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BilBERRY: The fruit of bilberry has been consumed since prehistoric times, but medicine only mentioned it in the 14th century for the first time. Traditionally, its dried leaves or its fruit were used among others for treating scurvy, which was the result of Vitamin-C deficiency, or for treating kidney-stones and cholepathia; and, later, its fruit was used for treating diarrhoea, mouth and throat infections, and its leaves were turned into a concoction to decrease blood sugar levels. Its flavonoid (Myrtillin) content is significant. Just as other flavonoids, anthocyanins, proanthocyanins, leukoanthocyanins, flavons and their derivatives, which give the bluish-red colour of the fruit, have antioxidant characteristics that protect cell membrane from damages caused by free radicals. 100 g of freshly picked bilberries contain app. 400 mg anthocyanin derivatives. Bilberries also contain catechins, pectin, fruit acid and sugars. Of the vitamins it contains, Vitamins A, B1, C and D, and also pantothenic acid and nicotineamide are the most important; its major minerals include phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, calcium, iron and manganese. According to clinically proven observation, bilberries improve the condition of the eyes, and are beneficial in treating and preventing some eye-related disorders, such as glaucoma, cataract and macular degeneration. The exact mechanism is not completely known. It is suggested that it increases the flow of blood and thereby the flow of oxygen to the eyes, strengthens their collagen structure as a result of which the condition of the eyes improves in case of cataract and macular degeneration. According to some studies, it strengthens capillaries, and has a favourable impact on the circulatory system.

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