By Melanie Patterson
North Jefferson News
GARDENDALE — A recent study has shown that a Gardendale-based business is on track — and has been for more than 10 years.
The National Eye Institute (NEI) released the results of a study recently that show Macular Health LLC has had the “ideal formulated product” to combat age-related macular degeneration (AMD) since 2003.
“We’ve basically had the right formula the entire time,” said Jeffery McAnnally, president and CEO of Macular Health LLC. “We had the only one like it. We had it 10 years before most people.”
Macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in the United States in people over age 55, and there is no cure.
However, Macular Health products help slow down the disease, McAnnally said, as shown by the NEI study.
Macular Health’s original formula was created after the results of the “largest opthalmic study ever conducted,” Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) 1, which was released in 2001, McAnnally said.
Last month, the NEI released the results of AREDS 2, which showed the Macular Health original formula is “key in slowing vision loss due to AMD.”
“The formula we’ve been making has really changed the way people are seeing,” McAnnally said. “The study established that.”
The company is now working on a second formula, which McAnnally said has more vitamins C and E, and less zinc.
“The existing formula is just as good, we’re just going to soup it up a little more,” he said. The new formula will be released next month.
In addition, the company makes a Smokers Formula, which omits beta carotene, and a Dry Eye Formula.
“Doctors are eating this stuff up,” McAnnally said. “It’s phenomenal how it works.”
McAnnally said his products, which contain zeaxanthin, are not to be confused with products that contain meso-zeaxanthin.
“People get it confused and think it’s the same,” he said. “But there are no studies out there to say you can take (meso-zeaxanthin) orally and it makes it to the eye.”
Not many people know that the Gardendale facility ships out “thousands and thousands of bottles” every day.
“It all comes out of Gardendale, and it ships all over the United States,” McAnnally said.
He said business has been improving so much, he is searching for a larger facility. Macular Health currently operates out of a 4,200 square-foot facility on Decatur Highway, but is looking for an additional 10,000 square feet.
“We’re going to change ocular nutrition forever,” he said.
However, the business is not a retail outlet.
The products are available at macularhealth.com, at Southern Focus Vision Center in Gardendale and at Warrior Eye Care Vision Source.