A British optician claims he cured his blindness with marigolds.
I know -- this sounds like quackery. But bear with me for a moment, because there's more to this than a field of golden flowers.
Harry Marsland, 73, was diagnosed with one of the most frightening conditions facing seniors: age-related macular degeneration. He lost the vision in his right eye to the more serious and far less common "wet" version of the condition, and the vision in his left to "dry" AMD.
But after taking a marigold-based supplement, he can not only see through his left eye -- he can drive and read, too, according to a report in Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper.
And it's not as far-fetched as it sounds. Marigolds contain meso-zeaxanthin, which has shown some promise when it comes to fighting vision problems. His supplement also contained lutein and zeaxanthin, two key phytonutrients linked to healthy eyes.
But since he had already tried those other ingredients before, he credits his success to the addition of meso- zeaxanthin. Because of his success, the Waterford Institute of Technology in Ireland is now conducting clinical trials on these supplements. I'll keep you updated.
If you're facing AMD, work with your doctor to find the right nutritional supplement for your eyes -- because, as this case shows, sometimes it's just a matter of finding the right blend of missing nutrients.
Of course, the real key to fighting AMD is to win the battle before it even starts by making sure your eyes have all the nutrients they need to stay healthy now.
You've probably heard that carrots are great for your eyes – and they are rich in beta-carotene, which you certainly need. But to really lower your risk for vision problems, you're going to have to go far beyond Bugs Bunny's favorite snack.
One recent study found diets rich in vitamins C and E, zinc, lutein, zeaxanthin and omega-3 fatty acids can significantly lower your risk for age-related macular degeneration. That means eating more leafy greens, nuts, beans, fruit, eggs and especially fatty fish. Add a supplement if you have a hard time getting any of these nutrients from your food.
Other studies have found that -- in addition to the nutrients I just mentioned -- you should also make sure you're getting enough copper, which you'll find in nuts, liver and shellfish.