Study: Bilberry extract (2005) & AMD, and Cataracts
A 2005 Russian study looked at antioxidants' effect on damaging free radicals for cataracts and macular degeneration.
Bilberry's flavonoids are known as potent antioxidants, scavenging free radicals. They are effective for many age-related ocular disorders. The scientists looked at senescence-accelerated (accelerated biological aging) OXYS rats who were suffering from early senile cataract and macular degeneration. Young rats were given control diets or those supplemented with 25% bilberry extract or vitamin E. At 3 months testing showed that more then 70% of control OXYS rats had cataract and macular degeneration while the supplementation of BE completely prevented impairments in the lenses and retina.
The vitamin E had no significant effects but both antioxidants decreased lipid peroxides in the retina and serum of OXYS rats. The results suggest that the OXYS rat strain is the useful model for testing treatment for macular degeneration and cataracts and that long-term supplementation with bilberry extract is effective in prevention of macular degeneration and cataract.
Researchers: Fursova AZh, Gesarevich OG, Gonchar AM, Trofimova NA, Kolosova NG.
Published: Dietary supplementation with bilberry extract prevents macular degeneration and cataracts in senesce-accelerated OXYS rats, Adv Gerontol. 2005;16:76-9.