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Home > Anti-aging Research > Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus).

Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus)

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News & Research:

  • The 'blue' in blueberries can help lower blood pressure - Science Daily, 2/20/19 - "Effects on blood vessel function were seen two hours after consumption of the blueberry drinks and were sustained for one month even after an overnight fast ... Over the course of the month, blood pressure was reduced by 5mmHg. This is similar to what is commonly seen in studies using blood pressure lowering medication ... The drinks containing purified anthocyanins led to improvements in endothelial function. Endothelial cells act as a barrier between the blood or lymph and the surrounding body tissue, as well as playing key roles in blood clotting and regulating blood pressure ... Neither the control drink, the control with fibre or the control with minerals and vitamins had a significant effect on FMD at two and six hours after consumption ... Although it is best to eat the whole blueberry to get the full benefit, our study finds that the majority of the effects can be explained by anthocyanins" - See blueberry extract at Amazon.com.
  • Eating berries may lower risk of Parkinson's - Science Daily - Science Daily, 2/13/11 - "Flavonoids are found in plants and fruits and are also known collectively as vitamin P and citrin. They can also be found in berry fruits, chocolate, and citrus fruits such as grapefruit ... participants were followed for 20 to 22 years ... the top 20 percent who consumed the most flavonoids were about 40 percent less likely to develop Parkinson's disease than the bottom 20 percent of male participants who consumed the least amount of flavonoids. In women, there was no relationship between overall flavonoid consumption and developing Parkinson's disease. However, when sub-classes of flavonoids were examined, regular consumption of anthocyanins, which are mainly obtained from berries, were found to be associated with a lower risk of Parkinson's disease in both men and women"
  • Bilberry-pine bark mix shows eye health benefits - Nutra USA, 5/24/10 - "One group received daily Mirtogenol supplements (40 mg Pycnogenol, 80 mg Mirtoselect), one group received Latanoprost eye drops, and the third group received a combination of both ... After 24 weeks of intervention, the researchers noted a reduction of blood pressure in the eye from an average of 38.1 to 29.0 mmHg in the Mirtogenol group, from 37.7 to 27.2 mmHg in the Latanoprost group, and from 38.0 to 23.0 mmHg in the combined group. Normal eye pressure is reported to range from 10 to 21 mmHg"
  • Bilberry extract shows anti-diabetes benefits: Mouse study - Nutra USA, 2/17/10 - "At the end of the study, the results showed that consumption of the bilberry extract was associated with lower blood glucose levels and increased insulin sensitivity. This was linked to an activation of a protein which stimulates lipid breakdown in liver and muscle and modulates insulin secretion by the pancreas called AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK)" - [Abstract]
  • Bilberries may prevent artery hardening, boost heart health - Nutra USA, 11/9/09
  • Bilberry extract may ease the damages of stress: study - Nutra USA, 10/28/08 - "Mice supplemented with an anthocyanin-rich bilberry extract (Mirtoselect, Indena) at doses of 50, 100, and 200 milligrams per kilograms per day experienced lower ALT levels than non-supplemented restrained animals (17.23 versus 107.68 units per litre, respectively)"
  • Bilberry and pine bark combo wards off glaucoma: study - Nutra USA, 7/24/08 - "intra-ocular hypertension (IOP) ... The bilberry and pine bark product was Mirtogenol, a combination of Indena's Mirtoselect standardised bilberry extract and Horphag's Pycnogenol pine bark extract ... IOP was also seen to be lowered in 19 of the 20 intervention patients, from an average of 25.2mmHg to 22.0mmHG. Only one of the control patients saw a drop in IOP" - [Abstract] - See bilberry at Amazon.com and Pycnogenol at Amazon.com.
  • Effects of Mirtogenol on ocular blood flow and intraocular hypertension in asymptomatic subjects - Mol Vis. 2008 Jul 10;14:1288-92 - "intraocular pressure (IOP) ... After two months of supplementation with Mirtogenol, the mean IOP decreased from a baseline of 25.2 mmHg to 22.2 mmHg. After three months of treatment with Mirtogenol, the IOP was significantly lowered compared to that of untreated controls (p<0.05) to 22.0 mmHg" - [Nutra USA] - See bilberry at Amazon.com and Pycnogenol at Amazon.com.
