Microcirculation and Night Vision
Each all-vegetable capsule contains: Bilberry Leaf Powder (Vaccinium myrtillus) 370 mg. Bilberry Extract (Vaccinium myrtillus) 80 mg. Anthocyanidins (from above) 25 mg. 60 capsules
Powerful Antioxidants and Vascular Stabilizers in Bilberry
The active component of bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) is its flavonoids, specifically its anthocyanosides. Anthocyanosides are extremely powerful antioxidants and vascular stabilizers.(1)
Bilberry extracts have been widely used in Europe in the treatment of various vascular disorders, as well as in several eye diseases. Clinical studies have demonstrated a positive effect in the treatment of:
Bilberry, or European blueberry, is a shrubby perennial plant that grows in the woods and forest meadows of Europe. The fruit is a blue-black berry that differs from an American blueberry in that its meat is also blue-black.(1)
Pilots in World War II Reported
Improved Night Vision After Eating Bilberries
Perhaps the most significant therapeutic applications for bilberry are in the field of ophthalmology. Bilberry anthocyanosides improve the microcirculation and promote the formation of visual purple. Interest in bilberry was first aroused during World War II when British Royal Air Force pilots reported improved night visual acuity on bombing raids after consuming bilberries. Subsequent studies showed that the administration of bilberry extracts to healthy subjects resulted in improved night visual acuity, quicker adjustment to darkness and faster restoration of visual acuity after exposure to glare.(1)
Apparently, bilberry anthocyanosides have an affinity for the part of the retina responsible for vision. Clinical effects observed include positive results in the following conditions:
In a German study 31 patients with various types of retinopathy (diabetic retinopathy, retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration, hemorrhagic retinopathy due to anti-coagulant therapy) were treated with Bilberry extract. A tendency towards reduced vascular permeability and reduced tendency to hemorrhage was seen in all patients, especially those with diabetic retinopathy.(7)
In another study, 33 patients who were given 400 mg. of Bilberry anthocyanosides along with 20 mg. of beta-carotene demonstrated improved adaptation to light and night vision and enlargement of the visual field.(11)
Bilberry extract along with vitamin E may prevent cataract progression.(1) Bilberry extract plus vitamin E stopped progression of cataract formation in 97% of 50 patients with senile cortical cataracts.(5)
Bilberry Anthocyanidins Protect The Vascular Endothelium
As potent antioxidants, bilberry anthocyanosides improve the microcirculation and protect the vascular endothelium.(1) In animal studies, bilberry demonstrated significant vasoprotective and anti-edema properties. Their activity in reducing capillary permeability was more lasting than that of rutin.(8)
Following oral administration of anthocyanosides, patients with varicose veins and ulcerative dermatitis had a substantial drop in capillary leakage. Anthocyanosides were found to protect altered capillary walls by increasing the endothelium barrier-effect through stabilization of membrane phospholipids, and by increasing the biosynthetic processes of the acid mucopolysaccharides of the connective ground substance through restoration of the altered mucopolysaccharidic pericapillary sheath.(10)
Diabetics suffer thickening of capillaries due to increased polymeric collagen and structural glycoprotein synthesis.(1) A Bilberry extract given to 54 diabetic patients at a dose of 500-600 mg. per day for 8 to 33 months produced almost total normalization of polymeric collagen and a 30% decrease in structural glycoprotein.(6)
Significant improvements were noted when 15 patients with polyneuritis due to peripheral vascular insufficiency were given an extract of Bilberry. Improvement was due to improved microcirculatory function as demonstrated by capillographic examinations of the ungual bed by plethysmography and thermographic techniques.(9)
Inflammation, Atherosclerosis and Ulcer
Animal studies show that administration of a Bilberry anthocyanoside extract can reduce inflammation.(1) In a German study, oral administration of Bilberry to rats inhibited carageenin-induced paw edema, showing a dose-response relationship.(8)
Italian research indicates that Bilberry may also reduce platelet aggregation(2), probably due to increased release of prostacyclin - which has potent blood vessel dilating and platelet anti-agregatory activities.(3)
Oral administration of bilberry anthocyanosides to rats exerted a significant preventive and curative anti-ulcer activity in various experimental models of gastric ulcer without affecting gastric secretion. This activity can be attributed, at least partly, to an increase in gastric mucus.(4)
The standard dose for bilberry extracts is based on its anthocyanoside content, as calculated by its anthocyanidin percentage. Extensive toxicological investigation has demonstrated that bilberry extracts are usually without toxic effects. Administration to rats of dosages as high as 400 mg/kg produces no apparent side effects, and excess levels are usually quickly excreted through the urine and bile.(1)
WARNING: This information is provided for the health professionals only. This publication and the product contained herein have not been approved or evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This publication, and the product contained herein are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The product relates to nutritional support only.
1.Werbach, MR and Murray, MT, Botanical Influences on Illness, Third Line Press, Tarzana, CA, 1994.
2.Buliero, T, The inhibitory effects of anthocyanosides on human platelet aggregation, Fitoterapia 60:69, 1989.
3.Morrazzoni, P, Magistretti, MJ, Effects of anthocyanosides on prostacyclin activity in arterial tissue. Fitoterapia, 57:11, 1986
4.Criston, A, Magistretti, MJ, Antiulcer and healing activity of Vaccinium myrtillus anthocyanosides, Il Farmaco 42(2):29-43, 1986.
5.Bravetti, G, Preventive medical treatment of senile cataract with vitamin E and anthocyanosides: clinical evaluation. Ann Ottalmol Clin Ocul, 115:109, 1989.
6.Lagrue, G, et al, Pathology of the microcirculation in diabetes and alterations of the biosynthesis of intracellular matrix molecules, Front Matrix Biol S Karger, 7:324-5, 1979.
7.Scharrer, A, Ober, M, Anthocyanosides in the treatment of retinopathies, Klin Monatsbl Augenheilkd, 178:386-9, 1981.
8.Lietti, A, et al, Studies on Vaccinium myrtillus anthocyanosides. I. Vasoprotective and anti-inflammatory activity. Arzneim Forsch 26(5):829-32, 1976.
9.Penarolla, R, et al, The therapeutic action of anthocyanosides in microcirculatory changes due to adhesive-induced polyneuritis. Gazz Med Ital 139:485-91, 1980.
10.Mian, E, Curri, SD, Lietti, A, Bombardelli, E, Anthocyanosides and the wall of microvessels: further aspects of the mechanism of action of their protective effect in syndromes due to abnormal capillary fragility, Minerva Med 68(52):3565-81, 1977.
11.Fiorni, G, Biancacci, A, Graziano, FM, Perimetiric and adaptometric modifications of anthocyanosides and beta-carotene, Ann Ottal Clin Ocul 91:371-86, 1965.