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Learn About Bilberry Extract in 5 Minutes

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What is bilberry extract?

Bilberries are small, purplish berries native to Europe that are very similar to the blueberries found in North America. Like blueberries, bilberries contain high concentrations of vitamin C and anthocyanin, a unique pigmenting compound that’s believed to have incredibly powerful antioxidant properties. Bilberry 4:1 powdered extract is made by reducing bilberries down to 25% of their mass, which makes this extract ultra-concentrated.

Is bilberry extract water-soluble or fat-soluble?

The majority of the beneficial compounds in bilberries are water-soluble, so they absorb into your system quickly and efficiently.

Where can bilberry extract be found naturally? Common sources of bilberry:

Anthocyanins and some of the other beneficial substances found in bilberries are also present in other berries such as grapes and blueberries. Bilberries, however, contain a unique combination of components that is only present in these fresh and dried berries as well as bilberry juice or extract.

What is the recommended daily value for bilberry extract?

Since bilberry extract is not recognised as an essential nutrient by any major regulatory organisation, there is no nutrient reference value (NRV) for this substance. Clinical studies conducted into bilberries, however, have used doses varying between 100mg and 250mg per day.

Can you absorb enough bilberries from food?

The only way to absorb the beneficial substances in bilberries in your diet is to eat lots of these berries every day. Therefore, it’s much easier and more efficient to take bilberry extract in supplement form.

Why is bilberry extract necessary for your body?

Your body needs antioxidants to fight back against the effects of free radicals, which break down your cells, shorten your telomeres (reducing your lifespan), and increase your likelihood of developing medical conditions. Consuming an ideal amount of antioxidants every day is hard due to our modern dietary habits, so taking bilberry extract is one of the best ways to make sure your body has the antioxidants it needs to operate at peak health and efficiency.

Functions of bilberry extract

    • Potential antioxidant benefits: Bilberries contain lots of vitamin C, which is widely regarded as a potent antioxidant, and these berries also contain anthocyanins, which may have even stronger antioxidant potential than vitamin C.
  • Potential vision benefits: Studies indicate that bilberry anthocyanins could prevent the loss of vision caused by glaucoma, and bilberry extract may also reduce ocular fatigue caused by computer screens.
  • Potential blood sugar benefits: Research shows that bilberry extract may reduce blood sugar levels by stimulating insulin secretion.
  • Potential cardiovascular benefits: Clinical studies indicate that bilberry extract may reduce cholesterol levels, improve platelet function, and reduce blood pressure.

When should you take bilberry extract?

It’s a great idea to start taking bilberry extract at any time regardless of your current health status. Research suggests, however, that bilberry extract could be even more useful for people who spend lots of time in front of computer screens or using mobile devices.

How long do you need to take bilberry extract to start experiencing its benefits?

The beneficial compounds in bilberry extract are water-soluble, so they absorb into your body relatively quickly. It will be necessary to take bilberry extract repeatedly over the course of a few days or weeks, however, to start noting the beneficial effects of this natural berry supplement.

How long does it take for your body to digest/absorb bilberry extract?

The water-soluble compounds in bilberry extract should fully absorb into your system within around 24 hours.

How long does bilberry extract stay in your body after you take it?

Water-soluble compounds, such as the beneficial substances in bilberries, generally only stay in your system for a few days after ingestion.

Are bilberries antioxidants?

Research indicates that many of the compounds present in fresh and powdered bilberries exert powerful antioxidant effects in the body.

Can you overdose on bilberry extract? What are the effects?

There are no known cases of bilberry extract overdose.

Does bilberry extract dissolve, flush out, or build up in the body?

Bilberry extract generally flushes out of your body within 1-3 days.

Can you take bilberry extract during a diet?

Bilberries are vegan and gluten-free, so there is no reason you shouldn’t take bilberry extract if you are on a diet or have dietary restrictions.

Are there synthetic forms of bilberry extract?

While there have not been any efforts to date to synthesise whole bilberry extract, researchers have succeeded in synthesising anthocyanins, which are some of the most important compounds in bilberries, for the purpose of new drug design.

Absorption rate of synthetic bilberry extract

There are no data on the potential bioavailability of synthetic bilberry extract or synthetic anthocyanins.

Why might natural forms of bilberry extract be better?

Natural forms of bilberry extract are the only forms of this substance currently available.

How to take bilberry extract

Bilberry extract is generally consumed orally in the form of a supplement. You can also ingest the beneficial compounds in bilberry extract by consuming raw and dried bilberries, bilberry juice, or any other form of this European berry.

Bilberry trends in medicine

In 2020, new research corroborated earlier findings that bilberry extract may reduce the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Also this year, Spanish scientists published the results of their efforts to uncover the mechanisms behind the purported antioxidant functions of bilberries. The researchers tentatively postulated that hormesis may be involved.

Sources

1. Nutritional Profile and Productivity of Bilberry (Vaccinium Myrtillus L.) in Different Habitats of a Protected Area of the Eastern Italian Alps

2. Ginkgo Biloba Extract and Bilberry Anthocyanins Improve Visual Function in Patients With Normal Tension Glaucoma

3. The Effect of a Natural, Standardized Bilberry Extract (Mirtoselect®) in Dry Eye: A Randomized, Double Blinded, Placebo-Controlled Trial

4. A Single Supplement of a Standardised Bilberry (Vaccinium Myrtillus L.) Extract (36 % Wet Weight Anthocyanins) Modifies Glycaemic Response in Individuals With Type 2 Diabetes Controlled by Diet and Lifestyle

5. Anthocyanin Supplementation Improves Serum LDL- And HDL-cholesterol Concentrations Associated With the Inhibition of Cholesteryl Ester Transfer Protein in Dyslipidemic Subjects

6. Favorable Effects of Berry Consumption on Platelet Function, Blood Pressure, and HDL Cholesterol

7. Effects of Bilberry Supplementation on Metabolic and Cardiovascular Disease Risk

8. Assessment of the In Vivo Antioxidant Activity of an Anthocyanin-Rich Bilberry Extract Using the Caenorhabditis elegans Model

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WeAreFeel Nutrition Team - All content provided on our blog is created exclusively for our readers by our research and nutrition team. We try to provide as much scientific backing as possible with references to support any claims made.
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