|Description||Closely related to the blueberry, bilberry is a shrubby perennial bush that grows in the forests and on the moors of northern Europe.
The main active ingredients are anthocyanins, chemical compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
|Function/ Used for||Bilberry is widely used for supporting eye health. The antioxidant anthocyanidin compounds protect blood vessels, including the capillaries which help deliver oxygen rich blood to the eyes.|
|As a supplement||Bilberry is generally available as fresh or dried berries; and as bilberry extract usually standardised to 25% anthocyanidin.
Dose: 160-480mg daily.1
Tablets providing 50-120mg of anthocyanins per day have been typically used in clinical trials2.
|Found in (dietary sources)||N/A|
|Precautions and contraindications||Very high doses should be avoided in patients with haemorrhagic (bleeding) disorders.|
|Use in pregnancy and breastfeeding||There is no evidence of adverse effects in pregnancy when consumed in dietary amounts, however safety is not known when used in larger quantities.|
|Interactions e.g. with other medications||Warfarin and other anti-coagulant and anti-platelet (blood thinning) medication.3|
|Adverse effects||None known|
|References||1 Williamson, E. M. Potter’s Herbal Cyclopaedia. C.W. Daniel Co Ltd. 2003
2 Mills, S. & Bone, K. Principles and practice of phytotherapy. Churchill Livingstone, 2000.
3 Braun & Cohen. Herbs and Natural Supplements: An evidence-based guide. Churchill Livingstone, 2005.