested that women who take B6, B12, and folic acid have a 30 % lower risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Quatrefolic is a natural, concentrated form of vitamin B9/folic acid that is found in high-quality supplements. Quatrefolic is easily and quickly absorbed because it is already in a form that your body can use. Other forms of folic acid are not biologically active and need to be converted multiple times in your body before they can be used. Quatrefolic is a Registered Trademark of Gnosis S.p.A, U.S. Patent No. 7,947,662. Many medications decrease the level of folate/folic acid in our bodies, including methotrexate, phenytoin, trimethoprim and birth control pills.
Copper Sulfate – A mineral found in many foods that helps increase oxygen levels in circulating blood, including the tiny capillaries in our eyes. Copper is one of the original nutrients in the landmark AREDS results. Studies show that copper may help prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and may also be useful in treating myopia. We use copper sulfate because it has the highest absorption rate of all forms of copper.
Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) – A powerful, plant-based antioxidant that destroys free radicals that cause cellular damage, reduces inflammation, and slows the aging process. ALA can help your vision by reducing the oxidative stress that damages the nerves in the eyes. Some studies show that long-term use of ALA helped control the development of retinopathy. ALA is both water soluble and fat soluble. It helps increase glutathione, the most powerful antioxidant in our bodies. There are such small amounts of ALA in food, and it has so many benefits, that it is thought that almost everyone could benefit by taking this supplement.
Beta-Carotene – A red-orange pigment and plant-derived antioxidant that is converted to active vitamin A (retinol) in your body. Beta-carotene can help slow disease progression in people who are at risk for developing advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Studies show that vitamin A may lower the risk of cataracts and slow vision loss in people with retinitis pigmentosa. It also activates rhodopsin, the pigment found in the rods of the retina which enables you to see in low light. Beta-carotene needs zinc to work properly. Beta-carotene is a strong antioxidant and is needed for healthy mucus membranes and good immunity. Avoid retinyl palmitate or retinyl acetate which can build up and cause vitamin A toxicity. Beta-carotene does not cause serious health risks because your body only converts as much as it needs.
Zinc Orotate – The cornea has the highest zinc content of all body tissues and zinc can help slow disease progression in people who are at risk for developing advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Zinc is thought to play a role in AMD for several reasons: 1) zinc is found in high concentrations in the part of the retina affected by AMD, 2) retinal zinc content has been shown to decline with age, and 3) the activity of some zinc-dependent retinal enzymes have been shown to decline with age. People over 50 years old should pay particular attention to maintaining adequate zinc intake because of a reduced capacity to absorb zinc, increased likelihood of disease states that alter zinc utilization, and increased use of drugs that increase zinc excretion. Zinc strengthens eye cells and helps nerves in your eyes transmit signals to your brain. Your body also needs zinc for beta-carotene and retinol to work properly. We use zinc orotate because it passes through cell membranes easier than other types of zinc; therefore there will be higher concentrations in your tissues. Zinc gluconate and zinc oxide are popular but not very bio-available; little is absorbed by your body. When we are under stress, we tend to get rid of zinc in our urine, sweat and saliva. Zinc is depleted by alcohol consumption. If you eat processed foods or very little meat, a zinc supplement is a good idea. Zinc is also an excellent antioxidant and will protect your cells from free radical damage, which is why we also include it in our Antioxidant Formula.
Zeaxanthin – A naturally occurring plant pigment/phytonutrient and antioxidant found in dark, leafy greens, other vegetables, and eggs. Both lutein and zeaxanthin are present in high concentrations in the macula, where they are efficient absorbers of blue light entering the eye from reaching the underlying structures involved in vision and protect against light-induced oxidative damage, which is thought to play a role in age-related macular degeneration (AMD). It is also possible that lutein and zeaxanthin act to neutralize oxidants formed in the retina. Prolonged exposure to UV and HEV rays may damage the retina and increase your risk of developing macular degeneration. Zeaxanthin is also found in the retina and lens and helps protect and maintain healthy cells in the eyes. Observational studies have shown that higher intakes of lutein and zeaxanthin are associated with a lower risk of AMD. Prospective cohort studies found that people with the highest intake of lutein and zeaxantin were less likely to require cataract extraction or develop cataracts. The human body does not make the lutein and zeaxanthin it needs.
Vitamin E (D-alpha tocopherol) – Vitamin E has antioxidant characteristics that might be useful in retarding the development of age-related cataracts (lens opacification) and studies suggest that vitamin E may reduce your risk of getting cataracts and macular degeneration. Vitamin E is fat soluble and can access your cell membranes easily. We use d-alpha tocopherol because it is better absorbed than the synthetic form, dl-alpha tocopherol, and has the most antioxidant activity of the eight different forms of vitamin E. Smokers should not take vitamin E or beta-carotene because there is a slightly higher risk of lung cancer.
