The use of plant-based supplements as an alternative to preventing and treating several ailments is increasingly gaining market. Plants have a group of phytochemicals, responsible for their coloration, called anthocyanins, which have been shown to improve some symptoms and the progression of diseases such as arteriosclerosis, diabetes, cataract, cardiovascular diseases, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and arthritis. We can obtain anthocyanins from various foods and fruits, the amount and composition of anthocyanins depending on their type, origin and preparation process.
Blackcurrants (Ribes nigrum L.) contain one of the highest levels of natural anthocyanins. Comparative analyses showed that New Zealand Blackcurrants (NZBC) have up to 3 times more anthocyanins than blueberries. Blackcurrant anthocyanins (BCA), in particular, have been identified to have vasorelaxation effects. Since reduced blood flow seems to be related to the development and progression of several degenerative diseases, BCA could be reason for the observed improvements in the symptoms and advancement oculopathies, including glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration.
In 2015, age-related macular degeneration or AMD affected 6.2 million people globally. In the United States, it is the most common cause of vision loss in among 50-year-olds and older. In New Zealand, AMD is a growing condition, where 1 in 7 people over the age of 50 will develop the disease (207,000 people by 2018).
Recent therapeutic developments for AMD have concentrated on high-technology interventions, but they are costly and benefit only selected patients. Therefore, attention is focusing on identification of modifiable risk factors for AMD, such as low dietary intake of antioxidants because of poor diet. There is clinical evidence of reduced risk of ocular angiopathies with a daily intake of anthocyanins due to their vasorelaxation, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity.
However, our modern lifestyles can restrain our access to fresh fruits and vegetables daily, and avoidance of processed foods cannot always be an option in our busy schedules. This is where health supplements can play an important part in complementing our daily requirement for natural anthocyanins.
Vitality™ New Zealand Eye Sight is a supplement that has been developed to deliver constant anthocyanin, as well as Vitamin A, Lutein and Zeaxanthin to maintain eye health and vision, particularly cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration. The health benefits of anthocyanins are outstanding but the benefits aren’t confined to anthocyanin as the Blackcurrant berry fruit has good levels of potassium, phosphorus, iron, manganese and Vitamin B5, and a broad range of other essential nutrients.
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 Macular Degeneration New Zealand: http://www.mdnz.org.nz/
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