Closely related to the family of blueberries and huckleberries is the delectable fruit claimed to improve vision and treat cataracts―Bilberries. Even in the early times, bilberries have been used in the treatment of several disorders including diarrhea and mouth soreness. It is also said that the Royal Air Force British pilots, during the World War II, have taken bilberries to improve their eyesight, especially night vision. In order to optimize bilberry health benefits among individuals, modern science has developed extraction procedures to isolate Bilberry extract and include concentrated forms of the fruit’s compounds into health supplements. Without eating the actual fruit, individuals can now enjoy bilberry benefits with bilberry-containing health supplements.
What is Bilberry extract?
Bilberry extract is primary isolated from the fruit of bilberries. Although the leaves and other parts of the bilberry shrub are also used in various folklore treatments, the fruit is believed to contain the most compounds essential for health. Phytochemical studies reveal that bilberry extract contains key antioxidants and bioflavonoids like ellagitannins and anthocyanoside. With effective extraction procedures, experts say that a high percentage of these compounds are retained.
What are the benefits of using Bilberry extract?
Other than improving vision and possibly treating certain eye disorders, Bilberry extract can help promote wellness in several ways. It is generally safe for human consumption as it is naturally extracted and not associated with adverse effects. Some of the known benefits of using Bilberry extract are the following:
- It controls inflammation
Long-term use of synthetic anti-inflammatory medications is not advisable due to associated side effects. Physicians, however, recommend the use of alternative inflammation treatments like Bilberry extract to reduce inflammation without developing adverse reactions. Bilberry extract has long been used in reducing swelling in the gastrointestinal tract as well as in other parts of the body. Aside from reducing inflammation, some studies also show that the extract may reduce pain sensation in inflamed body tissues.
- It Promotes Healthy Circulation
Patients with Diabetes Mellitus usually suffer from poor circulation due to increased viscosity of the blood. This results to poor wound healing and destruction of cells in the distal portions of the body. In a recently concluded study, it was found that Bilberry extract may help reduce blood viscosity among diabetic patients, resulting to efficient blood flow. Experts say that this effect is probably associated with the bioflavonoid content of Bilberry extract.
- It may Reduce Cholesterol Levels
The antioxidants and bioflavonoid compounds found in Bilberry extract, specifically tannins, are said to reduce blood cholesterol levels, while increasing HDL or high-density lipoprotein levels. This benefit results to improvement in the function of the liver, the heart and the blood vessels.
Being a rich source of antioxidants, experts say that Bilberry extract may also help control cancer. A lot of studies are being conducted today to find out more about Bilberry extract and its constituent compounds and their effects to the human body.