Bilberry and Eye protection 8 beneficial properties
The blueberry is the fruit of a perennial deciduous tree that looks like a bush and is closely related to the well- known blueberry . It grows mainly in Europe, Northern USA and Canada. Its name comes from the Danish word "bollebar" meaning "dark berry" and it has been used as an herb for its healing properties since the Middle Ages.
The berries and leaves of the plant are what are used to treat various ailments, such as diarrhea , inflammation , urinary system problems, etc. These multiple health benefits of bilberry are due to the polyphenolic components it contains, known as anthocyanins, which also give it its characteristic dark blue color as well as its high antioxidant content.
What are the beneficial properties of bilberry?
1 Antioxidant action
The strong antioxidant effect of bilberry is due to the amount of anthocyanins it contains. Animal studies show that bilberry extract protects show that myrtle cells from damage caused by increased oxidative stress and UV radiation . However, human studies have not yielded clear results and this may be due to the fact that some bilberry products on the market may not carry sufficient anthocyanins or they may not act by the same mechanism in vivo.
2 Anti-cancer action
Studies in vitro and also in animals have brought promising results regarding the action of bilberry inprevention and suppression, the suppression of cancer cell proliferation but also its cytoprotective properties.
3 Cardioprotective action
Cardiovascular diseases are a serious cause of death nowadays. Bilberry appears to help reduce high blood pressure and improve LDL (decrease) and HDL (increase) cholesterol levels . This fact combined with its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties has the effect of reducing the risk of developing serious problems.
4 Anti-inflammatory action
The possible mechanisms by which bilberry exerts its anti-inflammatory effect appear to include the inhibition of the proteasome, which controls the degradation of cellular proteins, and the inhibition of the activation of the transcription factor κB (NF-κB), which regulates the expression of genes related to the inflammatory response .
5 Hypoglycemic action
Data from several animal studies show that bilberry can help prevent and treat type 2 diabetes by increasing insulin secretion and the transport of glucose from the blood into the cells.
Obesity is one of the predisposing factors for the occurrence of type 2 diabetes and the polyphenols contained in bilberry seem to be able to help prevent obesity and therefore prevent the development of diabetes that may be due to it.
6 Eye protection
Bilberry is widely known for its beneficial properties in improving vision and treating various eye disorders such as cataracts , retinopathy and macular degeneration . Many studies have shown positive results from the use of bilberry, including improving retinal abnormalities, slowing the progression of myopia and improving the ability of the eyes to adapt to the dark .
7 Neuroprotective action
The polyphenols contained in bilberry exhibit neuroprotective properties, while also enhancing dopamine secretion and improving communication between neurons. Administration of bilberry extract to rats appeared to improve their short-term memory and vision, but further studies are needed for its use in humans.
8 Antimicrobial action
Consuming fresh bilberry seems to show positive results in dealing with microorganisms, such as Salmonella and Staphylococcus aureus . In a recent study, consumption of bilberry juice also resulted in inhibition of the adhesion of Streptococcus pneumonia bacteria to human bronchial epithelial cells.
What requires attention in the consumption of bilberry?
Consuming bilberry is considered safe in amounts found in food, but consuming too much of it or consuming it for a prolonged period of time can cause side effects.
Pregnant or nursing mothers, people taking anticoagulants , aspirin, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) should avoid using bilberry without first consulting their healthcare provider.