When you hear the word bilberry, you might think of blueberry. You wouldn’t be far off in thinking that either, since they are cousins to one another. In fact, the bilberry is also known as the European blueberry and does indeed taste much like a typical blueberry. This powerful berry has been used for medicinal purposes since the middle ages for a variety of conditions, such as diarrhea, scurvy, infections, burns, and diabetes. During World War II, British pilots ate bilberry jam, thinking it would improve their night vision. So, let’s dive right in to learn more about this amazing berry and its benefits.
Here are 3 health benefits of bilberry.
Eye Health – Bilberry is filled with anthocyanins, also known as flavonoids. These have powerful antioxidant properties, which are great for eye health. A randomized controlled trial found that bilberry had a positive effect on eye site in lower light environments.1 This has also been suggested as a treatment of retinopathy, which is damaging to the retina. Also, 400 mg/day of fermented bilberry extract was ingested by 30 healthy myopic, or nearsighted, middle-age participants in a 4-week prospective randomized placebo-controlled study which suggested that bilberry may be effective in improving the visual outcomes of myopic eyes.2
Heart Health (Blood Pressure) – Good news for the millions of people with high blood pressure. Bilberry can help to decrease blood pressure. In a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study, participants with high/normal range blood pressure or stage 1-2 hypertension ingested a drink mixture of polyphenol enriched juice of bilberries, chokeberries, and red grapes over 12 weeks. The results concluded that there was a big decline in systolic blood pressure as compared to other treatments groups from the study. This is a great supplement to help support healthy circulation, along with the vascular system, veins and arteries.
Free Radical Scavenger – With its well-known antioxidant properties, this supplement might be one of the richest natural sources of anthocyanins and polyphenols. Over 15 different anthocyanosides have been identified in bilberries. The constituents of this supplement have helped with the age-related oxidative stress and help to promote healthy vision. What else is there to say about bilberry? It has all kinds of superpowers.
The bottom line for bilberry.
Bilberry is packed with antioxidant properties that could help your specific needs. At Persona Nutrition, we offer two supplements that contain bilberry, one being Lutein w/ Bilberry, and the other is Bilberry itself. If you are looking for supplements to help with eye health, or general health, we have you covered. You can take our free 5-minute online assessment to get personalized supplement recommendations. Want to see if bilberry is right for you? Get Recommendations
This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. Do not use the information from this article for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing medication or other treatment. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read in this article.
- Canter PH, Ernst E. Anthocyanosides of Vaccinium myrtillus (bilberry) for night vision–a systematic review of placebo-controlled trials. Surv Ophthalmol. 2004;49(1):38-50.
- Kamiya K, Kobashi H, Fujiwara K, Ando W, Shimizu K. Effect of Fermented Bilberry Extracts on Visual Outcomes in Eyes with Myopia: A Prospective, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study. J Ocul Pharmacol Ther. 2013;29(3):356-359