Friday, 8 November 2013

Popular #Herbs - Bilberry

Bilberry is a species of low-growing shrubs in the genus Vaccinium, belonging to the family Ericaceae, native to Northern Europe. it has been used as foods and herbs in traditional medicine in treating acute and chronic diarrhea, gastritis, gastric ulcer and duodenal ulcer, enterocolitis, ulcerative colitis, anemia, cystitis, kidney disease and psoriasis, diabetes, etc.

Health Benefits
1. Diabetes
Bilberry leaves (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) has been used in traditional medicine in treating diabetes over thousand of year. The experiment of effect of dietary bilberry extract (BBE) on hyperglycemia and insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetic mice, see significant activity of the extract in improving hyperglycemia and insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetes in the study of "Dietary anthocyanin-rich bilberry extract ameliorates hyperglycemia and insulin sensitivity via activation of AMP-activated protein kinase in diabetic mice" by Takikawa M, Inoue S, Horio F, Tsuda T., posted in PubMed(1)

2. Metabolic diseases
In the study of 110 female volunteers were recruited, and they followed four different berry diets (BB, SB, SB phenolic extract (SBe) and SB oil (SBo)) in a randomized order for 33-35 days, conducted by University of Turku,posted in PubMed(2), researchers found that Based on the results, it can be stated that different berries and berry fractions have various but slightly positive effects on the associated variables of metabolic diseases.

3. Antioxidants

Edible berries of bilberry contains high amounts of antioxidant of natural anthocyanin may be used to trigger genetic signaling in promoting human health and disease prevention, according to the study of "Berry anthocyanins as novel antioxidants in human health and disease prevention" by Zafra-Stone S, Yasmin T, Bagchi M, Chatterjee A, Vinson JA, Bagchi D., posted in PubMed(3)

4. Eye diseases
Bilberry has been best known for its function in enhancing vision health, according to the study of "Natural therapies for ocular disorders, part two: cataracts and glaucoma" by Head KA., posted in PubMed(4), researcher indicated that 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.

5. Retinal inflammation
Anthocyanin-rich bilberry extract, a plant-derived antioxidant has exerted the activity in preventing the impairment of photoreceptor cell function, according to the study of "Vision preservation during retinal inflammation by anthocyanin-rich bilberry extract: cellular and molecular mechanism" by Miyake S, Takahashi N, Sasaki M, Kobayashi S, Tsubota K, Ozawa Y., posted in PubMed(5)

6. Liver damage
Stress could cause serious liver damage as a result of increased MDA and nitric oxide (NO) levels in the liver tissues, Bilberry extract helps to increase glutathione (GSH) levels and vitamin C levels that reduce such incidences to happen, thus avoiding liver damage, according to the study of "Protective effects of bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) extract on restraint stress-induced liver damage in mice" by Bao L, Yao XS, Yau CC, Tsi D, Chia CS, Nagai H, Kurihara H., posted in PubMed(6)

7. Kidney
Bilberry ( Vaccinium myrtillus L.) extract not only improves oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) levels in kidney tissue, but also reverses the serum BUN and creatinine to normal levels and decreased kidney malondialdehyde (MDA), nitric oxide (NO), and xanthine oxidase (XOD) levels, according to the study of "Protective effects of bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) extract on KBrO3-induced kidney damage in mice" by Bao L, Yao XS, Tsi D, Yau CC, Chia CS, Nagai H, Kurihara H., posted in PubMed(7)

8. Anti-angiogenic, antioxidant, and anti-carcinogenic properties
Anthocyanins, a natural compounds of pigmentation in bilberry is also considered as natural antioxidants have exerted the property of Anti-angiogenisis and genomic DNA repairment and protection in reducing the risk of cancers, according to the study of "Anti-angiogenic, antioxidant, and anti-carcinogenic properties of a novel anthocyanin-rich berry extract formula" by Bagchi D, Sen CK, Bagchi M, Atalay M., posted in PubMed(8)

9. Cardiotoxicity
Bilberry extract significantly inhibited DOX-provoked reduced glutathione depletion and accumulation of oxidized glutathione, malondialdehyde and protein carbonyls in cardiac tissues, according to the study of "Protective effect of bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) against doxorubicin-induced oxidative cardiotoxicity in rats" by Ashour OM, Elberry AA, Alahdal A, Al Mohamadi AM, Nagy AA, Abdel-Naim AB, Abdel-Sattar EA, Mohamadin AM., posted in PubMed(9)

10. Cancer prevention
Extract of Sakhalin bilberry Vaccinium smallii leaves has shown in vitro as a potential cancer-preventive agent, according to the study of "Cancer-preventive activities of secondary metabolites from leaves of the bilberry Vaccinium smallii A. Gray' by Mechikova GY, Kuzmich AS, Ponomarenko LP, Kalinovsky AI, Stepanova TA, Fedorov SN, Stonik VA., posted in PubMed(10)

11. CancersAnthocyanins, extracted from bilberry found to inhibitthe growth of HL60 human leukemia cells and HCT116 human colon carcinoma cells in vitro, according to the study of "Induction of apoptosis in cancer cells by Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) and the anthocyanins" by Katsube N, Iwashita K, Tsushida T, Yamaki K, Kobori M., posted in PubMed(11)

12. Breast cancer
Bilberry (European blueberry) extract has demonstrated the antiproliferative effects in relation to the ability to induce apoptosis of human breast cancer cells, according to the study of "Cytotoxic effects of bilberry extract on MCF7-GFP-tubulin breast cancer cells" by Nguyen V, Tang J, Oroudjev E, Lee CJ, Marasigan C, Wilson L, Ayoub G., posted in PubMed(12)

13. Cholesterol
Oxidative modifications of low density lipoproteins (LDL) can be result of thickening of artery wall as a result of the accumulation of fatty, affecting arterial blood vessels. Vaccinium myrtillus contains high amount of antioxidants which help to block the oxidation of low density lipoproteins (LDL), according to the study of "Antioxidant action of Vaccinium myrtillus extract on human low density lipoproteins in vitro: initial observations" by Laplaud PM, Lelubre A, Chapman MJ., posted in PubMed(13)


Side Effects
No major bilberry side effects have been reported

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