There’s little scientific evidence to support the use of bilberry for many health conditions.
A few recent studies have suggested possible beneficial effects. However, these studies involved small numbers of people. More research would be needed to confirm these findings.
Results from a small clinical study (24 people) suggest that consuming bilberries may reduce gum inflammation and bleeding.
Data from a Japanese study with 88 office workers suggest that the extract helped with eye fatigue.
Data from a small study with 21 people suggest that consuming the juice for 5 days before and 2 days after a half-marathon may lead to small to moderate transient increases in muscle soreness and inflammation in recreationally trained runners.
The berries have a high concentration of polyphenols called anthocyanins, which some studies suggest may have health benefits.
Warnings & Precautions
Bilberry fruit is considered safe when consumed in amounts typically found in foods, or as an extract for 6 months to a year.
The leaves may be unsafe when taken orally (by mouth) in high doses or for long periods of time.
Little is known about whether it’s safe to use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. (Consuming amounts typically found in foods is considered safe).
Bilberry may interact with a cancer drug called erlotinib (Tarceval), antidiabetes drugs, or medications that slow blood clotting. If you’re taking medicine, talk with your health care provider before taking supplements.
All information has been provided courtesy of MedLinePlus from the National Library of Medicine and from the FDA.