Bilberry for Macular Degeneration
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Bette
Posted on: May 27, 2000

Will bilberry adversely affect any other medications I am taking? Is it safe to take without specific permission from my doctor? I suffer from macular degeneration so put drops into my eyes. Thank you for your assistance.

The antioxidant anthocyanadin content of bilberries (also blueberries, cherries, grapes, cranberries and other dark red or blue fruit) protects the blood vessels in the eyes from damage, slowing macular degeneration. As well as working to improve blood vessel integrity, Bilberry improves blood circulation by inhibiting platelet aggregation, so should not be taken with drugs that thin the blood. Check with your doctor to determine whether you are taking any drugs with platelet aggregation inhibition activity.

A diet high in antioxidants, obtained from fresh fruit and vegetables is helpful in retarding degeneration. Especially helpful are the berries mentioned above, broccoli and dark green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale. Avoid fried and fatty foods, sugar and refined foods (such as white flour products), which contribute to the problem.

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