Bilberry Fruit (Vaccinium myrtillus)
Actions: Antiseptic, astringent, circulatory, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory.
Common Uses: Bilberry contains over 15 anthocyanosides which help to maintain the integrity of capillaries, stabilize collagen and are also potent antioxidants. Numerous clinical studies have shown Bilberry to be effective in circulation disorders, varicose veins and other venous and arterial problems. Bilberry has also been promising in dealing with vision disorders, helping with eye strain and visual acuity, retinal disturbances, day and night blindness, myopia, pigmentary retinitis and diabetic induced cataracts. Studies have also shown that Bilberry may affect diabetic neuropathy, angiopathy, cataract, glaucoma, optic neuropathy, retinopathy, diabetic nephropathy5, glaucoma and glaucoma prevention6, and can act as a coadjutant in hemo-ralopy and diabetic retinopathy and can stimulate rhodopsin production. Bilberry when found in combination with other berries in OptiBerry has been found to decreased tumor growth by more than 50%.7
Suggested Use: 5 to 15 drops twice daily as needed. Not recommended individually for long term use.
Formulas containing this herb:
Bilberry / Schizandra Plus
Hawthorn / Motherwort Plus
1.Vaccinium myrtillus (Bilberry) Extracts Reduce Angiogenesis In Vitro and In Vivo.
Matsunaga N, Chikaraishi Y, Shimazawa M, Yokota S, Hara H.
Department of Biofunctional Evaluation, Molecular Pharmacology, Gifu Pharmaceutical University, 5-6-1 Mitahora-higashi, Gifu 502-8585. Japan. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vaccinium myrtillus (Bilberry) extracts (VME) were tested for effects on angiogenesis in vitro and in vivo. VME (0.3-30 microg ml(-1)) and GM6001 (0.1-100 microM; a matrix metalloproteinase inhibitor) concentration-dependently inhibited both tube formation and migration of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) induced by vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A). In addition, VME inhibited VEGF-A-induced proliferation of HUVECs. VME inhibited VEGF-A-induced phosphorylations of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK 1/2) and serine/threonine protein kinase family protein kinase B (Akt), but not that of phospholipase Cgamma (PLCgamma). In an in vivo assay, intravitreal administration of VME inhibited the formation of neovascular tufts during oxygen-induced retinopathy in mice. Thus, VME inhibited angiogenesis both in vitro and in vivo, presumably by inhibiting the phosphorylations of ERK 1/2 and Akt. These findings indicate that VME may be effective against retinal diseases involving angiogenesis, providing it can reach the retina after its administration. Further investigations will be needed to clarify the major angiogenesis-modulating constituent(s) of VME.
Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2007 Oct 27. [Epub ahead of print]
PMID: 18955266 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
2.Study of diversity of anthocyanin composition in bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) fruits.
Burdulis D, Ivanauskas L, Dirse V, Kazlauskas S, Razukas A.
Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, Kaunas University of Medicine, A. Mickeviciaus 9, 44307 Kaunas, Lithuania. email@example.com
Qualitative and quantitative composition of anthocyanins in bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) fruits was assayed. The aim of our study was to evaluate total anthocyanin content and their composition in bilberries collected from various regions and at different time. For the quantification of total anthocyanins in frozen fruits, the spectrophotometrical assay was performed. The highest amount of anthocyanins in bilberry fruits, collected in Lithuania, was found in samples from Silute (0.399%), the lowest one - from Valkininkai region (0.264%), but higher amounts of anthocyanins were found in the samples collected in Russia (Archangelsk region) and Sweden (Stockholm region). High-performance liquid chromatography was applied for qualitative evaluation of individual anthocyanins in the different material. Quantification of anthocyanidin content was performed after acidic hydrolysis of anthocyanin glycosides. Chromatographic analysis has shown that there are no differences in qualitative composition of anthocyanidins. In all samples, cyanidin was found in the highest quantities (mean amount 0.053 microg/mL). Delphinidin and petunidin was found in quantities 2.5 fold lower than cyanidin, and malvidin and peonidin were found in the smallest quantities. Only in the blueberries collected in Sweden, malvidin was found in the highest amount. It was 1.5 fold higher than amounts of petunidin and delphinidin.
Medicina (Kaunas). 2007;43(12):971-7.
PMID: 18182842 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Related Articles Free article at journal site
3.Three Nordic berries inhibit intestinal tumorigenesis in multiple intestinal neoplasia/+ mice by modulating beta-catenin signaling in the tumor and transcription in the mucosa.
Misikangas M, Pajari AM, P?iv?rinta E, Oikarinen SI, Rajakangas J, Marttinen M, Tanayama H, T?rr?nen R, Mutanen M.
Department of Applied Chemistry and Microbiology (Nutrition), University of Helsinki, FIN-00014 Helsinki, Finland.
