What is Blueberry?
According to Wikipedia- Blueberries are perennial flowering plants with indigo-colored berries in the section Cyanococcus within the genus Vaccinium (a genus that also includes cranberries and bilberries). Species in the section Cyanococcus are the most common fruits sold as «blueberries» and are native to North America (commercially cultivated highbush blueberries were not introduced into Europe until the 1930s).
They are usually erect, but sometimes prostrate shrubs varying in size from 10 centimeters (3.9 in) to 4 meters (13 ft) tall. In commercial blueberry production, smaller species are known as «lowbush blueberries» (synonymous with «wild»), and the larger species are known as «highbush blueberries».
The leaves can be either deciduous or evergreen, ovate to lanceolate, and 1–8 cm (0.39–3.1 in) long and 0.5–3.5 cm (0.20–1.4 in) broad. The flowers are bell-shaped, white, pale pink or red, sometimes tinged greenish. The fruit is a berry 5–16 millimeters (0.20–0.63 in) in diameter with a flared crown at the end; they are pale greenish at first, then reddish-purple, and finally dark blue when ripe. They are covered in a protective coating of powdery epicuticular wax, colloquially knows as the «bloom». They have a sweet taste when mature, with variable acidity. Blueberry bushes typically bear fruit in the middle of the growing season: fruiting times are affected by local conditions such as altitude and latitude, so the height of the crop can vary from May to August depending upon these conditions.
Chemical constituents of Blueberry Extract
Is the main active ingredient polyphenols and anthocyanins.
Benefits of taking Blueberry Extract supplements:
Anthocyanins function as antioxidants in the body and make the blueberry one of the best treatments against aging and age-related changes. Blueberries lower the incidence of cancer, cardiovascular disease and other health problems.
Findings from laboratory research and animal-based studies indicate that blueberry extract may aid in diabetes management. In a 2009 study published in Phytomedicine, for instance, scientists found that treating diabetic mice with blueberry extract helped lower blood sugar levels.
High Blood Pressure
Blueberry extract may help keep blood pressure in check, according to an animal-based study published in Nutrition Research in 2009. In tests on rats, researchers discovered that blueberry extract helped prevent the development of high blood pressure. In addition, blueberry extract appeared to reduce oxidative stress (a major contributor to heart disease).
Animal-based research suggests that blueberry extract shows promise for the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. For example, a 2010 study on rats (published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry) found that blueberry extract helped shield the animals’ brains from the toxic effects of amyloid-beta (a substance that forms the brain plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease).
Blueberry Extract and Cancer
Some preliminary studies show that blueberry extract may help fight breast cancer. These studies include a 2010 report published in Cancer Research, in which scientists found that blueberry extract helped inhibit the growth of cancerous breast tumors in mice. In a test-tube study published in Phytotherapy Research the same year, anthocyanins extracted from blueberries appeared to slow the growth of breast cancer cells.
- Protect eyesight and prevent blindness, glaucoma, improve myopia.
- Scavenge free radical activity, prevent atherosclerosis.
- Soften blood vessels, enhance immune function.
- Prevent brain from aging; anti-cancer.
Side effects and safety of Blueberry Extract
May cause an upset stomach, dry eyes and a dry mouth. In high dosages, bilberry extract can cause muscle spasms and extreme weight loss.
Dosage of Blueberry Extract supplement:
The appropriate dose of blueberry depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for blueberry. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.