What is Blueberry Extract
The blueberry is the fruit of a shrub that belongs to the heath family. Blueberries grow in clusters and sizes vary from that of a pea to a marble. Color ranges from blue to maroon to purple-black. The blueberry season runs from May through October. Blueberries are native to North America where they grow throughout the woods and mountainous regions in the United States and Canada.
There are about 30 different varieties of blueberry, each growing in a different region of North America. The highbush blueberry is common to the eastern Seaboard. The lowbush variety is common to the Northeast and eastern Canada and the Evergreen blueberry can be found in the Pacific Northwest. North America is the world's leading blueberry producer, accounting for nearly 90% of world production.
The common blueberry is an abundant source of several potent antioxidants, particularly Anthocyanin and related compounds. Clinical studies have shown that Anthocyanin neutralizes free radicals which are specific to age-related mental clarity and memory capacity. This particular family of antioxidants has also been proven effective in fighting the free radicals responsible for macular degeneration and other age-related eye disorders. In fact, a 2001 study at Tufts University rated Blueberries as the most potent antioxidant of over 60 foods tested (Tufts University. Researching a Blueberry/Brain Power Connection. Tufts University Health and Nutrition Letter, March 2001, Vol. 19. Number 1).
A close relative of the blueberry, the bilberry also contains a similar family of antioxidants. The bilberry is a specifically potent source of Anthocyanidin, which is noted for strengthening of the capillaries of the eye. Bilberry is already widely noted for slowing of age-related macular degeneration, night blindness, and diabetes-related eye disorders.