extract is made from the leaves and berries of the bilberry
plant, which grows over much of Europe and Australia. Kin to the
American blueberry, the plant has edible berries which are used
to make jams, preserves and pies or eaten as is. The
leaves and berries have been used in traditional herbal medicine
for generations to relieve diarrhea and stomach upsets.
extract also seems to help prevent problems with the eyes, and
improve general circulation. The most effective form of
bilberry seems to be a standardized bilberry extract containing
18-25% of the assumed active ingredients Ė phyto-chemicals
called anthocyanidin flavonoids.
Bilberry Extract Does:
bilberry extract contains anthocyanidins, flavonoids that
function as powerful antioxidants. Anthocyanidins contribute to
overall cell health, and promote healthy circulation by
strengthening cell walls. Specifically, they seem to
strengthen capillaries, which has the effect of improving
improvement may also be the reason for the reports (mostly
anecdotal) of improved night vision when taking bilberry
extract. S cientists have suggested that the improved capillary
action may help the eyes adjust to more easily to changing
levels of light. The anthocyanidins in bilberry extract
promote the production of rhodopsin, which improves night vision
as well. And finally, the antioxidant action of
anthocyanidins present in bilberry extract definitely does seem
to be specific to eye health, as multiple studies have strongly
suggested a relation between taking bilberry extract and
improvement of conditions like cataracts and macular
also contains tannins Ė natural astringents that help stop
bleeding and may account for the traditional herbal use of
bilberries to treat bruising and promote healing.
Benefits of Bilberry Extract:
World War II, fighter pilots noticed that their night vision
appeared to be more acute if they ate bilberry jam before night
bombing missions. I ntrigued by the reports, scientists studied
the effects of bilberry extract on vision and night vision after
the war. There have also been studies into the other reported
effects of bilberry extract. The results show:
Bilberry extract fights the effects of age related macular
degeneration. Macular degeneration is an age-related
condition that is the leading cause of vision loss in older
adults. Itís been proven that antioxidants like
bilberry extract and Vitamin B12 help slow and prevent the
effects of oxidation that lead to macular degeneration.
Bilberry extract stops the growth of cataracts. In a
clinical evaluation conducted in 1989, 50 patients with some
cataract formation were given supplements of bilberry
extract and vitamin E. Cataract growth was stopped in
48 of the 50 patients.
Bilberry extract improves general eye health by improving
circulation in the retina. Itís been proven effective in
improving glaucoma, nearsightedness, diabetic retinopathy
and macular degeneration as well as cataracts.
Bilberry increases blood flow in capillaries, and seems to
relieve discomfort in those who suffer from poor circulation
to the extremities.
Bilberry extract strengthens capillary walls, helping to
prevent bruising, varicose veins, thrombosis and angina.
Bilberry extract contains glucoquinine, which has been shown
to lower blood sugar, and may be helpful in the treatment of
Bilberry is a traditional herbal cure for diarrhea, and
functions as an anti-inflammatory.
In studies, bilberry extract has prevented stomach ulcers in
rats that are predisposed to them. Further research is needed,
but itís likely that bilberry functions to protect the stomach
lining from damage.
Side Effects of Bilberry Extract
extract is generally considered safe. There are no reported
harmful side effects, though extremely large doses should not be
taken. While no known drug interactions have been
reported, it may be wise to consult a physician before taking
bilberry extract if you are taking an anticoagulant.
nutritionists recommend taking bilberry as dried bilberry
extract, standardized to contain 23%-37% anthocyanadins.
Because bilberry extract seems to increase the effective rates
of other nutrients, they also recommend taking bilberry extract
as part of a more inclusive product. Itís part of the
reason that we choose to take
Total Balance from
Xtend-Life natural products of New Zealand. The
Xtend-Life daily serving size of
Total Balance formula provides 300 mgs of
standardized bilberry extract to work with other ingredients
like vitamin E, vitamin B12 and quercetin for improved
circulation and better eye health.