Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus), also known as the Whortleberry and Blaeberry, is a small shrub found on heaths where it grows to about 60 centimeters tall. You will find many eye formulas that contain bilberry, including Eyesight Rx. Bilberry herb has more than a dozen anthocyanosides for eye health.
It is not clear at this time what the ideal bilberry dosage would be. For the time being, a dosage of 10 to 100 mg of a 100:1 bilberry extract comprised of 25% anthocyanosides should suffice.
Bilberry Extract, 80 mg, 60
Bilberry Extract, also referred to as blueberry, is a potent extract yielding key bioflavonoids and antioxidants called anthocyanosides, anthocyanins, ellagitannins, and proanthocyanidins. A controlled extraction process guarantees at least 25% anthocyanosides.
Bilberry Fruit Standardized Extract - 80 mg*
Yielding 20 mg anthocyanosides
Suggested Use: 1 bilberry capsule daily, or as recommended by your health care professional.
* Bilberry daily value not established.
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Eyesight Rx with Bilberry extract for healthy day and night vision
Developed by Ray Sahelian, M.D.
Bilberry and anthocyanidins
Anthocyanosides are the pharmacologically active constituents of bilberries. They consist of a backbone known as anthocyanidin which is bound to one of three sugars: arabinose, glucose, or galactose. Five different anthocyanidins in bilberry produce more than fifteen different anthocyanosides. The fresh bilberry fruit contains an anthocyanoside concentration of 0.1 to 0.25 percent. A concentrated bilberry extract however yields 25% anthocyanidin content, which corresponds to about 38% anthocyanosides.
The benefit of bilberry rests mostly on its ability to provide substances that are beneficial for eye health. Bilberry may benefit those who have macular degeneration or are predisposed to a cataract. Phenolic compounds in bilberry are of benefit as antioxidants.
Bilberry extract is available in a number of concentrations and extract potencies. These include 5 percent anthocyanosides, 10 percent anthocyanosides, 20 percent anthocyanosides, and 25 percent anthocyanosides.
Bilberry is a good source
Consumption of black currants, lingonberries and bilberries, vaccinium myrtillus, increases serum quercetin concentrations.
Eur J Clin Nutr. 2003 January. Erlund I, Marniemi J, Hakala P, Alfthan G, Meririnne E, Aro A.
Biomarker Laboratory, National Public Health Institute, Helsinki, Finland.
Twenty subjects consumed 100 g/day of berries - black currants, lingonberry and bilberry - for 8 weeks. Twenty subjects consuming their habitual diets served as controls. The serum quercetin concentrations were significantly higher in the subjects consuming berries compared to the control group. During the berry consumption period the mean serum concentrations of quercetin ranged between 21.4 and 25.3 micro g/l in the berry group, which was 32-51% higher compared with the control group. According to 3 day food records, there was no difference in quercetin intake at baseline, but at 8 weeks the intake was 12.3+/-1.4 mg/day in the berry group and 5.8+/-0.6 mg/day in the control group. The results indicate that the berries used in this study are a good source of bioavailable quercetin.
Bilberry Herb studies
Dietary supplementation with bilberry extract prevents macular degeneration and cataracts in senesce-accelerated OXYS rats.
Fursova AZh, Gesarevich OG, Gonchar AM, Trofimova NA, Kolosova NG.
Adv Gerontol. 2005;16:76-9.
Cataracts and macular degeneration remain the major cause of blindness and acuity of vision deterioration in the elderly. Both pathology have been attributed to damage by free radicals, there has been a great deal of interest in antioxidants. Bilberry's flavonoids are known as potent antioxidants, scavenging free radicals and used for multiple age-related ocular disorders. There are no experimental studies, devoted to estimation of bilberry effect. To explore this one the senescence-accelerated OXYS rats with early senile cataract and macular degeneration were used. From 1.5 to 3 month OXYS rats were given control diets or those supplemented with 25% bilberry extract (BE, 20 mg on kg of body weight including 4.5 mg of antocianidin) or vitamin E (40 mg/kg) for comparison. The testing at 3 month showed that more then 70% of control OXYS rats had cataract and macular degeneration while the supplementation of bilberry extract completely prevented impairments in the lenses and retina. The VE had no significant effects but both antioxidants decreased lipid peroxides in the retina and serum of OXYS rats. The results suggest that long-term supplementation with bilberry extract is effective in prevention of macular degeneration and cataract.
Inhibition of protein and lipid oxidation in liposomes by berry phenolics.
J Agric Food Chem. 2004 Dec 1;52(24):7419-24.
The antioxidant activity of berry phenolics such as anthocyanins, ellagitannins, and proanthocyanidins from raspberry (Rubus idaeus), bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus), lingonberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea), and black currant (Ribes nigrum) was investigated. The antioxidant protection toward lipid oxidation was best provided by lingonberry and bilberry phenolics followed by black currant and raspberry phenolics. Bilberry and raspberry phenolics exhibited the best overall antioxidant activity toward protein oxidation. Proanthocyanidins, especially the dimeric and trimeric forms, in lingonberries were among the most active phenolic constituents toward both lipid and protein oxidation. In bilberries and black currants, anthocyanins contributed the most to the antioxidant effect by inhibiting the formation of both hexanal and protein carbonyls. In raspberries, ellagitannins were responsible for the antioxidant activity. While the antioxidant effect of berry proanthocyanidins and anthocyanins was dose-dependent, ellagitannins appeared to be equally active at all concentrations. In conclusion, berries are rich in monomeric and polymeric phenolic compounds providing protection toward both lipid and protein oxidation.
Some of you history buffs may recall that during World War II, British Royal Air Force (RAF) pilots mentioned that their night vision was clearer whenever they ate bilberry preserves before starting out on their evening bombing raids.
Bilberry extract questions
Q. Is it okay to take a bilberry extract every day along with other multivitamins.
A. With bilberry extract, as with many supplements, it is a good idea to take a couple of days off a week.
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