Berries contain a number of compounds that are proposed to have anticarcinogenic properties. We studied the effects and molecular mechanisms of wild berries with different phenolic profiles on intestinal tumorigenesis in multiple intestinal neoplasia/+ mice. The mice were fed a high-fat AIN93-G diet (Con) or AIN93-G diets containing 10% (w:w) freeze-dried bilberry, lingonberry (LB), or cloudberry (CB) for 10 wk. All 3 berries significantly inhibited the formation of intestinal adenomas as indicated by a 15-30% reduction in tumor number (P < 0.05). CB and LB also reduced tumor burden by over 60% (P < 0.05). Compared to Con, CB and LB resulted in a larger (P < 0.05) proportion of small adenomas (43, 69, and 64%, respectively) and a smaller proportion of large adenomas (56, 29, and 33%, respectively). Beta-catenin and cyclin D1 in the small and large adenomas and in the normal-appearing mucosa were measured by Western blotting and immunohistochemistry. CB resulted in decreased levels of nuclear beta-catenin and cyclin D1 and LB in the level of cyclin D1 in the large adenomas (P < 0.05). Early changes in gene expression in the normal-appearing mucosa were analyzed by Affymetrix microarrays, which revealed changes in genes implicated in colon carcinogenesis, including the decreased expression of the adenosine deaminase, ecto-5'-nucleotidase, and prostaglandin E2 receptor subtype EP4. Our results indicate that berries are potentially a rich source of chemopreventive components.
J Nutr. 2007 Oct;137(10):2285-90.
PMID: 17885012 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
4. Protective effect of anthocyanin-rich extract from bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) against myelotoxicity induced by 5-fluorouracil.
Choi EH, Ok HE, Yoon Y, Magnuson BA, Kim MK, Chun HS.
Food Safety Research Division, Korea Food Research Institute, San 46-1, Backhyun, Bundang-gu, Sungnam, Kyonggi-do, 463-746, Republic of Korea.
The toxicities associated with 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), a potent broad-spectrum chemotherapeutic agent, can not only affect the morbidity and the efficacy of chemotherapy but also limit its clinical use. The objective of this study is to investigate the effects of a commercial anthocyanin-rich extract from bilberry (AREB) against 5-FU-induced myelotoxicity in vivo, and against chemosensitivity to 5-FU in vitro. A single injection of 5-FU at 200 mg/kg induced severe peripheral erythrocytopenia, thrombocytopenia and leucopenia as well as hypocellularity of the spleen and bone marrow in C57BL/6 mice. Oral administration of 500 mg/kg of AREB for 10 days significantly increased the number of red blood cells, neutrophils, and monocytes in peripheral blood to 1.2-fold, 9-fold, and 6-fold, respectively, compared with those seen after treatment with 5-FU alone (p< 0.05-0.001). The hypocellularity of the spleen and bone marrow caused by 5-FU was also distinctly alleviated in the AREB-treated group. Furthermore, AREB treatment with 50 and 100 microg/ml as a monomeric anthocyanin did not interfere with, but rather enhanced the chemotherapeutic efficacy of 5-FU in vitro. These results suggest that AREB may have protective potential against 5-FU-induced myelotoxiciy and/or the ability to enhance the chemotherapeutic effectiveness of 5-FU.
PMID: 17611294 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
5.[Importance of biologically active components and plants in the prevention of complications of diabetes mellitus]
Kauno medicinos universiteto Farmacines chemijos ir farmakognozijos katedra, A. Mickeviciaus 9, 3000 Kaunas. firstname.lastname@example.org
Diabetes complications, especially late (chronic) ones, are the main reasons of invalidity and early mortality. The most threatening diabetes complications are vascular and metabolic complications (diabetic neuropathy, angiopathy, cataract, glaucoma, optic neuropathy, retinopathy, diabetic nephropathy). Good diabetes control is very important, because in early stages these changes are reversible. In order to decrease the number of diabetes complications and to postpone their development, the use of biologic active components and plants is recommended. The most important biologic active substances for this purpose are vitamins and minerals, proteins, polysaccharides, lectins, saponins and flavonoids. According the scientific data, the mostly used plants are: Ginkgo biloba, Allium sativum, Silybum marianum, Panax Ginseng, Carica papaya, Vaccinium myrtillus, Phaseolus vulgaris. Some of them are proposed for treatment of symptoms related to venous and lymphatic vessel insufficiency, for the prophylaxis and treatment of liver damage caused by metabolic toxins, in chronic degenerative liver conditions, for the therapy of digestive disorders, to increase in the unspecific way the resistance of the organism to various environmental influences, and to stabilize membranes through antioxidant and radical scavenging actions.
Savickiene N, Dagilyte A, Lukosius A, Zitkevicius V.
Medicina (Kaunas). 2002;38(10):970-5. Lithuanian.
