The Bilberry Effect

Bilberry effect

Bilberry effect is a term used to describe the effects that eating bilberries or taking bilberry extract has on the body. These berries are packed with powerful antioxidants, and have been shown to provide many health benefits. The phenolic compounds in bilberries help protect against cancer and other diseases, and are believed to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. The bilberry contains anthocyanins that increase insulin secretion in individuals at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Anthocyanins also help reduce cholesterol levels and prevent plaque formation in the blood vessels, which can lead to atherosclerosis.

The anti-inflammatory effects of bilberries can also benefit the heart. In a clinical trial, drinking a mixture of polyphenol-enriched juice from bilberries and other berries (500 mL per day) reduced cholesterol and improved the blood flow of participants with high cholesterol. Anthocyanins in bilberries also increased blood vessel tone and improved blood flow in the retina of the eye, according to cell-based studies. Bilberries also have been shown to lower blood pressure in a clinical trial with people who had high blood pressure. A standardized extract containing 36% anthocyanins was found to be effective in improving spider veins in another clinical trial with over 1k people.

A recent study showed that bilberry anthocyanins protected against eye damage caused by diabetic changes in the blood vessels, and improved vision in diabetics. During World War II, British fighter pilots reported better night vision after eating bilberry jam. Anthocyanins in berries act as a natural ocular analgesic and can be used to treat common eye problems such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, and cataracts.

Studies have found that bilberry extract can prevent oxidative stress in the brain and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. In a mouse model, bilberry extract promoted the production of non-toxic beta-amyloid proteins and protected against brain cell death. Bilberry anthocyanins have also been found to protect skin cells against UV radiation.

Bilberries can be eaten fresh when they are in season, in smoothies and other drinks, in jams and pies, or taken in a supplement or extract form. It is recommended to consult a doctor before using any dietary supplements, especially in long-term treatment. Side effects may include gastrointestinal upset. Bilberry has been known to interact with medications that can affect clotting and blood circulation, such as coumadin (Coumadin) and other medicines that prevent blood clots (like clopidogrel, enoxaparin, heparin, and warfarin). If you experience these or any other side effects, contact your doctor. Bilberry is safe for most people, but allergic reactions are possible. There have been two reported cases of allergic reaction to bilberries. One woman developed mild symptoms, while the other experienced life-threatening anaphylaxis. These reactions are not common. Until more research is done, it is best to avoid consuming bilberries for a prolonged period of time, particularly in large amounts or in high-dose supplements. This can cause gastrointestinal upset, including nausea, vomiting, itching, and diarrhea. It is also advised to limit consumption of bilberries if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.