Vaccinium uliginosum may reduce premature skin aging and show photoprotective effects against ultraviolet B (UVB)-induced skin damage. The fruit of Vaccinium uliginosum, also known as Bilberry, contains a high level of anthocyanins and antioxidants and has significant potential for use as a dietary supplement for skin health. The skin health properties of Vaccinium uliginosum were the subject of a recent study published in Antioxidants, an international, peer-reviewed Open Access journal.
Vaccinium May Reduce Premature Skin Aging
Skin aging is caused by both intrinsic aging and external aging, such as age increases, hormonal changes, stress, as well as environmental pollution and sunlight. Photodamage involves changes in the skin that occur after prolonged exposure to solar irradiation. Age-related skin changes such as fine wrinkles, atrophy, and transepidermal water loss may be the cumulative effect of intrinsic factors. Skin with coarse wrinkles, loss of elasticity, and rough-textured appearance is known to be caused by external environmental factors.
To date, research on the photoaging process in skin has focused on identifying substances that prevent free radical damages and reduce collagen degradation. Anthocyanins, an antioxidant agent, are natural pigments classified into the group of flavonoids with anti-aging and skin-protective properties. Anthocyanins with free radical-scavenging capacities are associated with the levels of inflammation-related molecules, including interleukins, nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB), and ECM components (collagen, hyaluronic acid, and elastin) in the skin tissues. As a result, there is a lot of interest in anthocyanin-enriched extracts for the inhibition of skin aging.
This study was designed to determine whether Vaccinium uliginosum extract has the potential to improve skin health and show photoprotective effects and possibly reduce premature skin aging related to UVB irradiation. The Vaccinium uliginosum sample caused significant changes in skin water-holding capacity, transepidermal water loss, wrinkle-related parameters, and epidermal thickness. In addition, consumption of Vaccinium uliginosum attenuated the gene expression of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) and increased levels of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP) and antioxidant-related genes. Furthermore, it reduced inflammatory cytokine levels and UVB-induced phosphorylation of extracellular signaling regulated kinase (ERK), as well as Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and p38 protein levels.
More About Vaccinium uliginosum
The known pharmacological effects of Vaccinium uliginosum include the regulation of blood vessels, dysentery, antigens, and diabetic retinopathy. Vaccinium uliginosum has strong antioxidant properties, which may help reduce premature skin aging. It is one of the richest natural sources of anthocyanins and also contains large quantities of bioactive substances such as flavanols. These polyphenolic components give Vaccinium uliginosum its blue/black color and high antioxidant content, and they are believed to be the key bioactives responsible for the many reported health benefits of Vaccinium uliginosum and other berry fruits.
Although Vaccinium uliginosum is most commonly used to help improve vision, studies have shown that it may lower blood glucose, have anti-inflammatory and lipid-lowering effects, and promote antioxidant defense and lower oxidative stress. It has potential value in the treatment or prevention of conditions associated with inflammation, dyslipidemia, hyperglycemia or increased oxidative stress, cardiovascular disease (CVD), cancer, diabetes, and dementia and other age-related diseases.
In addition, Vaccinium uliginosum is frequently used to support the treatment of cognitive deficits and to improve learning and memory. Studies have found that the addition of Vaccinium uliginosum to the diet improved short-term memory, navigational skills, balance, and coordination. Compounds in bilberries seem to jumpstart the brain in ways that can get aging neurons to communicate again.
Try Vaccinium uliginosum Extract
Vaccinium uliginosum extract may reduce premature skin aging. As a rich natural source of anthocyanins, it may also improve memory and lower the risk of cognitive decline. We call it the brain berry, and it makes an exceptional herbal supplement. To learn more about the possible health benefits of Vaccinium uliginosum extract, a good place to start is with the Vaccinium FAQ.
Linden Botanicals sells the world’s healthiest teas and extracts, including Vaccinium uliginosum, Cryptolepis sanguinolenta, Cistus incanus, Phyllanthus niruri, and Cistanche tubulosa. These teas and extracts provide support for immune health, stress relief, energy, memory, mood, kidney health, joint health, digestive health, inflammation, hormonal balance, and detox/cleanse. The company’s website, www.LindenBotanicals.com, includes hundreds of valuable health tips and resources and the free Lessons from the Darkness e-book, which chronicles Michael Van der Linden’s four-year battle with Lyme disease.