Bilberry supplementation may be effective in preventing macular degeneration and cataract. - GreenMedInfo Summary
[Dietary supplementation with bilberry extract prevents macular degeneration and cataracts in senesce-accelerated OXYS rats].
Adv Gerontol. 2005;16:76-9. PMID: 16075680
Cataracts and macular degeneration remain the major cause of blindness and acuity of vision deterioration in the elderly. Both pathology have been attributed to damage by free radicals, there has been a great deal of interest in antioxidants. Bilberry's flavonoids are known as potent antioxidants, scavenging free radicals and used for multiple age-releted ocular disorders. There are no experimental studies, devoted to estimation of bilberry effect. To explore this one the senescence-accelerated OXYS rats with early senile cataract and macular degeneration were used. From 1.5 to 3 month OXYS rats were given control diets or those supplemented with 25% bilberry extract (BE, 20 mg on kg of body weight including 4.5 mg of antocianidin) or vitamin E (40 mg/kg) as drag for comparison. The testing at 3 month have 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 VE 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 macular degeneration and senile cataract and long-term supplementation with BE is effective in prevention of macular degeneration and cataract.