Bilberry/Pine Bark (2008, 2010) & Glaucoma

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A study published in a 2010 issue of the journal Clinical Opthamology examined the effects of Mirtogenol in a group of 79 patients living with "asymptomatic ocular hypertension". The participants were separated into three groups:

  1. received 80 mg of Mitroselect bilberry extract and 40 mg of Pycnogenol daily
  2. applied a medicinal eye drop (Latanoprost)
  3. utilized both treatments

The trial lasted a total of 24 weeks and yielded the following results:

  • The Mirtogenol group lowered their intraocular pressure (IOP) from 38.1 to 29 mmHg or 24%.
  • The Latanoprost patients found an IOP reduction from 37.7 to 27.2 mmHg or 28%.
  • The combination group began with an IOP of 38 mmHg and ended with an IOP of 23 mmHg - a 40%
  • Healthy or normal eye pressure should range between about 10 to 21 mmHg.

In conclusion, the authors reported that, "The combination of both was more effective for lowering IOP and the combination yielded better retinal blood flow. No serious side effects occurred during the study, apart from standard side effects in patients related to Latanoprost". According to the National Institutes of Health, Latanoprost may cause the following adverse reactions in some users: dry eyes, eye color changes, irritation and redness of the eyelids.

Researchers: Robert D Steigerwalt, Jr, Gianni Belcaro, Paolo Morazzoni, Ezio Bombardelli, Carolina Burki, and Frank Schonlau

Published: Mirtogenol potentiates latanoprost in lowering intraocular pressure and improves ocular blood flow in asymptomatic subjects, Clinical Ophthalmology, 2010.


A 2008 Italian study tested thirty-eight subjects with elevated pressures. 20 were treated with bilberry and French maritime pine bark, the rest were given nothing. Visual acuity, IOP, and ocular blood flow were measured after 2, 3 and 6 months. After two months the mean IOP decreased. No side effects were observed and ocular blood flow improved.

An improved ocular blood flow may contribute to the prevention of glaucoma.

The researchers also looked at the arteries of the eyes with color Doppler imaging and saw better flood flow in the subjects receiving the treament. This suggests that fluids in the eye were being restored.

One of the researchers, Steigerwalt, said, "Our study is the first demonstration showing that dietary intervention can help to control IOP and increase ocular blood flow in asymptomatic subjects and if taken in time, may prevent an evolution to higher pressure and symptomatic glaucoma."

Published: Molecular Vision 2008; 14:1288-1292, "Effects of Mirtogenol on ocular blood flow and intraocular hypertension in asymptomatic subjects"

Reference: Authors: Robert Steigerwalt Jr, Belcaro Gianni, Morazzoni Paolo, Ezio Bombardelli,2 Carolina Burki, Frank Schonlau , University of Chieti-Pescara in San Valentino, Italy