  • Four New Studies Strongly Suggest That Components From Three Types [elderberry, chokeberry and bilberry]  Of Red Berry Fruits Help Arteries - Intelihealth, 4/22/02 - "Extracts from chokeberry and bilberry, but not elderberry, produce a direct dose-dependent relaxation of porcine coronary arteries, with chokeberry extract being the most potent. This relaxation was totally dependent on the vascular endothelium because the extracts did not significantly contract or relax arteries in which the endothelium was removed"
  • Got Anthocyanins? - Nutrition Science News, 12/01
  • Phytochemicals: The Ties That Bind - Nutrition Science News, 7/01 - "Bilberry has become popular for its ability to help correct vision disorders associated with retina degeneration, including macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, poor night vision, and diabetic retinopathy. It also improves or prevents glaucoma and cataracts"
  • Second Sight - Nutrition Science News, 4/99Protective Effects of Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) Extract on Restraint Stress-Induced Liver Damage in Mice - J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Aug 9 - "Bilberry extract (containing 42.04% anthocyanins) was oral administrated to mice at 50, 100, and 200 mg/(kg.day) for five days, which remarkably decreased plasma ALT level to 17.23 +/- 2.49 U/L at the dose of 200 mg/(kg.day) and thus alleviated stress-induced liver damage. In addition, bilberry extracts increased glutathione (GSH) and vitamin C levels and significantly decreased MDA and nitric oxide (NO) levels in the liver tissues. These results suggest that bilberry extract plays an important role in protecting against restraint stress-induced liver damage by both scavenging free radicals activity and lipid peroxidation inhibitory effect. This study showed the beneficial health effects of bilberry extract through its antioxidative action"
  • Protective Effects of Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) Extract on KBrO3-Induced Kidney Damage in Mice - J Agric Food Chem. 2007 Dec 20 - "bilberry extract reduced the degree of oxidative stress and kidney damage induced by KBrO 3. These findings demonstrate that the protective effect of bilberry extract is attributed to its free radical scavenging activity and lipid peroxidation inhibitory effect"


  • The effect of a natural, standardized bilberry extract (Mirtoselect®) in dry eye: a randomized, double blinded, placebo-controlled trial - Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2017 May;21(10):2518-2525 - "Schirmer's test values indicating the volume of tear secretion were significantly improved in the bilberry extract group (p=0.019), whereas no significant changes were observed in the placebo group. A subset analysis revealed that Mirtoselect® could be more effective in subjects with higher tendency of dry eye" - [Nutra USA] - See Mirtoselect® at Amazon.com.
  • Bilberry extract supplementation for preventing eye fatigue in video display terminal workers - J Nutr Health Aging. 2015;19(5):548-54 - "bilberry extract (BE) ... acute video display terminal (VDT) loads ... participants were randomized to either a BE (480 mg/day) or placebo (vehicle) group, and took allocated capsule, daily, for 8 weeks ... critical flicker fusion (CFF) and near point accommodation (NPA) ... The VDT load-induced reduction in CFF was alleviated after 8 weeks of BE supplementation (95% confidence interval, 0.10-1.60; p=0.023), in contrast to placebo supplementation, while NPA variation was not. Of the subjective symptoms of eye fatigue, VDT load-induced ocular fatigue sensation, ocular pain, eye heaviness, uncomfortable sensation, and foreign body sensation were mitigated more in the BE group than in the control group, at week 8 (p<0.05)" - See bilberry at Amazon.com.
  • Vaccinium myrtillus extract prevents or delays the onset of diabetes--induced blood-retinal barrier breakdown - Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2015 Jan 13 - "bilberries (Vaccinium myrtillus) ... V. myrtillus extract ... VME may prevent or delay the onset of early diabetic retinopathy. These findings have important implications for prevention of diabetic retinopathy using a dietary bilberry supplement"
  • Anti-inflammatory effects of anthocyanins-rich extract from bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) on croton oil-induced ear edema and Propionibacterium acnes plus LPS-induced liver damage in mice - Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2014 Feb 19 - "This study investigated the anti-inflammatory effects of bilberry extract (BE, containing 42.04% anthocyanin) on Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) plus lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced liver injury and croton oil-induced ear edema in mice. Results showed that BE could effectively inhibit croton oil-induced ear edema and liver inflammation provoked by P. acnes plus LPS, as reflected by the reduced plasma alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase activities. These findings were confirmed by hepatic pathological examination. Moreover, BE administration markedly suppressed the increase of liver mRNA levels of iNOS, TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6, and the protein levels of iNOS, TNF-α and NF-κB. In addition, liver malondialdehyde and NO contents were significantly reduced by BE treatment"
  • Effects of dietary supplementation with a combination of fish oil, bilberry extract, and lutein on subjective symptoms of asthenopia in humans - Biomed Res. 2011;32(6):387-93 - "supplement containing omega-3 fatty acid-rich fish oil (docosahexaenoic acid 783 mg/day, eicosapentaenoic acid 162 mg/day), bilberry extract (anthocyanidin 59 mg/day), and lutein (17.5 mg/day) in soft gel capsule form, every day for 4 weeks ... Asthenopia [eye strain] symptoms such as "stiff shoulder, low back pain", "frustration", "dry-eye", and "stuffy head" were improved in the Active group. Furthermore, a score of mental fatigue was improved after 4 weeks of supplementation, and no side effects were observed after the 4-week supplementation and a 2-week washout period in the Active group. These results suggest that dietary supplementation with the combination of omega-3 fatty acid-rich fish oil, bilberry extract, and lutein may safely improve subjective symptoms of asthenopia and mental fatigue in humans" - See Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com, bilberry at Amazon.com and Jarrow Formulas, CarotenALL at Amazon.com.
