Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) is a small, shrubby perennial plant that grows in the woods of Europe, Asia, and North America. The fruit is ground, put through an extraction process, concentrated, and then spry-dried to produce a powdered extract. Bilberry is rich in anthocyanins.1,2

Health Benefits

Bilberries may contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.1-3 Bilberry may prevent asthenopia (fatigue, pain in or around the eyes, blurred vision, and occasional double vision caused by tedious visual tasks) in humans.4,5 It has been suggested that bilberry may protect eyes from developing eye-related disorders.2,6-9


  1. Chu W, Cheung SCM, Lau RAW, Benzie IFF. Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) In: Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor S, editors. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press; 2011. Chapter 4. PubMed PMID: 22593936.
  2. Vaccinium myrtillus (bilberry). Monograph. Altern Med Rev. 2001 Oct;6(5):500-4. PubMed PMID: 11703171.
  3. Karlsen A, Retterstøl L, Laake P, Paur I, Bøhn SK, Sandvik L, Blomhoff R. Anthocyanins inhibit nuclear factor-kappaB activation in monocytes and reduce plasma concentrations of pro-inflammatory mediators in healthy adults. J Nutr. 2007 Aug;137(8):1951-4. PubMed PMID: 17634269.
  4. Ozawa Y, Kawashima M, Inoue S, Inagaki E, Suzuki A, Ooe E, Kobayashi S, Tsubota K. Bilberry extract supplementation for preventing eye fatigue in video display terminal workers. J Nutr Health Aging. 2015 May;19(5):548-54.doi:10.1007/s12603-014-0573-6. PubMed PMID: 25923485.
  5. Kawabata F, Tsuji T. Effects of dietary supplementation with a combination of fish oil, bilberry extract, and lutein on subjective symptoms of asthenopia in Biomed Res. 2011 Dec;32(6):387-93. PubMed PMID: 22199129.
  6. Fursova AZh, Gesarevich OG, Gonchar AM, Trofimova NA, Kolosova NG. [Dietary supplementation with bilberry extract prevents macular degeneration and cataracts in senesce-accelerated OXYS rats]. Adv Gerontol. 2005;16:76-9. Russian. PubMed PMID: 16075680.
  7. Yao N, Lan F, He RR, Kurihara H. Protective effects of bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L) extract against endotoxin-induced uveitis in mice. J Agric Food 2010 Apr 28;58(8):4731-6. doi: 10.1021/jf904572a. PubMed PMID: 20222750.
  8. Song J, Li Y, Ge J, Duan Y, Sze SC, Tong Y, Shaw PC, Ng TB, Tsui KC, Zhuo Y, Zhang KY. Protective effect of bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) extracts on cultured human corneal limbal epithelial cells (HCLEC). Phytother Res. 2010 Apr;24(4):520-4. doi: 10.1002/ptr.2974. PubMed PMID: 20077406.
  9. Matsunaga N, Imai S, Inokuchi Y, Shimazawa M, Yokota S, Araki Y, Hara H. Bilberry and its main constituents have neuroprotective effects against retinal neuronal damage in vitro and in vivo. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2009 Jul;53(7):869-77. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.200800394. PubMed PMID: 19415665.