Bilberry is a plant that produces berries that are similar in appearance to blueberries. Bilberries are known as European blueberries. When dried, the fruits can be used in supplement form to treat circulatory issues, diabetes, gout, high blood pressure, eye conditions such as cataracts and glaucoma, and urinary tract infections. Bilberry was given to Royal Air Force pilots during World War II to improve their night vision. Chemicals known as tannins in bilberries help reduce inflammation, and can treat diarrhoea, a sore throat and problems with cholesterol. Shop our range of bilberry supplements today.

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All you need to know about Bilberry

Can bilberries improve vision?

Bilberries have had an extensive reputation for improving night vision, but evidence supporting this specific claim has produced mixed results. Bilberries can however help with glaucoma. One study found that those with glaucoma who took 120mg of bilberry supplements per day had their vision improved by 30%. Other research has suggested that between 160-480mg of bilberry supplements taken daily may help improve dry eye conditions and fatigue of the eyes, especially in those working with screens for a long time.

Can bilberries help with type 2 diabetes?

Yes – bilberry supplements are a common way of easing symptoms of type 2 diabetes as they help to reduce blood sugar levels. The berries prevent the absorption and breakdown of carbohydrates within the gut, while their high anthocyanin content can help the body to naturally produce more insulin. This allows patients with type 2 diabetes to lower their risk of developing stroke and heart disease.

How can I add bilberries to my diet?

Bilberries are stronger in flavour than blueberries, and can be mixed into baked cookies such as cakes and muffins. They can also be added as a topping to pancakes, cereal, muesli, porridge, or mixed up and included in smoothies or milkshakes. You can mash bilberries up to make a jam that can be spread on toast, or take a supplement that can be added to juices or smoothies, or just taken in tablet form with water.

What are the side effects of bilberry supplements?

Bilberry supplements are safe when the correct dosage is taken. If bilberry doesn't agree with you, you may have an upset stomach, watery stools or nausea. If you are taking medications for a blood clotting disorder, and are on blood thinning medications, you should consult your GP before taking bilberry supplements. You should also take precautions and not take bilberry if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

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