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Bilberry - A Major Antioxidant For the Brain and Eyes

Bilberry - A Major Antioxidant For the Brain and Eyes

Thursday, November 11th 2004

In Europe, pharmaceutical preparations containing extracts of bilberry fruits are widely used for the treatment of diseases related to microcirculation. Several studies have confirmed that components of the extract enhance microcirculation in the eyes. During World War II, British Royal Air Force pilots ate Bilberry preserves before night missions in order to improve sharpness of vision and lead to faster visual adjustments between light and dark.

Bilberry contains powerful antioxidants, called anthocyanosides, which work to reduce excess free radicals throughout the body. Free radical molecules, if left unchecked, attack the unsaturated fats that make up cell walls, particularly in capillary rich areas of the body, such as the eye.

Clinical applications have included their use with glaucoma to strengthen the collagen structures of the eyes; with cataracts to protect against retinal degeneration and in particular diabetic retinopathy; as an anti-inflammatory for joint diseases; and to help prevent brain aging.

Blueberries useful for Preventing Brain Aging

Eating plenty of antioxidant-rich foods may play a major role in cognitive function, according to research. While it's known that antioxidants may protect against certain cancers, heart disease and other age-related disease, they may also help to keep cognitive skills strong as we age. Oxidative damage is thought to be one of the primary factors in brain aging, and the research suggests that diets rich in natural antioxidants may help to slow this damage.

In one study, blueberries, which are very high in antioxidants, appeared to be beneficial for brain aging, Alzheimer's disease and other neurological disorders. Scientists believe that blueberries contain chemicals that have not yet been identified that can protect the brain and even lessen the consequences of brain damage. EurekAlert 2003

Nature's Way Bilberry (purple label) capsules contain 80mg of a highly concentrated (100:1) standardised extract of Bilberry. This means 100kg's of Bilberries make 1kg of Nature's Way Bilberry Extract - this is equivalent to 8000mg of Bilberry per capsule. It is standardised to 25% anthocyanosides. Each capsule also contains 125mg of Elderberries for additional synergistic support.

Reproduced unabridged from the October - December 2004 issue of Health and Herbal News, with the kind permission of Health and Herbs International Ltd.

Footnote from Ideal Health:

The following products are all useful for Eye Health :

AstaZan
Bilberry
Blackcurrent Capsules
Carotenoid Complex
Eyebright Herb
Eye Health Pack
Eye Focus
Vision Defence

Related health information can be found here:

Bilberry to assist with eye problems
Cataracts
Eye Health
Headache
Night Blindness

Related articles can be found here:

Healthy eye & brain development for babies
Minerals: Critical for well-being
Amazing Metabolic Substance Brings Eye Help

If you need help or advice, you are welcome to email our naturopathic team with your health question.

Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered. The information is not intended to be comprehensive or to provide medical advice to you. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.

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