Bilberry - Get the Facts on Herbal Supplements

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  • Based on animal research, bilberry may lower blood sugar levels.<a href="#hdng0">(More...)</a>

  • Includes flowers, leaves, bark, fruit, seeds, stems, and roots. or dietary supplement A product that contains vitamins, minerals, herbs or other botanicals, amino acids, enzymes, and/or other ingredients intended to supplement the diet.<a href="#hdng1">(More...)</a>



<a name="hdng0"></a>Based on animal research, bilberry may lower blood sugar levels. Although there is a lack of reliable human study in this area, caution is advised when using herbs or supplements that may also lower blood sugar. <a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-bilberry.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Bilberry may lower blood sugar levels, although there is a lack of reliable human studies in this area.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-bilberry.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a>

Based on animal studies, bilberry may cause low blood sugar levels. Caution is therefore advised in patients with diabetes or hypoglycemia, and in those taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that affect blood sugar.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-bilberry.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Based on animal research and several small human studies, bilberry may be useful in the treatment of retinopathy in patients with diabetes or high blood pressure. This research is early, and it is still unclear if bilberry is beneficial for this condition.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-bilberry.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> In theory, bilberry may decrease blood pressure, based on laboratory studies.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-bilberry.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Based on theory, bilberry may lower blood pressure further when taken with herbs or supplements that decrease blood pressure.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-bilberry.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Based on theory, bilberry may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with herbs and supplements that are believed to increase the risk of bleeding.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-bilberry.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Based on traditional use, bilberry may increase diarrhea or laxative effects when taken with herbs and supplements that are also believed to have laxative effects.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-bilberry.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Medication adjustments may be necessary. Based on human use, bilberry may increase diarrhea when taken with drugs that cause or worsen diarrhea, such as laxatives or some antibiotics.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-bilberry.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Based on human use, bilberry fresh fruit may cause diarrhea or have a laxative effect.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-bilberry.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Experts have warned that patients should use dried bilberry preparations because the fresh fruit may actually worsen diarrhea.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-bilberry.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a>

Bilberry is used traditionally to treat diarrhea, but there is a lack of reliable research in this area.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-bilberry.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Bilberry has sometimes been used traditionally to treat heart disease and atherosclerosis. There is some laboratory research in this area, but there is a lack of clear information in humans.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-bilberry.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a>

Bilberry has been used traditionally in the treatment of diabetes, and animal research suggests that bilberry leaf extract can lower blood sugar levels. Human research is needed in this area before a recommendation can be made.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-bilberry.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> A standardized extract of bilberry called Vaccinium myrtillius anthocyanoside (VMA) is popular in Europe for the treatment chronic venous insufficiency. There is only preliminary research in this area, and more studies are needed before a recommendation can be made.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-bilberry.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Kramer JH. Anthocyanosides of Vaccinium myrtillus (bilberry) for night vision--a systematic review of placebo-controlled trials.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-bilberry.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Canter PH, Ernst E. Anthocyanosides of Vaccinium myrtillus (bilberry) for night vision--a systematic review of placebo-controlled trials.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-bilberry.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a>

Milbury PE, Graf B, Curran-Celentano, JM, et al. Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) anthocyanins modulate heme oxygenase-1 and glutathione S-transferase-pi expression in ARPE-19 cells.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-bilberry.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Katsube N, Iwashita K, Tsushida T, et al. Induction of apoptosis in cancer cells by Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) and the anthocyanins.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-bilberry.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> With the use of bilberry leaf extract, there is a theoretical increased bleeding risk, although there are no reliable published human reports of bleeding.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-bilberry.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Bilberry extract has been suggested as a treatment to help stomach ulcer healing. There is some support for this use from laboratory and animal studies, but there is a lack of reliable human evidence in this area.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-bilberry.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Although pre-clinical studies have been promising, human data are limited and largely of poor quality. At this time, there is not sufficient evidence in support of (or against) the use of bilberry for most indications.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-bilberry.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> More recent well-designed studies report no benefits. Based on this evidence, it does not appear that bilberry is helpful for improving night vision.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-bilberry.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Traditional use and several unclear studies from the 1960s and 1970s suggest possible benefits of bilberry on night vision.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-bilberry.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Notably, the evidence suggests a lack of benefit of bilberry for the improvement of night vision.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-bilberry.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Preliminary evidence suggests that bilberry may be helpful for the relief of menstrual pain, although more research is necessary before a firm conclusion can be drawn.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-bilberry.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> There is not enough scientific evidence to recommend the use of bilberry in children.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-bilberry.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Bilberry, a close relative of blueberry, has a long history of medicinal use.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-bilberry.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Bilberry theoretically may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with drugs that increase the risk of bleeding. Some examples include aspirin, anticoagulants ("blood thinners") such as warfarin (Coumadin®) or heparin, anti-platelet drugs such as clopidogrel (Plavix®), and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) or naproxen (Naprosyn®, Aleve®).<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-bilberry.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Caution is advised in patients with bleeding disorders, taking drugs that may increase the risk of bleeding, or prior to some surgeries and dental procedures. There is not enough scientific evidence to recommend the safe use of bilberry in pregnancy or breastfeeding, although eating bilberry fruit is believed to be safe based on its history of use as a foodstuff.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-bilberry.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a>

