BILBERRY – Flavonoids for the Eyes
Uses: Eyes, Inflammation and integrity of the capillaries.
The components of Bilberry that exert its powerful biological actions are polyphenols called anthocyanins (also known as anthocyanidins) and anthocyanosides. Polyphenols belong to the flavonoid family.
Polyphenols are molecules with more than one phenolic appendate. Polyphenols have many hydroxyl groups (-OH) surrounding its molecule. It is because of these hydroxyl groups that the polyphenols are some of the best antioxidants available.
Vitamins C and E also contain hydroxyl groups that provide antioxidant activity.
Despite the exotic mystique surrounding polyphenols, they are more common than you think. Polyphenols are capable of producing the familiar aroma of teas and coffee. They form the red pigments in apples and other fruits and are the deep purple pigment of bilberry.
Research into phytomedicines has confirmed that the bilberry fruit is highly concentrated with anthocyanidins (also known as anthocyanins), which accounts for its beautiful, even luscious, blue-purple color. These biologically active bilberry pigments (anthocyanins and anthocyanides) are therapeutic and enhance the function of the Ocular and Circulatory Systems.
Bilberry extracts can enhance the processes of eye (ocular) biochemistry by increasing the activity of enzymes in the retina and by enhancing antioxidant activity within the eyes.
Bilberry extracts can act as a vasodilator, which means that it can dilate the blood vessels. A related application of bilberry extract is enhancing tissue strength and integrity.
The anthocyanidins improve the strength of a variety of structures, including capillaries, by binding tightly with protein structures.
Maintenance of the integrity of the capillary walls and other tissues results in a multitude of benefits, including decrease in the permeability of vasculature, and protective effects upon the blood – brain barrier. Furthermore, effects can be seen on a macrotissue level, as the anthocyanidins bind very tightly with collagenous structures in a 5:1 ratio, strengthening the collagen by ten times against collagenase (an enzyme that breaks down collagen).
Suggested Usage: As a dietary supplement, take 1 to 2 capsules up to 3 times per day, or as directed by your qualified health consultant.