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Some Bilberry Fruit Extracts Adulterated, says Nonprofit Research Consortium
Date:11/1/2012

AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Some dietary supplements labeled as containing "Bilberry Extract" are adulterated with lower-cost, non-bilberry ingredients that are not stated on the products' labels, says a new report in the nonprofit American Botanical Council's fall 2012 issue of its peer-reviewed journal, HerbalGram.(1)

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Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) fruit and its products can be found in health products, foods, and cosmetics, and are marketed as dietary supplements in the United States and as phytomedicines in the European Union. In 2011, bilberry dietary supplements were the 15th best selling single-herb supplement in the mainstream market in the United States, which includes grocery stores, drug stores, and mass-market retail stores. Reported health benefits of bilberry are primarily in the vascular domain and include treatment of vascular insufficiency, capillary fragility, and retinopathy.

"Given global demand for this relatively high-cost, wild-harvested berry, bilberry supplies are reportedly rife with economic adulteration," wrote HerbalGram article co-authors Steven Foster, an author and widely published botanical photographer, and Mark Blumenthal, ABC's founder and executive director, and editor of HerbalGram.

According to the article, the world's entire supply of commercial bilberry is wild-harvested, primarily in Scandinavian countries and in Eastern Europe. "[T]he relatively small region of growth for bilberries suggests that there is not much elasticity in the price of raw material," the authors wrote. One industry expert quoted in the article explains that it takes 100 kg of hand-picked bilberry fruit to make 1 kg of extract, which ca
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SOURCE American Botanical Council
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