  • Dietary Anthocyanin-Rich Bilberry Extract Ameliorates Hyperglycemia and Insulin Sensitivity via Activation of AMP-Activated Protein Kinase in Diabetic Mice - J Nutr. 2010 Jan 20 - "Blueberries or bilberries contain large amounts of anthocyanins, making them one of the richest sources of dietary anthocyanin ... bilberry extract (BBE) ... Dietary BBE significantly reduced the blood glucose concentration and enhanced insulin sensitivity ... These findings provide a biochemical basis for the use of bilberry fruits and have important implications for the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes via activation of AMPK"
  • Bilberry anthocyanin-rich extract alters expression of genes related to atherosclerosis development in aorta of apo E-deficient mice - Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2010 Jul 31 - "bilberry anthocyanin-rich extract (BE) ... BE supplementation significantly improved hypercholesterolemia whereas the plasmatic antioxidant status remained unchanged. Nutrigenomic analysis identified 1261 genes which expression was modulated by BE in the aorta. Bioinformatic analysis revealed that these genes are implicated in different cellular processes such as oxidative stress, inflammation, transendothelial migration and angiogenesis, processes associated with atherosclerosis development/protection. Some of the most significantly down-regulated genes included genes coding for AOX1, CYP2E1 or TXNIP implicated in the regulation of oxidative stress, JAM-A coding for adhesion molecules or VEGFR2 implicate in regulation of angiogenesis. Other genes were up-regulated, such as CRB3, CLDN14 or CDH4 potentially associated with increased cell-cell adhesion and decreased paracellular permeability. These results provide a global integrated view of the mechanisms involved in the preventive action of bilberry anthocyanin-rich extract against atherosclerosis"
  • Dietary Anthocyanin-Rich Bilberry Extract Ameliorates Hyperglycemia and Insulin Sensitivity via Activation of AMP-Activated Protein Kinase in Diabetic Mice - J Nutr. 2010 Jan 20 - "We found that dietary BBE ameliorates hyperglycemia and insulin sensitivity via activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). Dietary BBE significantly reduced the blood glucose concentration and enhanced insulin sensitivity. AMPK was activated in white adipose tissue (WAT), skeletal muscle, and the liver of diabetic mice fed BBE. This activation was accompanied by upregulation of glucose transporter 4 in WAT and skeletal muscle and suppression of glucose production and lipid content in the liver. At the same time, acetyl-CoA carboxylase was inactivated and PPARalpha, acyl-CoA oxidase, and carnitine palmitoyltransferase-1A were upregulated in the liver. These changes resulted in improved hyperglycemia and insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetes. These findings provide a biochemical basis for the use of bilberry fruits and have important implications for the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes via activation of AMPK"
  • Anthocyanin supplementation improves serum LDL- and HDL-cholesterol concentrations associated with the inhibition of cholesteryl ester transfer protein in dyslipidemic subjects - Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Jul 29 - "Anthocyanin consumption increased HDL-cholesterol concentrations (13.7% and 2.8% in the anthocyanin and placebo groups, respectively; P < 0.001) and decreased LDL-cholesterol concentrations (13.6% and -0.6% in the anthocyanin and placebo groups, respectively; P < 0.001). The cellular cholesterol efflux to serum increased more in the anthocyanin group than in the placebo group (20.0% and 0.2%, respectively; P < 0.001). Anthocyanin supplementation decreased the mass and activity of plasma cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) (10.4% and 6.3% in the anthocyanin group and -3.5% and 1.1% in the placebo group, respectively; P < 0.001)" - See blueberry extract at Amazon.com and bilberry at Amazon.com.