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.
The majority of the beneficial compounds in bilberries are water-soluble, so they absorb into your system quickly and efficiently.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The water-soluble compounds in bilberry extract should fully absorb into your system within around 24 hours.
Water-soluble compounds, such as the beneficial substances in bilberries, generally only stay in your system for a few days after ingestion.
Research indicates that many of the compounds present in fresh and powdered bilberries exert powerful antioxidant effects in the body.
There are no known cases of bilberry extract overdose.
Bilberry extract generally flushes out of your body within 1-3 days.
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.
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.
There are no data on the potential bioavailability of synthetic bilberry extract or synthetic anthocyanins.
Natural forms of bilberry extract are the only forms of this substance currently available.
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.
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.