Nutrition Market


What is Bilberry?

Bilberry is a dark blue/black berry that grows on low shrubs throughout Europe, North America, and Australia. Often called European blueberry, this superfruit is packed with antioxidants and phytonutrients that provide a wide range of potential health benefits.

Bilberries have a long history of medicinal use dating back to the 16th century. Today they are most well known for improving eyesight and circulation. The potent plant compounds found in bilberries are thought to enhance overall health.

Why Use Bilberry Supplements?

Supplements made from bilberry fruit or extract provide an easy and convenient way to get a concentrated dose of the beneficial compounds found in bilberries. Most bilberry supplements are made from material originating in European bilberry varieties.

Bilberry supplements may provide the following potential benefits:

  • Support eye/vision health
  • Enhance circulation
  • Improve blood vessel strength
  • Support healthy inflammation response
  • Protect cells from oxidative damage

Vision Support

Bilberry is often called a “vision herb” due to its antioxidant compounds known as anthocyanosides. These plant pigments give bilberries their deep blue/purple colour.

Research shows anthocyanosides strengthen blood vessels in the eyes and improve circulation in the tiny capillaries that deliver oxygen and nutrients to eye muscles and tissue. Many studies confirm bilberry extract helps improve night vision and adaptability to light changes.

Circulation & Blood Vessels

The anthocyanosides and other antioxidant compounds in bilberries improve circulation by relaxing and protecting blood vessels. This enhances delivery of oxygen and nutrients throughout the body.

Studies show bilberry extract helps strengthen blood vessel walls making them more flexible and less prone to damage. Better circulation combined with reinforced vessel walls prevents plaque buildup and clot formation.

Reduces Inflammation

Chronic inflammation is at the root of most diseases. The potent combination of antioxidants in bilberry provides extensive cellular protection against inflammatory damage.

Protects Cells

As a rich source of anthocyanins and polyphenols, bilberry provides some of the strongest antioxidant capacity among berries. These compounds neutralise free radicals and prevent oxidative damage to cells, proteins, and DNA.

Bilberry Supplement Ingredients

Bilberry supplements usually contain extract taken from whole European bilberries (100% bilberry fruit). Some formulas combine standardized bilberry extract with other synergistic botanicals.

Standardised Bilberry Extract

Most quality bilberry supplements contain a standardized extract to guarantee potency. Standardized means the extract contains a precise level of anthocyanosides, usually 25% minimum. This ensures each capsule delivers a therapeutic dosage.

Other Berries

Some bilberry supplements include other antioxidant-rich berries like elderberry, blackcurrant, acai and blueberry. Combining berries creates a synergistic effect with enhanced potency.

Vitamin C

Adding vitamin C boosts the antioxidant capacity and absorption of bilberry extracts. Vitamin C recycles spent antioxidants, allowing them to keep working. These two nutrients work together to strengthen blood vessels.

Grape Seed Extract

Another common pairing is European bilberry and grape seed extract. Both provide anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins - compounds studies show improve circulation, vision, and collagen formation when used together.

Lutein & Zeaxanthin

Two carotenoids called lutein and zeaxanthin are also found in some bilberry eye formulas. These antioxidants filter harmful blue light and improve macular density. When combined with bilberry, eye health effects are amplified.

Bilberry Supplement Benefits

  • Improves eyesight
  • Enhances night vision
  • Protects eye muscles/tissues
  • Reduces eye fatigue
  • Prevents macular degeneration
  • Supports eye adaptation
  • Improves microcirculation
  • Strengthens blood vessels
  • Boosts circulation
  • Prevents plaque buildup
  • Reduces varicose veins
  • Lessens inflammation
  • Fights oxidative damage/stress
  • Protects collagen proteins
  • Promotes tissue repair & healing
  • Provides antioxidants

Who Can Benefit from Bilberry?

Bilberry extracts can benefit both healthy individuals as well as those managing age-related declines in vision, circulation, blood vessel function, and cellular health. Those who may benefit include:

  • Ageing populations
  • Anyone seeking eye health support
  • Those spending long hours at computers/screens
  • Night shift workers
  • Athletes and active individuals
  • Those concerned about macular degeneration
  • Anyone with circulation issues
  • Individuals managing high blood pressure
  • People concerned about blood vessel/cardio health
  • Those healing from surgery

Are There Any Side Effects?

When used as directed, bilberry fruit extract is considered safe for most healthy adults. There are no known serious adverse effects. Any potential side effects are mild and rare.

Some people report mild digestive upset, nausea, or changes in stool colour/consistency when starting bilberry extracts. This usually goes away after 1-2 weeks once the body adjusts.

Due to possible effects on blood clotting, bilberry should not be taken for ~2 weeks before any scheduled surgery. Those taking blood thinning medication should consult a health professional before using bilberry supplements.

During Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

There is insufficient evidence about the safety of bilberry consumption during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Those who are pregnant or nursing should avoid bilberry extracts unless under medical supervision.

Standard Bilberry Extract Dosage

Most research studied bilberry extract doses ranging from 120mg to 600mg daily. The typical therapeutic dosage is:

  • 120-240mg once or twice per day
  • Standardized to 25-35% anthocyanosides

It’s best to follow the usage instructions on individual bilberry supplement products. Your health provider can help determine the right dosage for your needs.

For optimal absorption, take bilberry capsules with food. The anthocyanins will be most readily absorbed when consumed as part of a meal.

Is Bilberry Right for You?

Bilberry extract supplements provide a safe, effective way to boost antioxidant capacity and enhance circulation and eye health. If you’re looking to support eye function, blood vessel flexibility, circulation, or inflammation - quality bilberry supplements can help.

When purchasing bilberry capsules, tablets, or powders, be sure to select reputable Australian or European brands that disclose ingredient sources. Products should specify a standardized bilberry extract for potency.

As with any new supplement, it’s wise to start with lower doses and increase slowly. This gives your body time to adjust. Most importantly, make sure to follow usage and safety recommendations.

With powerful vision and circulation enhancing properties backed by decades of use and research, bilberry is definitely a beneficial supplement ingredient to consider.

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