What is Natberry?
Natberry is an extract of bilberry standardized to 25% of its anthocyonide content. A single Natberry tablet contains 120mg of bilberry extract.
What is Natberry used for?
While Natberry is used to reduce dim vision and relief tired eyes, its bilberry constituent have a long history of medicinal uses. Beginning 12th century, German herbalist Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179) purportedly recommended the fruit for induction of menses, which use was also reported by herbalist in the 1700s. Decoctions of dried bilberry has also been historically used to treat diarrhoea whereas its topical application is used to treat mild inflammation of the mouth and throat. Other traditional uses include suppression of breast milk production, treatment of urinary tract infection, management of diabetes and nutritional supplement for prevention of scurvy.
At present, bilberry has been advocated for various uses such as:
- Symptomatic treatment of artherosclerosis and peripheral vascular disease.
In-vitro and animal studies have suggested that bilberry extract may be useful in the prevention of vascular disease and reduction of low density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation. Theanthocyanosides content of bilberry have been shown to dilate blood vessels and inhibit platelet aggregation, thereby promoting blood circulation. Furthermore, anthocyanosides also enhances collagen cross-linking resulting in reduced vascular permeability.
- Prevention of cataracts
Bilberry, in combination with Vitamin E, has been used and recommended for prevention of cataracts. Its antioxidant properties attributed to its bioflavonoids content is hypothesized to protect against free radical damage to the eye lens, slowing progression of lens opacities.
- Treatment of chronic venous insufficiency (CVI)
Bilberry extracts is frequently used for treatment of CVI in Europe. Studies have indicated significant improvement in edema and lower extremity discomfort related to the disease although methodological weakness may question the reliability of these evidence
- Treatment of diarrhoea
Anti-diarrheal action of bilberry extract is hypothesized to be attributed to its tannin content.6 Recent study have indicated positive response in patients with mild to moderate colitis and irritable bowel syndrome.
- Symptomatic treatment of dysmenorrhea
The smooth-muscle relaxing effect of bioflavanoids and extract of anthocyanosides from bilberries are hypothesized to improve symptoms of dysmenorrhea. Treatment with bilberry was found to reduce pelvic pain, lumbrosacral pain, breast pain, nausea, vomiting and headache in a small study involving patients with dysmenorrhea.
- Treatment of fibrocytic breast disease
Preliminary evidence suggest possible benefit of bilberry in the treatment of fibrocystic breast disease.
- Prevention of glaucoma
Study evaluating bilberry in combination with pine bark extract have shown reduction in intraocular eye pressure after three month, lowering the risk for developing glaucoma. However, methodological flaws may question this finding.
- Treatment of peptic ulcer
Animal studies suggest bilberry have ulcer healing effects, which may be attributed to its flavonoid content cyanidine chloride. Bilberry extracts were found to inhibit H. pylori bacteria implicated in many cases of gastric and duodenal ulcers.
- Treatment of diabetic and vascular retinopathy
Animal and placebo-controlled studies have reported promising results in the treatment of retinopathy although its efficacy has yet to be firmly established. Animal study suggest that bilberry exert protective effect against induced retinal inflammation and may play a role in up-regulation of crystallin known to signal survival of retinal neuronal cells.
- Improve night vision
Early uncontrolled studies in the 1960s-1970s as well as anecdotal reports have suggested beneficial effect of bilberries on night vision. However, more recent controlled studies failed to demonstrate any effect, although these were found to have methodological flaws. While it is possible that higher doses may be required to elicit measurable effect, evidence is lacking to scientifically support its use.
- Improve visual acuity
In contrast to clinical studies performed on night vision acuity, recent 24 month trial reported improved measure of visual acuity in patients with normal tension glaucoma (NTG).
- Management of diabetes mellitus
In combination with fish oil and whole-grain food, bilberry is shown to improve glucose metablosm.
Other effects of bilberry which is of interest currently are:
- Anti-cancer effect
In-vitro studies suggest that bilberry may have anticancer properties via inhibition of topoisomerase in protecting DNA and reduction of angiogenesis
- Anti-inflammatory effect
Bilberry extract have demonstrated anti-inflammatory response in animal studies which is attributed to several mechanism including Interruption of the inflammatory response, interference with proinflammatory mediators, antioxidant action, and direct effects on mast cell degradation
- Antibacterial effect
Anthocyanosides in bilberry are closely related to the proanthocyanidins found in cranberry, which are thought to impede bacterial adhesion to bladder wall. Study has shown that bilberry reduce bacterial adhesion to a lesser extent than cranberry, showing efficacy against bacteria.
