You may have seen the word bilberry on our Biocidin labels and wondered if it was misspelled. Was it supposed to be blueberry?
The European bilberry, known by its Latin name Vaccinium myrtillus, is, in fact, related to the American blueberry. And while they share many properties, bilberries have a long history of being utilized as medicine, while blueberries have historically been used more as food.
A Bilberry by Any Other Name
Bilberry is a dwarf shrub of the genus Vaccinium, also known as huckleberry, whortleberry, or European blueberry, and is native to northern Europe and North America but has also been reported in Asia.1
In a health food store, you may find bilberry supplements in the eye or vision category, and indeed these little fruits are rich in anthocyanins, vitamin A, and other antioxidants that help support the eyes. Researchers have studied bilberries for poor eye health related to metabolic dysfunction and blood sugar imbalance.
They’re Berry Beneficial!
Like other health-promoting berries, bilberries have many researched properties to recommend them:
- They contain various phytochemical constituents that modulate and support healthy inflammatory balance throughout the body.
- The anthocyanins in bilberries that give them their beautiful dark blue color have been shown to influence the balance of lipids (fats) in the body.2
- Bilberries support the growth of beneficial microorganisms, which may positively impact the gut microbiome.
- Compounds in bilberries may be metabolized by certain gut bacteria, which then create additional molecules that benefit gastrointestinal function, the integrity of the gut barrier3, and whole-body health.