Bilberry extract is derived from the bilberry plant (Vaccinium myrtillus) and is known for its potential health benefits, particularly for eye health and circulation. While bilberry extract is generally considered safe for most people when taken in recommended amounts, it’s important to be aware of potential side effects. Keep in mind that individual responses can vary, and it’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional before adding any new supplement to your routine. Here are some potential side effects associated with bilberry extract.
Bilberry Extract Side Effects
Some individuals may be allergic to bilberry or other plants in the same family (Ericaceae). Allergic reactions can manifest as itching, rash, or difficulty breathing. If you experience any of these symptoms, discontinue use and seek medical attention.
Blood Sugar Levels
Bilberry has been suggested to have an effect on blood sugar levels. People with diabetes or those taking medications to control blood sugar should monitor their levels closely when using bilberry supplements. It’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional for guidance.
Some individuals may experience mild gastrointestinal issues such as nausea, upset stomach, or diarrhea. If these symptoms persist, it’s advisable to stop using bilberry extract.
Interactions with Medications
Bilberry extract may interact with certain medications, including anticoagulants (blood thinners) and antiplatelet drugs. It could potentially increase the risk of bleeding when taken in combination with these medications.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
There is limited information on the safety of bilberry extract during pregnancy and breastfeeding. It’s recommended to consult with a healthcare provider before using bilberry supplements in these situations.
Hypotension (Low Blood Pressure)
Bilberry may have a hypotensive effect, which could potentially lower blood pressure. Individuals with already low blood pressure or those taking medications for hypertension should exercise caution and consult with their healthcare provider.
Bilberry extract may affect the metabolism of certain drugs in the liver, potentially altering their effectiveness. If you are taking medications, especially those metabolized by the liver, consult with your healthcare provider before using bilberry supplements.
As with any supplement, it’s crucial to follow recommended dosage guidelines and to inform your healthcare provider about all the supplements and medications you are taking. Additionally, be aware that the information provided here is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult with a qualified healthcare professional for personalized guidance based on your individual health needs and circumstances.