Enriched eggs to fight human eye disease
Lutein and zeaxanthin from African Marigolds
in poultry feed
will end up in egg yolk and may be the answer to prevent the human eye disease MD. Dutch company Newtricious says MD patients
eating one enriched egg a day can already notice the difference.
The idea has been awarded with the Food Valley
Award, which was presented on Thursday 2nd October in Ede, the Netherlands.
Newtricious B.V. has teamed up with several partners and Maastricht
University to study the effect of lutein and zeaxanthin enriched eggs to prevent
the human eye disease Macula Degeneration (MD). 'The results show that if the
lutein and zeaxanthin are high in the blood, they are also high in the
Because the first results are promising, a follow-up study will
be carried out among 200 people. In the Netherlands, around 100,000 people have
the disease diagnosed. This is around 15% of people older than 65 years old. The
actual number of people with MD is probably higher.
The eggs are being enriched by lutein and zeaxanthin. These ingredients
are present in vegetables among others. However, in vegetables the ingredients
are dissolved in water meaning that the bioavailability is much lower than when
the ingredients are dissolved in fat. Newtricious and partners are therefore
trying to get these ingredients in eggs.
To do so, the researchers
extract the ingredients from African Marigolds and added to an oil suspension.
That mixture is then being added to the poultry feed. Via the gastrointestinal
system, the ingredients find their way to the egg yolk By consuming one
(enriched) egg a day, the degeneration process of the eye disease is being
stabilised, claims Newtricious.
The product is not
yet on the market. There is also no health claim yet. "At the moment we have to
extend the product dossier with more evidence, but maybe we can already use a
food claim, although a health claim remains our primary focus", according to the
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