Morristown, NJ—Lutemax 2020, a branded ingredient from OmniActive, has been shown to positively affect cognitive performance, according to a new study published inPhysiology and Behavior.The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was performed on 59 subjects between 18-25 years of age, over the course of six months.

The study found that, over the course of the six months, composite memory, verbal memory, sustained attention, psychomotor speed, and processing speed all improved significantly in treatment groups (p<.05 for all), while remaining unchanged in the placebo group. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) was significantly related to change in the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-1B—as BDNF levels rose, IL-1B levels dropped (p<.001)—and to macular pigment optical density (MPOD), which rose with BDNF. BDNF was also correlated to improvement in composite memory and verbal memory. Increase in MPOD was correlated with change in both psychomotor speed and processing speed.

Additionally, change in serum lutein was found to be significantly correlated to change in verbal memory, composite memory, and sustained attention.
Related: Seeing Clearly: Vision Care in the Era of Blue Light OmniActive Selected as Member of Vitafoods Steering Committee Carotenoids For Macular Health* and Blue Light Protection (Podcast)
The researchers conclude: “Findings suggest that increased systemic antioxidant/anti-inflammatory capacity (and not necessarily deposition of the carotenoids in neural tissues), may explain many of the effects determined in this study. The significant relationship between change in BDNF and IL-1B over the course of the study suggests that regular consumption of macular xanthophylls [lutein, zeaxanthin, and meso zeaxanthin] interrupts the inflammatory cascade that can lead to reduction of BDNF. Changes in MPOD and BDNF appear to account for enhancement in cognitive parameters that involve speed of processing and complex processing, respectively.”

James Stringham, Ph.D., co-researcher and author, said in a press release from OmniActive: “Compelling results such as these lend credence to the idea that macular carotenoids play a vital role in not only the eyes but also the brian by interrupting inflammatory pathways that can lead to a reduction in BDNF, which plays a role in learning and memory.”

Lutemax 2020 was yesterday granted Foods with Function Claims approval by Japan’s Consumer Affairs Agency, which develops, assesses, and scrutinizes consumer policies, safeguarding against fraudulent business practices and false labeling. After a rigorous systematic review of scientific evidence, Lutemax 2020 is allowed to make claims including eye health, reduced eye fatigue, improved visual performance, and supporting sleep quality.