PMID: 12532704 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
6. Natural therapies for ocular disorders, part two: cataracts and glaucoma.
Thorne Research, Inc., P.O. Box 25, Dover, ID 83825,USA. email@example.com
Pathophysiological mechanisms of cataract formation include deficient glutathione levels contributing to a faulty antioxidant defense system within the lens of the eye. Nutrients to increase glutathione levels and activity include lipoic acid, vitamins E and C, and selenium. Cataract patients also tend to be deficient in vitamin A and the carotenes, lutein and zeaxanthin. The B vitamin riboflavin appears to play an essential role as a precursor to flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD), a co-factor for glutathione reductase activity. Other nutrients and botanicals, which may benefit cataract patients or help prevent cataracts, include pantethine, folic acid, melatonin, and bilberry. Diabetic cataracts are caused by an elevation of polyols within the lens of the eye catalyzed by the enzyme aldose reductase. Flavonoids, particularly quercetin and its derivatives, are potent inhibitors of aldose reductase. Glaucoma is characterized by increased intraocular pressure (IOP) in some but not all cases. Some patients with glaucoma have normal IOP but poor circulation, resulting in damage to the optic nerve. Faulty glycosaminoglycan (GAG) synthesis or breakdown in the trabecular meshwork associated with aqueous outflow has also been implicated. Similar to patients with cataracts, those with glaucoma typically have compromised antioxidant defense systems as well. Nutrients that can impact GAGs such as vitamin C and glucosamine sulfate may hold promise for glaucoma treatment. Vitamin C in high doses has been found to lower IOP via its osmotic effect. Other nutrients holding some potential benefit for glaucoma include lipoic acid, vitamin B12, magnesium, and melatonin. Botanicals may offer some therapeutic potential. Ginkgo biloba increases circulation to the optic nerve; forskolin (an extract from Coleus forskohlii) has been used successfully as a topical agent to lower IOP; and intramuscular injections of Salvia miltiorrhiza have shown benefit in improving visual acuity and peripheral vision in people with glaucoma.
Altern Med Rev. 2001 Apr;6(2):141-66. Review..
PMID: 11302779 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]]
7.Anti-angiogenic, antioxidant, and anti-carcinogenic properties of a novel anthocyanin-rich berry extract formula.
Bagchi D, Sen CK, Bagchi M, Atalay M.
Department of Pharmacy Sciences, Creighton University Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68178, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
Edible berry anthocyanins possess a broad spectrum of therapeutic and anti-carcinogenic properties. Berries are rich in anthocyanins, compounds that provide pigmentation to fruits and serve as natural antioxidants. Anthocyanins repair and protect genomic DNA integrity. Earlier studies have shown that berry anthocyanins are beneficial in reducing age-associated oxidative stress, as well as in improving neuronal and cognitive brain function. Six berry extracts (wild blueberry, bilberry, cranberry, elderberry, raspberry seeds, and strawberry) were studied for antioxidant efficacy, cytotoxic potential, cellular uptake, and anti-angiogenic (the ability to reduce unwanted growth of blood vessels, which can lead to varicose veins and tumor formation) properties. We evaluated various combinations of edible berry extracts and developed a synergistic formula, OptiBerry IH141, which exhibited high ORAC (Oxygen-Radical Absorbing Capacity) value, low cytotoxicity, and superior anti-angiogenic properties compared to the other combinations tested. Anti-angiogenic approaches to treat cancer represent a priority area in vascular tumor biology. OptiBerry significantly inhibited both H2O2- and TNF-alpha-induced VEGF (Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor) expression by human keratinocytes. VEGF is a key regulator of tumor angiogenesis. Matrigel assay using human microvascular endothelial cells showed that OptiBerry impaired angiogenesis. In an in vivo model of angiogenesis, OptiBerry significantly inhibited basal MCP-1 and inducible NF-kappaB transcriptions. Endothelioma cells pretreated with OptiBerry showed a diminished ability to form hemangioma and markedly decreased tumor growth by more than 50%. In essence, these studies highlight the novel anti-angiogenic, antioxidant, and anti-carcinogenic potential of a novel anthocyanin-rich berry extract formula, OptiBerry.
Biochemistry (Mosc). 2004 Jan;69(1):75-80, 1 p preceding 75. Review.
PMID: 14972022 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
*Derived from a unique blend of wild blueberry, strawberry, cranberry, wild bilberry, elderberry and raspberry extracts (patent-pending), OptiBerry? contains standardized levels of biologically active anthocyanins formulated and tested to promote optimum safety, bioavailability, antioxidant and anti-angiogenic (the ability to reduce unwanted growth of blood vessels, which may lead to varicose veins and tumor formation) activity. OptiBerry's unique combination of ingredients promote healthy brain function and mental clarity, healthy vision, cardiovascular health, healthy skin, urinary tract health, and healthy blood sugar levels.*