Another Study on Antioxidants: Bilberry May Ward Off Cataracts and Macular Degeneration

Research shows bilberry extract helps fight against macular degeneration and cataracts in lab rats

Cataracts and macular degeneration are the major cause of vision deterioration in the elderly. A study by Russian scientists shows that taking bilberry supplements may help ward off these diseases.

Researchers used a particular strain of lab rats (OXYS rats) capable of reproducing many of the key features of human age-related cataracts and macular degeneration. From 1.5 to 3 months, these rats were given either a control diet or a diet supplemented with bilberry extract.

At 3 months, more then 70% of the rats in the control group had cataract and macular degeneration. Rats in the group given bilberry extract had no impairments in the lenses and retina.

Bilberry is also known as European blueberry, and is closely related to North American wild and cultivated blueberries and huckleberries. Bilberry is known to be a potent antioxidant and has been shown to help other vision problems such as glaucoma.

Results suggest that long-term supplementation with bilberry extract is effective in prevention of macular degeneration and cataract.

Read more research on cataracts and macular degeneration

Learn about natural bilberry supplements

Source: “Dietary supplementation with bilberry extract prevents macular degeneration and cataracts in senesce-accelerated OXYS rats”, Fursova et al, Adv Gerontol, 2005; 16: 76-9.

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About Marc_Grossman

Marc Grossman, Doctor of Optometry and New York State Licensed Acupuncturist, is a holistic eye doctor and co-author of a number of books on natural vision care. Since 1980 Dr. Grossman has been helped many people maintain healthy vision and even improve eyesight. He is dedicated to providing information to those with conditions ranging from myopia and dry eyes to potentially vision threatening diseases such as macular degeneration and glaucoma. His combined multi-disciplinary approach using nutrition, eye exercises, lifestyle changes and Chinese Medicine provides him with a wide array of tools and approaches with which to tackle difficult eye problems.