Lanomax: An In-Depth Look at Lanosterol Eye Drops
But did you know that there’s another ingredient which has developed a similar reputation for its cataract fighting potential? That’s right, there’s a new contender on the scene and its name is lanosterol.
What is Lanosterol?
Lanosterol is a tetracyclic triterpenoid. Wait… what?
If you’ve never heard of any other tetracyclic triterpenoids before, you’re in good company. For the purposes of this blog post it’s not necessary to get into the nitty-gritty of what defines a tetracyclic triterpenoid, so just know that it’s a very particular type of chemical compound which can be found organically in animals, plants and fungi.
Interestingly enough, Lanosterol is described in the Merck Index (an encyclopedia of chemicals, drugs and biologicals) as “the core structure from which all others are derived by biological modification”. (1) I don’t particularly understand what that means either, but it sure sounds important, huh?
A Brief Background on Lanosterol Eye Drops
So, we’ve established that lanosterol is an organic chemical compound with an important role to play in biological modification. But what is the scientific basis for lanosterol’s use in eye drops? Turns out, it’s a very recent history and a relatively easy one to unpack!
In 2015, Kang Zhang and a number of fellow researchers from the University of California made the discovery that lanosterol is heavily involved in the genetics of human cataract formation. As such, this 2015 study also states that their discovery “points to a novel strategy for cataract prevention and treatment.” (2)
This singular study makes up the entire basis for the development of lanosterol eye drops, most commonly sold under the brand name of Lanomax. It also opened a line of scientific inquiry that will not be abandoned by researchers anytime soon.
Do Lanosterol Eye Drops Actually Work?
When people ask this question about anything health related, what they usually mean is: will this work for me? The entirely honest, painfully common, and thoroughly dissatisfying answer to this question is that no one knows for certain.
Again, this answer is typical for any health-related inquiry, yet it rings especially true for heath topics as novel as lanosterol eye drops. There are simply too many untested variables in play for anyone to guarantee that lanosterol eye drops will work for you and your unique genetic makeup.
Some may now be wondering as to the current scientific standing of lanosterol eye drops. Have follow-up studies on Zhang’s research confirmed or denied his findings?
Multiple studies have been published in response to the 2015 discoveries of Zhang and colleagues. Some studies have confirmed and progressed Zhang’s theories about lanosterol’s cataract fighting potential. Meanwhile, others have uncovered contradictory evidence. Let’s review the heavy hitters in each camp.
An Overview of Lanosterol Research
In 2016, several researchers from the Indian Journal of Ophthalmology wrote a critique of a peer’s article which ultimately gave a skeptical outlook on lanosterol’s ability to fight cataracts. In their critique, the researchers point out a number of well-established defences for lanosterol which revolve around the molecular genetics of cataract formation.
In addition, they point out a number of methods, including factors such as “immersion of the intact lenses with capsule, cases with similar nuclear density or increasing the time duration of immersion in the lanosterol solution, and studying the effect of lanosterol in patients with congenital or pediatric cataracts” which could produce more useful results. (3) All in all, this response shows that there is still a lot of refinement to be done in the methodology of testing lanosterol solutions.
Next up we have a 2018 study Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China. This rather unique study chose to utilize atom molecular dynamics simulation and free energy perturbation techniques to determine the efficacy of lanosterol. While the result of this study should be taken with a grain of salt, given its digitally simulated nature, they did find that lanosterol was effective in binding and preventing human γD-crystallins formation. (4)
Lastly, we have a study which is best know for its critical outlook on Zhang’s theory of lanosterol. Published on June 9th, 2019, a collection of researchers from the University of Minnesota and University of Nebraska sought to evaluate lanosterol eye drops via in vitro rat lens and human lens protein solubilization studies. The results showed no evidence for the proposed anti-cataractogenic activity of lanosterol. (5)
Unsurprisingly, it’s difficult to draw any firm consensus out of this mixed and albeit limited pool of research. The sheer recency of this research topic alone dictates a certain level of ambiguity. For now, the stream of new studies on lanosterol’s anti-cataractogenic potential doesn’t seem to be drying up anytime soon.
The Lanomax Advantage
It’s worth noting that in the course of Zhang’s original research, immersion in a lanosterol solution was deemed insufficient for permeating the lens of a rabbit. As such, direct injections were used to achieve the best results. Further research has confirmed that simple lanosterol solutions alone are ineffective at permeating the lens of the eye and having a dissolving effect on cataract formations. (6)
In an effort to circumvent this issue, Lanomax has developed their lanosterol eye drops with a trademarked delivery system known as ThruDelivery™. Sadly, citing reasons of market competition, Lanomax is very reluctant to release any useful information about what this delivery system is and how it works. Tidbits of information on their website indicate that it was developed with advanced nanotechnology, but good luck getting any more specific than that!
One study has been conducted to specifically test the efficacy of the Lanomax formula. The results of this study were very encouraging, (7) but more testing and background information is required to say with certainty whether or not the ThruDelivery™ system is capable of circumventing the need for direct injections.
Chemicals like lanosterol surround us in our daily lives, yet we still understand very little about how they can be used to support human health. While it may be tempting to write-off novel treatments like lanosterol eye drops, it’s important to acknowledge the potential they possess.
We at DR Vitamins will be following the progress of this research closely, and we’ll do our best to keep our readers up to date as well. If you’re interested in lanosterol eye drops, stay tuned – I have a feeling this will only be the very beginning of the story.
Thank you for taking the time to read Lanomax: An In-Depth Look at Lanosterol Eye Drops?
Please note: All information presented to you in this website is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. We cannot, and will not give you medical advice. We strongly recommend you consult your physician for any and all specific health issues. If you have any questions or contributions, please contact us via email or phone-call. We are constantly looking for new information to promote wellness – and hearing from you would make our day.