Did You Know?The antioxidants in bilberries are 20 times more aggressive than vitamin C, against free radicals.
Bilberry fruit has earned the reputation as being one that supports eye health. Basically, the fruit is full of eye enhancing antioxidants such as anthocyanins, anthocyanosides and proanthocyanidins that protect eyes from free radical damage and maintain normal vision. Thanks to its enriching chemical composition, bilberry also shows anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and antiviral activity. So, it is also reportedly being used to treat diarrhea, infections of the urinary tract and inflammatory conditions such as arthritis.
It is believed that gradual decline of eyesight has been attributed to damaging effects of free radicals on important parts of the eyes such as the rods, lens, cons and the retina. When inhaled oxygen is broken down, it forms unstable molecules, commonly referred to as free radicals that cause slow degeneration of different organs including the eyes. Antioxidants act as free radical scavengers and hence eating antioxidant rich fruits such as bilberries or its extracts, on a regular basis can be helpful to blunt the impact of free radical damage.
Bilberry for Eye Health
Bilberry has a wide range of benefits, but its ability to protect parts of the eye from degenerative (gradual deterioration of body parts with age) eye problems, is simply remarkable. Visual impairment that is common during old age can always be prevented with intake of bilberries on a regular basis. Studies have shown that bilberry for eyes can considerably slow down the progression of certain eye disorders such as cataracts, that occur with age. No wonder, retinal damage, commonly diagnosed in older adults is also treated with bilberries.
Promotes Blood Circulation
Eye damage due to poor blood circulation to the retina may be corrected by including bilberry in the diet. Bilberry stimulates blood flow to the retina, thereby helping to maintain and strengthen eyesight. The anthocyanosides (antioxidants) in bilberries keep the eye capillaries healthy, which may prevent the onset of age-related disorders such as macular degeneration and cataracts. Antioxidant power of bilberries helps to strengthen the walls of the capillaries that circulate blood and rejuvenate the eyes. So, eating a bowl of bilberries regularly can certainly help to prevent aging of the eye. The antioxidant activity of bilberries will ensure that functioning of the eye remains normal and does not deteriorate with age.
Sufficient data has not been gathered yet to confirm the efficacy of bilberry in treating eye-related problems. However, initial studies does suggest that bilberry may be effective to improve function of the retina. It is possibly effective in keeping the retina safe from diabetes related damage. Animals studies indicate that bilberry does not allow the neurons in the retina to degenerate with time. It may slow down the progressive degeneration of the retina. However, there have been cases wherein people affected with macular degeneration have even noticed significant vision improvement after taking bilberry capsules on a regular basis. This is indicating that bilberry may restore normal vision by reversing macular degeneration. All in all, a person suffering from retinal problems may possibly benefit by taking bilberry or its extracts.
Can Bilberries Cure Age-Related Eye Disorders?
Are bilberries a cure for cataracts and night blindness? The evidence is too feeble to back the use of bilberries as a remedy for cataracts. In simple words, taking bilberries in any form is unlikely to reverse cataract. Even night blindness resulting from cataract is least likely to improve by taking bilberries. However, intake of bilberries may slow down the progression of cataracts and prevent them from worsening.
In one study conducted in Italy, participants suffering from preliminary stage cataracts were put on a specific dose containing a mixture of bilberry extracts and vitamin E. Throughout the duration of treatment, their eye health was monitored over a specified period of time. The study found out that the cataract did not progress further, suggesting that age related disorders can be delayed from reaching the advanced stage using bilberry extracts.
Bilberry extracts that are available in powder or capsule form, can equally contribute to maintain a healthy eyesight. Even bilberry tea or jam can work wonders to enhance vision. Eye strain or fatigue is an issue, often faced by people using computer for long periods of time. An effective way to manage and reduce these eye problems is to take bilberries or its extracts. Bilberry supplements being rich in flavonoids (antioxidants), can play a major role to keep the eye healthy. These extracts are also prescribed for the treatment of retinopathy (disease of the retina, usually a complication in diabetes).
So, instead of worrying about eye diseases such as poor eye-sight, why not make bilberry for eyes an integral part of the diet. Having bilberries daily in appropriate amounts seems to be an easy way to keep eye problems at bay. So, before normal vision becomes a thing of the past, start taking bilberries from today onwards.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a qualified nutritionist.