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Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.).

Editors

In: Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor S, editors.

Source

Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2011. Chapter 4.

Excerpt

Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) is one of the richest natural sources of anthocyanins. These polyphenolic components give bilberry its blue/black color and high antioxidant content, and they are believed to be the key bioactives responsible for the many reported health benefits of bilberry and other berry fruits. Although bilberry is promoted most commonly for improving vision, it has been reported to lower blood glucose, to have anti-inflammatory and lipid-lowering effects, and to promote antioxidant defense and lower oxidative stress. Therefore, bilberry is of potential value in the treatment or prevention of conditions associated with inflammation, dyslipidemia, hyperglycemia or increased oxidative stress, cardiovascular disease (CVD), cancer, diabetes, and dementia and other age-related diseases. There are also reports that bilberry has antimicrobial activity. In this chapter, bilberry and its components and characteristics are described, and evidence for the health benefits of bilberry is presented and discussed.

Copyright © 2011 by Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

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