April 3, 2010
There is considerable attention focused on the health benefits of taking bilberry extract and a related cousin blueberry. They are shown to improve vision and have potent antioxidant effects to ward off damage caused by free radicals.
Anthocyanin, the active chemical that gives bilberries, cherries and cranberries their bright colours, is also believed to regulate and lower high blood sugar levels. A new study done by a group of researchers proved this benefit when they fed bilberry extract to rats.
Anthocyanins worked on the AMP-activate protein kinase in fat tissue, skeletal muscle and the liver tissue to regulate insulin production and to promote fat breakdown.
This positive result will provide the needed support to carry on with research in humans. One day, bilberry extracts may prove to be an excellent addition along with dietary changes to help diabetics better control their blood sugar levels.