A nutritional supplement comprised of a patented blend of bilberry and pine bark is marketed as Mitrogenol. A study published in Clinical Opthamology describes a study of 79 people with raised eye pressure levels. The intraocular pressure (IOP) of participants who took Mitrogenol decreased by 24%. Those who took the pharmaceutical eye drop Latanoprost experienced a 28% drop in IOP. A third group that took a combination of both remedies watched their levels go down by 40%
Researchers found that taking these products together helped lower IOP and resulted in better retinal blood flow. It is noted that Latanoprost has been noted to cause dry eyes, eye color changes, and eyelid irritation.
Elevated IOP is often related to the onset of glaucoma.
An earlier pilot study also found that supplementing with bilberry and pine bark can helps lower intraocular pressure (IOP).
In this small study 20 patients who have high IOP received bilberry and French maritime pine bark and 18 patients were the control group.
Vision sharpness, IOP and blood flow in the eye were measured 2, 3 & 6 months later. The researchers reported that the mean IOP was reduced and ocular blood flow improved after 2 months. These results may constitute a safe complementary treatment for glaucoma or have preventative value.
The compounds found in bilberries, blueberries, and huckleberries are key to preventing and treating not only Glaucoma but poor night vision, myopia , macular degeneration , diabetic retinopathy , cataracts , and computer eye syndrome.
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is now certifying the amount organic acids available in dietary supplements formulated with Vaccinium berries, including blueberries and bilberries. These new standards can help consumers buy products made of the berries that they advertise, rather than diluting them with less expensive juices. Source: www.sciencedaily.com
Substantiates Earlier Research
The above research substantiates earlier Italian research looking at supplementation with bilberry and pine bark. Researchers in Italy reported that nutritional supplements of bilberry and French maritime pine bark can help reduce intra-ocular pressure (IOP).
Authors of the study from the University of Chieti-Pescara in Italy studied thirty-eight subjects with intraocular hypertension. Twenty subjects were given bilberry and French maritime pine bark; eighteen subjects were not treated. The visual acuity, IOP, and ocular blood flow were measured at two, three, and six months. After two months, the group taking the supplements showed a decrease in the mean IOP. No side effects were observed and ocular blood flow improved.
Having reviewed the results, these researchers believe that food supplements of bilberry and pine bark may represent a safe preventative intervention for lowering the risk of developing glaucoma by supporting a healthier pressure in the eyes.
SOURCE: “Effects of Mirtogenol on ocular blood flow and intraocular hypertension in asymptomatic subjects”, Robert Steigerwalt Jr., et al, Molecular Vision 2008; 14:1288-1292.