What is Bilberry?
In fact, we did not mean blueberry! Though bilberries are in the same family as blueberries, the bilberry has been known to have a higher nutritional profile and more medicinal benefits. The bilberry plant is native to Northern Europe and produces extremely small, nearly black, edible berries. Though they contain many beneficial phytochemicals, the main component of bilberries are called anthocyanosides. Bilberry extract is made from the whole fruit and leaves of the plant in order to concentrate the nutrients it can provide.
What are anthocyanosides?
Anthocyanosides are a group of water soluble pigmentation molecules that color plants red, blue, or purple. They are part of the flavonoid family, and are highly antioxidative due to their aromatic chemical structure. Though anthocyanosides are found in all colored fruits, bilberries are so purple they appear black, meaning they are the prime source for these particular flavonoids. Anthocyanosides are found mainly in the fruit, but are also found in the stems and leaves of the bilberry plant. This is why bilberry extract is produced from all parts of the plant.
What is the therapeutic effect of Bilberries?
The particular anthocyanosides found in bilberries have been shown to boost the production of rhodopsin, a biological pigment found in the photoreceptors of eyes. The increase in rhodopsin increases night vision and is linked to prevention of macular degeneration. Anthocyanosides also support blood vessel production, and improve circulation.
Bilberry extract also contains tannins, which have anti-inflammatory properties. The antioxidative nature of all of the phytochemicals found in bilberries help to reduce the presence of free radicals in the body to promote all of the adverse health effects listed above and to promote general health and well-being.
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