- Antidepressant effect
Animal study have suggested that bilberry may ameliorate stress induced depression by inhibiting nitric oxide synthase, producing an antidepressant-like effect.
How does Natberry work?
The active constituent of Natberry, bilberry, contains biologically active compounds such as anthocyanosides, flavonoids, hydroquinone, oleanolic acid, neomyrtillin, tannins, ursolic acid and resveratrol. Of particular scientific interest are its anthocyanosides, tannins and flavonoids content shown to exhibit biological properties including inhibition of prostacyclin synthesis, reduction of capillary permeability and fragility, free radical scavenging, inhibition of a wide range of enzymes, impairment of coagulation and platelet aggregation and anticarcinogenicity.
Bilberry anthocyanosides appears to enhance collagen cross-linking and synthesis, and reduce collagen degradation, resulting in stabilization of connective tissue which promote wound healing.
Before you use this medicine…
You should inform your doctor or pharmacist before taking this supplement as this supplement may have interaction with your laboratory tests, medications or disease.
DO NOT take this supplement if you are allergic to bilberry or any of its component
Interaction with medicines
- Anticoagulant/antiplatelet medicines
As bilberry can interfere with platelet aggregation, there is a possible increase in risk of bruising and bleeding when taken with medicines that slow blood clotting. These includes medicine like aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Brufen, Nurofen, others), naproxen (Synflex, Sunprox, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Clexane), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.
- Diabetes medications
Bilberry may reduce your blood sugar level. Taking this supplement with diabetes medication can cause your blood sugar to fall too low. Monitor your blood glucose closely while taking this supplement. The dose of your diabetes medication may need to be adjusted.
Examples of diabetes medications are glimepiride (Amaryl), glybenclamide (Dionil,Diabelet,Euglucon), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Propamide,Glucomid), glipizide (Minidiab), tolbutamide (Tobumide), and others.
- Antihypertensive medication
Bilberry has been hypothesize to potentially drop blood pressure due to its smooth muscle relaxing activity. Taking this supplement with antihypertensive medication can cause your blood pressure to fall too low. Monitor your blood pressure frequently while taking this supplement.
If you are pregnant or planning to breastfeed…
Bilberry is safe to be consume as food. Avoid consumption of doses higher than those found in food as safety is unknown.
How to take Natberry?
Before starting or stopping this supplement, you should seek advice from your healthcare provider.
Take1 tablet once or twice daily after meals.
- For once daily dosing, take every morning
- For twice daily dosing, take 1 tablet in the morning and 1 tablet in the evening
While using this medicine…
Surgery: Bilberry may interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop taking bilberry at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery
Possible side effect
When using this product, you may experience gastrointestinal discomfort, nausea or heartburn.
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- Llewellyn PJ. Herb at glance: Bilberry. National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) [Online] 2006 May [updated 2012 April, cited 2013 June 8]. Available from: http://nccam.nih.gov/health/bilberry
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- Natberry Tablet Malaysia. Natberry Tablet 120mg – Bantu Kurangkanrabun&Rehatkanmata. Facebook [Online] 2013 [Updated: 2013 June] Available at: URL: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.170598929759351.1073741828.130375120448399&type=3
- Kemper KJ. Bilberry (VacciniumMyrtillus). The Longwood Herbal Task Force and The Center for Holistic Paediatric Education and Research [Electronic] No Date [Updated: 1999 September 9, cited: 2013 November 13] Available from:
- URL:http://www.longwoodherbal.org/bilberry/bilberry.pdf 7. Basch E, Basch S, Bent S, Boon H, Burke D, Catapang M, et al. Bilberry (VacciniumMyrtillus). Natural Standard Professional Monograph [Online] 2013 [Updated: 2013 November 13] Available from: URL:http://www.naturalstandard.com/databases/herbssupplements/bilberry.asp
- Biedermann L, Mwinyi J, Scharl M, et al. Bilberry ingestion improves disease activity in mild to moderate ulcerative colitis – an open pilot study. J Crohns Colitis. 2013;7(4):271-279.[PubMed 22883440]
- Hawrelak JA, Myers SP. Effects of two natural medicine formulations on irritable bowel syndrome symptoms: a pilot study. J Altern Complement Med. 2010;16(10):1065-1071.[PubMed 20954962]
- Shim SH, Kim JM, Choi CY, Kim CY, Park KH. Ginkgo biloba extract and bilberry anthocyanins improve visual function in patients with normal tension glaucoma. J Med Food. 2012;15(9):818-823.[PubMed 22870951]
|Last Reviewed||:||05 June 2013|
|Accreditor||:||Nur Azibahwati bt. Aziz|