Based on theory, bilberry may further lower blood pressure when taken with drugs that decrease blood pressure.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-bilberry.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> There is a lack of reliable published cases of serious allergic reactions to bilberry. Bilberry is generally believed to be safe in recommended doses for short periods of time, based on its history as a foodstuff.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-bilberry.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Bilberry may also interact with anticancer agents, antioxidants, liver-damaging agents, and herbs or supplement with hormonal properties.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-bilberry.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Consuming bilberry with quercetin supplements may result in additive effects.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-bilberry.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Muth ER, Laurent JM, Jasper P. The effect of bilberry nutritional supplementation on night visual acuity and contrast sensitivity.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-bilberry.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a>

There is limited research suggesting a possible benefit of bilberry in the treatment of fibrocystic disease of the breast.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-bilberry.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Bilberry is commonly used to make jams, pies, cobblers, syrups, and alcoholic/non-alcoholic beverages.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-bilberry.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Bilberry may also interact with anticancer agents, liver-damaging agents, and estrogen-containing medications.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-bilberry.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> People with allergies to plants in the Ericaceae family or to anthocyanosides may have reactions to bilberry.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-bilberry.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Bilberry fruit and its extracts contain a number of biologically active components, including a class of compounds called anthocyanosides. These have been the focus of recent research in Europe.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-bilberry.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a>

Bilberry extract has been used for a number of eye problems, including the prevention of cataract worsening. At this time, there is limited scientific information in this area.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-bilberry.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> One study used bilberry extract to treat pregnancy-induced leg swelling (edema), and no adverse effects were reported.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-bilberry.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a>

Bilberry extract has been evaluated for efficacy as an antioxidant, mucostimulant, hypoglycemic, anti-inflammatory, "vasoprotectant," and lipid-lowering agent.<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-bilberry.html" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a>

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<a name="hdng1"></a>Includes flowers, leaves, bark, fruit, seeds, stems, and roots. or dietary supplement A product that contains vitamins, minerals, herbs or other botanicals, amino acids, enzymes, and/or other ingredients intended to supplement the diet. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has special labeling requirements for dietary supplements and treats them as foods, not drugs. you are using, including bilberry. This helps to ensure safe and coordinated care. <a href="http://nccam.nih.gov/health/bilberry/" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> Bilberry is a relative of the blueberry, and its fruit is commonly used to make pies and jams.<a href="http://nccam.nih.gov/health/bilberry/" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> The leaves of the bilberry plant can be made into extracts or used to make teas.<a href="http://nccam.nih.gov/health/bilberry/" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> High doses of bilberry leaf or leaf extract are considered unsafe; animal studies have shown high doses to be toxic. Tell your health care providers about any herb A plant or part of a plant used for its flavor, scent, or potential therapeutic properties.<a href="http://nccam.nih.gov/health/bilberry/" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> Bilberry leaf is used for entirely different conditions, including diabetes.<a href="http://nccam.nih.gov/health/bilberry/" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> Historically, bilberry fruit was used to treat diarrhea, scurvy, and other conditions.<a href="http://nccam.nih.gov/health/bilberry/" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> There is not enough scientific evidence to support the use of bilberry fruit or leaf for any other health conditions.<a href="http://nccam.nih.gov/health/bilberry/" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a>

Some claim that bilberry fruit improves night vision, but clinical studies have not shown this to be true.<a href="http://nccam.nih.gov/health/bilberry/" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a>

Bilberry has been used for nearly 1,000 years in traditional European medicine.<a href="http://nccam.nih.gov/health/bilberry/" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a>

The civil injunction suit, filed in Kansas City with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, alleges that Bilberry operates a business called Bilberry Bookkeeping & Tax Service that has prepared fraudulent income tax returns for customers in the Kansas City metropolitan area.<a href="http://www.justice.gov/tax/txdv07238.htm" TARGET="_blank" [3]</a> WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Justice Department announced today that it has asked a federal court to permanently bar Marva Bilberry of Belton, Mo., from preparing tax returns for others.<a href="http://www.justice.gov/tax/txdv07238.htm" TARGET="_blank" [3]</a> Bilberry allegedly prepared tax returns with inflated medical expenses, employee business expenses, charitable contribution deductions, and home business expenses.<a href="http://www.justice.gov/tax/txdv07238.htm" TARGET="_blank" [3]</a>

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1. <a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-bilberry.html" TARGET="_blank">MedlinePlus Herbs and Supplements: Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus)</a>
<a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-bilberry.html" TARGET="_blank">http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-bilberry.html</a>

2. <a href="http://nccam.nih.gov/health/bilberry/" TARGET="_blank">Bilberry - Vaccinium myrtillus [NCCAM Herbs at a Glance]</a>
<a href="http://nccam.nih.gov/health/bilberry/" TARGET="_blank">http://nccam.nih.gov/health/bilberry/</a>

3. <a href="http://www.justice.gov/tax/txdv07238.htm" TARGET="_blank">#238: 04-11-07 JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SUES TO BAR MISSOURI WOMAN FROM PREPARING TAX RETURNS</a>
<a href="http://www.justice.gov/tax/txdv07238.htm" TARGET="_blank">http://www.justice.gov/tax/txdv07238.htm</a>

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