Eye health supplements - why Bilberry alone isn't always enough

Eye health supplements - why Bilberry alone isn't always enough | Mr Vitamins
When shopping for supplements for eye health, there is no shortage of choice. There are a large range of formulations on the market containing varying numbers of active ingredients. One of the most sought after herbal medicines for eye health is Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus). 

All about Bilberry

Bilberry is a good general eye tonic by virtue of its active compounds which include the following phytochemicals:
  • anthocyanins
  • flavonoids
  • procyanidins
Bilberry can be useful for the following eye complaints:
  • diabetic and hypertensive retinopathy
  • cataracts
  • glaucoma
  • macular degeneration
  • eye strain
  • night blindness
Bilberry can also improve capillary health in the eyes.

What other supplements are available alongside Bilberry?

There are a number of other very useful nutrients and compounds for eye health that are unfortunately often overlooked including:

Macular Degeneration

There is evidence that all of the above nutrients and antioxidants can be beneficial in preventing and helping to manage macular degeneration. The concept of deriving increased benefit from taking a product that contains synergistic nutrients and compounds is relevant in supporting eye health. So a formula containing the above ingredients along with Bilberry would be far superior to Bilberry alone for macular degeneration.


Another example of an eye condition where there is a more specific supporting remedy than Bilberry alone is in Glaucoma. Even though Bilberry may be useful in supporting general eye health in glaucoma, Ginkgo biloba is more specific than Bilberry in helping to manage Glaucoma. Glaucoma is a group of degenerative conditions that lead to progressive optic nerve damage if not treated. One cause of glaucoma is elevated eye pressure (intraocular hypertension). Glaucoma can also occur at normal or low eye pressures. There are other causes of glaucoma too. Blood perfusion of the optic nerve is reduced in glaucoma leading to optic nerve damage and nerve cell death. Ginkgo can help by increasing the pressure of the blood flow into the optic nerve. It is important to note that there can be contraindications in using Gingko biloba. Please speak to your practitioner before taking Ginkgo. It is very important for your practitioner to ask you what aspect of eye health you wish to enhance or what eye condition you are seeking a supplement for. Even though Bilberry is a very useful all round tonic for different aspects of eye health, there are also other remedies at your fingertips that may yield better results than Bilberry alone.

Naturopath Peter Radi

Peter has been in clinical practice as a naturopath, nutritionist and herbalist for the past 17 years and has a keen interest in eye health.
Specific nutrients and herbs can be used to protect and support the health of different parts of the eye including
  • the macula
  • the lens and
  • the optic nerve.
With so many people spending many hours in front of computers or on their smart phones, he can also help you to reduce the effects of eyestrain and reduce the impact of blue spectrum light on your sleep patterns.
Find out more about Peter here