Vitamin C – Vitamin C has antioxidant effects and neutralizes reactive oxygen species. Vitamin C was found to significantly slow the progression of AMD and was associated with decreased risk of developing AMD in a study of 5836 individuals. Vitamin C is an ideal supplement for people with a family history of glaucoma, cataract and AMD. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin and an excellent antioxidant that is abundant in many fruits and vegetables.
Lycopene – A carotenoid that gives tomatoes their red color. Lycopene is also found in watermelon, pink grapefruit, apricots, and blood oranges. Research shows that lycopene may reduce your risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. It may also reduce the risk for a number of cancers.
Vitamin B12 (Methylcobalamin) – Some research shows that B12 may help prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD). A B12 deficiency can produce bilateral poor color vision and a centrocoecal scotoma as part of an optic neuropathy. Use of B12 supplements has been reported to prevent cortical cataract. Most B12 supplements use cyanocobalamin which is chemically synthesized. We use methylcobalamin because it is naturally occurring and bio-active, so it is better absorbed and more effective. It is also retained in higher amounts within your tissues. Methylcobalamin works in your brain but cyanocobalamin does not. B12 deficiency is a common problem for many older adults, vegans and vegetarians. As we age, the absorption of B12 from food declines. Alcohol consumption depletes B12 and issues with GI function can lead to deficiency because B12 absorption depends on digestive enzymes and stomach acids being in balance. B12 is also important for regulating mood, preventing irritability, improving sleep, and supporting brain cell health.
Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol) – Some studies indicate that women with a vitamin D deficiency were significantly more likely to develop age-related macular degeneration (AMD). It is thought that vitamin D may reduce inflammation in the retina, and/or prevents the growth of new blood vessels in the retina, both of which contribute to AMD. Vitamin D3 is a fat-soluble vitamin and natural antioxidant that increases the production of another powerful, natural antioxidant, superoxide dismutase (SOD). Vitamin D regulates oxidative stress by stimulating the expression of glutathione, the most powerful antioxidant in your body. Vitamin D3 may also help repair damaged DNA, according to the New York Medical College. We use D3 instead of D2 (ergocalciferol) because D3 is about 87% more potent in raising and maintaining vitamin D concentrations than D2, and is also converted into its active form 500% faster than D2. Vitamin D also has protective effects on immune and neural cells. Vitamin D is one of the most common vitamin deficiencies in the United States. It is estimated that 70% of the U.S. population is not getting adequate D. Another study found that only 10% of the U.S. population had therapeutic levels of vitamin D3 in their systems. It can take several months for vitamin D supplementation to normalize levels.
N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) – NAC is an amino acid that helps increase glutathione, the most powerful antioxidant in your body. NAC has been found in some studies to help prevent loss of vision. It also helps with blepharitis symptoms such as eyelid inflammation, irritation and redness.
Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate (P5P or bio-active B6) – Some studies have found that vitamin B6 may help prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD). We use P5P instead of vitamin B6 because P5P is the bio-active form of B6 that your body is able to use and some people have trouble converting B6 into P5P. B6 is also necessary for the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin and is needed so your body can use dopamine, norepinephrine and GABA, which are neurotransmitters that are critical for brain function and mood. B6 also helps maintain hormone balance in women by regulating levels of estrogen and progesterone. Consequently, B6 is incredibly important for improving health in several different ways. The B vitamins are water-soluble and are not stored in your body, so they need to be constantly replenished. Many substances can prevent B6 from being absorbed, including alcohol, coffee, birth control pills, food coloring and more. In addition, B vitamins are delicate and are easily destroyed by microwaving, freezing, canning and heat.
Lutein Extract – Lutein is a naturally occurring plant pigment and antioxidant found in dark, leafy greens, other vegetables, and eggs. Lutein is present in high concentrations in your lens and retina and protects your retina from damage caused by the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays and high-energy visible (HEV) light, it is thought by acting as a natural antioxidant. Prolonged exposure to UV and HEV rays may damage the retina and increase your risk of developing macular degeneration. The human body does not make the lutein and zeaxanthin it needs.
Magnesium Bisglycinate – Magnesium protects against glaucoma and has been known to improve vision in those people who already have glaucoma. Magnesium is important for nerve conduction, dilating blood vessels and maintaining blood flow to the eye. We use bisglycinate because it is much more bio-active than other types of magnesium. Magnesium bisglycinate is four times more effective than citrate forms of magnesium. Bisglycinate passes directly into cells so people with poor digestion or absorption can still experience beneficial results. It is one of only two forms of magnesium that can cross the blood-brain barrier. Magnesium assists with vitamin B6 metabolism and taking magnesium together with B6 will improve the absorption of the magnesium. Magnesium deficiency is common due to our consumption of processed foods and the depletion of magnesium from agricultural soil and water. Caffeine and alcohol consumption also deplete magnesium. Very few people get the daily recommended intake of magnesium. It can take three months to see results of magnesium supplementation.