A daily supplement derived from marigolds may prevent millions of people from losing their eyesight from age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
The potential pill, which could help many people from becoming blind due to AMD, contains three antioxidants vital to keeping the eyes healthy but not all are readily available through a normal diet.
Susan Bowers, an optometrist from Coventry, said the supplement, Macu-Shield, has improved the sight of hundreds of her patients.
"I really believe this will help stop people going blind from this disease," the Daily Express quoted her as saying.
Half a million people in Britain suffer from AMD, which causes blurring of the central vision, leaving victims unable to recog- nise faces, read or drive.
Striking after the age of 50, AMD can lead to total blindness, with about 90 percent of cases proving untreatable.
Janet Terron, 64, of Kinver, Staffs, started taking the supplement when she was diagnosed two years ago. Her mother has AMD and her grand- father lost his sight.
"The difference is fantastic," Terron said.
A yellow pigment at the back of the eye, which can decrease as people age, is thought to protect against AMD.