Macutene Protect from Eyecheck LLC is an eye health supplement with antioxidants whose formulary is based on clinical studies for macular and retinal support. The supplement contains optimal levels of essential carotenoids, making it ideal for patients who need extra protection for their macular and retinal health. It also has other essential vitamins and minerals that are necessary for protecting and supporting eye health and vision.
The natural, environmentally sustainable vegan product is free of gluten, dye, egg, dairy, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), preservatives, and artificial substances. “We tried to use ingredients that are as close to foods as possible, in an effort to produce the most natural product,” says Rama Jager, MD, MBA, FACS, founder of Eyecheck. “You would have to eat more than 8 servings of nuts and vegetables a day to receive the same nutrient value as what’s in Macutene Protect.”
Arshad Khanani, MD, MA, Managing Partner, Director of Clinical Research, Sierra Eye Associates, and Clinical Associate Professor, University of Nevada in Reno, Nevada, recommends the product to patients who seek any of the aforementioned attributes. In addition, for patients who have difficulty swallowing capsules or soft gels, the supplement is ideal, because they can open the capsule and mix the powder inside with water or juice, and then drink it.
Each capsule of Macutene Protect contains all 3 macular carotenoids — lutein, RR-zeaxanthin, and RS-zeaxanthin (or mesozeaxanthin) — at the exact 5-to-1 ratio that they are found in nature, which Dr. Khanani says increases nutrient bioavailability.
The product’s lutein and zeaxanthin have FDA-acknowledged generally recognized as safe (GRAS) notification and the capsule contains an award-winning, globally recognized, and naturally derived marigold extract from non-GMO marigold seeds with clinically supported bioavailability and efficacy. These antioxidants are found within the macula.
Unlike other supplements that contain low levels of lutein and zeaxanthin, Macutene Protect contains 25 mg of lutein and 5 mg of zeaxanthin, Dr. Khanani says, making it more potent.
ESSENTIAL VITAMINS AND MINERALS
Macutene Protect also contains forms of vitamins that are essential for eye health. Vitamin C (500 mg), a powerful antioxidant, is made using Quali-C brand vitamin C. “This is the best, most pure form of vitamin C available,” Dr. Jager says. Made in Scotland, Quali-C is free of byproducts and contaminants, such as heavy metals. Quali-C is approved by the Vitamin C Foundation and is guaranteed by the quality seals GMP, HACCP, CEP, ISO-9001, ISO-14001, and FSSC22.000.
The product’s vitamin E (400 IU) is natural, nonsynthetic, and non-GMO. “Vitamin E protects against damage from free radicals and supports retinal health,” Dr. Jager says. “Many other retinal health or macular health based supplements use synthetic vitamin E, which was associated with a 17% increased risk of prostate cancer in the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT) trial.”1,2
Macutene Protect contains zinc and copper in citrate form for improved bioavailability and better absorption compared to zinc oxide.3 “Unlike many retinal health or macular health-based supplements, which use 80 mg of zinc, an unnecessarily high level of zinc that is double the upper daily tolerable limit of 40 mg, the product contains a reduced dose of zinc (25 mg) and a better form of zinc (zinc citrate),” Dr. Jager says. Zinc is an essential mineral that protects the macula and supports dark adaptation. Copper encourages the development of flexible connective tissue for proper eye structure and helps supplement zinc intake.
Many forms of retinal disorders are associated with inflammation, which antioxidants can help reduce. Macutene Protect contains bilberry extract (30 mg), quercetin (10 mg), and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG; 30 mg). Bilberry extract contains antioxidants that help protect the retina and support night vision. Quercetin, found in fruits and vegetables, is a potent antioxidant that supports retinal health. Epigallocatechin gallate, a powerful antioxidant found in green tea, supports macular health.
EFFORTS TO HELP PATIENTS
In an effort to make Macutene Protect accessible to everyone, a foundation called the Eyecheck Patient Support Program enables patients with limited finances to obtain the product at cost and, in some cases, for free. “As a company, we are committed to being socially responsible,” Dr. Jager says.
To help improve compliance, Eyecheck allows physicians to track ordering data so they can monitor whether patients are purchasing the product. “Physicians can go on our website and see when a patient last ordered a product,” Dr. Jager says. “We assume that if they ordered the product, they will take it.” RP
- Klein EA, Thompson IM Jr, Tangen CM, et al. Vitamin E and the risk of prostate cancer: the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT). JAMA. 2011;306(14):1549-1556.
- Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT): Questions and Answers. National Cancer Institute. Available at: https://www.cancer.gov/types/prostate/research/select-trial-results-qa#11 . Accessed March 1, 2018.
- Wegmüller R, Tay F, Zeder C, Brnic M, Hurrell RF. Zinc absorption by young adults from supplemental zinc citrate is comparable with that from zinc gluconate and higher than from zinc oxide. J Nutr. 2014;144(2):132-136.