Bilberry

Bilberry

Supplement Forms/Alternate Names:

Vaccinium myrtillus; European blueberry; whortleberry; huckleberry

Introduction

Bilberry is a plant that is in the same family as the blueberry. Its berries and leaves have been used to treat eye problems, diabetes, and infections. It can be taken as a pill, juice, syrup, powder, or tea.

Dosages

500 milligrams once per day

What Research Shows

May Be Effective

  • Eye fatigue—may ease fatigue in people who use video screens A3

Not Enough Data to Assess

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Safety Notes

It is likely safe to take bilberry for a short time. Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to use for a long period.

Interactions

Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Bilberry can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse, such as:

  • Bilberry may raise your blood glucose. Talk to your doctor if you have diabetes.
  • Bilberry may increase the effect of medicine that slows or prevents blood clots. It may raise the risk of bleeding.

References

A.

A1. Kolehmainen M, Mykkänen O, et al. Bilberries reduce low-grade inflammation in individuals with features of metabolic syndrome. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2012 Oct;56(10):1501-1510.

A2. Kamiya K, Kobashi H, Fujiwara K, Ando W, Shimizu K. Effect of fermented bilberry extracts on visual outcomes in eyes with myopia: a prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled study. J Ocul Pharmacol Ther. 2013 Apr;29(3):356-359.

A3. Ozawa Y, Kawashuma M, et al. Bilberry extract supplementation for preventing eye fatigue in video display terminal workers. J Nutr Health Aging. 2015;19(5):548-554.

A4. Widén C, Coleman M, et al. Consumption of bilberries controls gingival inflammation. Int J Mol Sci. 2015 May 11;16(5):10665-10673.

Last reviewed July 2019 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC
Last Updated: 9/9/2019

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This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

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