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Introducing New Zealand Black Currant Extract—the Next Generation of Eye Health Supplements

Lee Swanson, President of Swanson Health Products

Lee Swanson

Dear Friends and Valued Customers:

For decades, bilberry has been the herb of choice for eye health and vision support. But according to Dr. Rudi Moerck of Valensa, Intl. and research scientists around the world, black currant may be an even better option. The increasing popularity of black currant is based on solid scientific evidence rather than the folklore and legend behind bilberry use. In this exclusive interview, Dr. Moerck explains the science that sets black currant apart and why he believes it is the superior option for those looking for reliable ocular support.

Dr. Rudi Moerck of Valensa, Intl.

Dr. Rudi Moerck

SWANSON: Dr. Moerck, is it true that black currant contains more antioxidants, anthocyanins and other nutrients with vision-supporting potential than bilberry?

MOERCK: Both black currant and bilberry contain water soluble anthocyanins. However, numerous tests confirm that black currant features specific anthocyanins that are known to increase blood flow to the eye and deter hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) oxidation. Antioxidant levels—especially anthocyanins—and complete nutritional values have been studied by various testing facilities and accredited universities that show substantial support for the use of black currant for eye health. Black currant also has natural vitamin C, adding to the antioxidant capabilities in eye health.

SWANSON: How do these natural components contribute to the health of our eyes and/or the quality of our vision?

MOERCK: It is believed that many potential eye health benefits can be derived from the use of black currant including the relief of eye fatigue, an increase in visual acuity, and arterial relaxation to increase blood flow to healthy eyes.

The eyes are one of the most oxidatively stressed organs of the body due to the fact that eyes are usually functioning 16 to 20 hours a day. In addition eyes are constantly exposed to atmospheric oxygen and also intensive ultraviolet light from daylight, fluorescent lamps and also from computer monitors.

SWANSON: What makes New Zealand black currants special or preferable to black currants from other parts of the world?

MOERCK: In order to grow high quality black currants, it is essential that four crucial growing conditions—clean air, abundant and pure water, nutrient-rich soil and undisturbed ultraviolet light—be present. New Zealand’s pristine environmental conditions, absence of pollutants and limited industrialization provide advantageous conditions for the cultivation of black currant. In addition, the typically very thin ozone layer over New Zealand allows more ultraviolet light to reach the growing berries thereby producing increased levels of the powerful anthocyanin antioxidants.

SWANSON: Thank you, Dr. Moerck, for sharing your insights with us. Finally, is Black Currant Extract something everyone can benefit from, or are there specific people who might consider taking it regularly more than others?

MOERCK: It is possible that the use of Black Currant Extract as a dietary supplement not only can provide general health benefits, but also specific benefits in the areas of cognitive, neurological, cardiovascular, eye and joint health. Supplements containing black currant extract provide additional dark colored berries which are considered important for general health.