Bilberry or Blueberry
Bilberries and blueberries are similar in appearance and closely related, however bilberry is proven to have benefits to eye health. Bilberries possess a high content of anthocyanins, which provides potent antioxidant activity. Bilberry supports healthy eye function through its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, collagen stabilising, vasoprotective, and rhodopsin regenerating properties. PM EyeTonic is a great source of clinically proven bilberry.
Bilberries and blueberries are similar in appearance. In regard to their health benefits however, they are very different.
Keywords: Eye Tonic, bilberry, blueberry, bilberries, vaccinium myrtillus, anthocyanosides, anthocyanins
||Bilberry, European Blueberry, Blaeberry, Hurtleberry
||Species specific eg. Rabbiteye Blueberry (V. virgatum), Sparkleberry (V. arboretum).
||Singular or pairs
Blueberries are well-known berries commonly eaten across the world, being typically round with a deep blue colour with a silver bloom. Bilberries however, are more commonly consumed in Europe, hence the ambiguous name “European blueberry”. The bilberry also possesses a blue coloured berry similar to the blueberry.
There are differences between the two. These can easily be seen on the shrub. Firstly, on picking the fruit, bilberries are most often found singularly or in pairs whereas blueberries are most often found in clusters together. Also, on cutting the fruit open bilberries are red or purple inside compared to the light green inside of blueberries. Below we can see the botanical origins of the berries and where they diverge into different species.
Bilberries and blueberries have both been used as traditional medicine, however bilberry has been shown to be far more effective by modern scientific and clinical investigations. This is due to the fact that bilberries contain a significantly higher concentration of the active substances anthocyanins (a form of isoflavonoids) than blueberries, along with a higher antioxidant potential. Anthocyanins, associated with the rich pigment colour in bilberries, have attracted much scientific investigation into their health benefits. The antioxidant properties of bilberry, as measured by its oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC), was higher than for blueberries corresponding to the amount of anthocyanins. To date, there is evidence that anthocyanins reduce cell damage caused by oxidative stress, while protecting cardiovascular function, and possessing anti-inflammatory properties. For eye health, bilberry provides many protective effects against vision impairments and blindness.
Blueberry Eye Health Benefits
There is currently no evidence from clinical trials to suggest any benefit of blueberry on eye health.
Bilberry Eye Health Benefits
The health benefits of bilberry have long been known, and more recently justified in modern scientific literature with associated research. Preliminary clinical studies suggest that bilberry reduces symptoms from occurring after excessive use of computer terminals, protects against various visual disturbances such as glaucoma by maintaining blood vessel integrity in the eyes, reduces the visually debilitating occurrence of commonly occurring cataracts by stabilizing connective tissue in the eye, and reduces the occurrence of diabetic retinopathy. While further clinical research is required, there is much additional preclinical supporting evidence for the molecular mechanisms of bilberry in supporting healthy eye function through its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, stabilizing collagen, vasoprotective, and rhodopsin regenerating properties.
PM EyeTonic bilberry extract contains a high concentration of anthocyanins*, responsible for the majority of health benefits of bilberry, with proven evidence in clinical trials.
*PM EyeTonic bilberry extract Mirtoselect®, sourced from Indena, is standardized to contain 36% anthocyanosides (equivalent to 25% anthocyanidins). Although anthocyanins cannot be directly measured, the high level of anthocyanidins corresponds to a high level of anthocyanins.
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