Bilberry Extract for Kidney Health
A bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) extract may protect the kidney from the damaging effects of potassium bromate, a new study suggests.
Researchers explained that potassium bromate (KBrO 3) is an oxidizing agent used as a food additive that causes kidney damage as a potent nephrotoxic agent, and the mechanism may be explained by the generation of oxygen free radicals.
The study revealed that single intraperitoneal (into the abdominal cavity) administration of 200 milligrams/kilograms KBrO 3 could induce serious kidney damage, with an increase in serum blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine levels.
The researchers gave five-day oral administration of bilberry extract at 50, 100 and 200 milligrams/kilogram to mice; they observed a reversal in serum BUN and creatinine to normal levels and decreased kidney malondialdehyde (MDA), nitric oxide (NO) and xanthine oxidase (XOD) levels. Also, bilberry extract improved oxygen radical absorbance capacity levels in kidney tissue, which showed that bilberry extract reduced the degree of oxidative stress and kidney damage induced by KBrO 3.
The study authors concluded that the protective effect of bilberry extract is attributed to its free radical scavenging activity and lipid peroxidation inhibitory effect.
Bao L, Yao XS, Tsi D, et al. Protective Effects of Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) Extract on KBrO3-Induced Kidney Damage in Mice. J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Jan 23;56(2):420-5. Epub 2007 Dec 20.