Boosting Low-Light & Night Time Vision

Almost everybody’s heard stories of bilberries boosting night vision. And a number of studies have found bilberries do help in low light. But that’s hardly all berries can do for you. Thanks to pigments called anthocyanins (ATCs), berries can make a huge difference to your eyes.

Today, we’ll discover the hidden link between berries and healthy vision.

A Family of Super-Antioxidants

You probably have pretty good idea of how delicate your eyes are. Any poke or scratch causes a lot of pain. For some people, just putting in contact lenses is agony.

The tissues in your eyes aren’t just sensitive to touch. Free radicals also cause serious damage. And the ultraviolet (UV) light that streams into your eyes all day creates countless free radicals.

Luckily for you, ATCs – the pigments that give dark berries their color – also happen to be powerful antioxidants. Japanese doctors tested 5 ATC-rich berries and found they all had powerful antioxidant action. In fact, they found a total of at least 29 antioxidant ATCs in the 5 berries.1

But berries can do much more than defend your eyes against free radical attack.

Ease Eye Fatigue

Once upon a time, most people worked at jobs that didn’t involve staring at computer screens for hours on end. Today, more and more jobs require using a computer for much of the day. And just to add insult to injury, more an more of our leisure time involves staring at a computer screen or TV.

Is it any wonder that eyestrain is becoming a major issue? A recent study in The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging shows ATCs can ease this problem.

Doctors gave two groups of office workers either ATCs or a placebo. After 8 weeks, they found the ATC group’s eyes were less fatigued. The ATC group also reported less strain, discomfort, pain, and “foreign body” sensations than the placebo group.2

In other words, taking ATCs led to less stress from staring at a computer all day. And this is hardly the only study to have these results.

ATCs Appear to Boost Low-Light Vision

Another Japanese study looked at the effect of ACTs on people with heavy computer use. But this study also measured how well the volunteers adapted to low light.

The study found people taking ACTs suffered less strain related to VDT (video display terminal) use. They also adapted to low light much faster than those taking a placebo. And the more ACTs the volunteers took, the faster their eyes adapted to low light.3

A Source of Major Vision Defense

So far, these benefits have been good… but maybe not spectacular. That’s about to change with a study out of Canada.

Scientists at the Atlantic Food and Horticulture Research Centre looked at the effects of ATCs in vitro. That is, in a test tube.

Their research shows berry ATCs directly affect rhodopsin – a critical visual pigment – and have protective effects on nerves in the eyes. Here’s why that’s important…

Rhodopsin – or visual purple – is a pigment in your eyes that helps you see in low light.

Rod cells – the cells in your eyes sensitive to low light – need visual purple to function. The Canadian doctors found that ATCs are involved in the function of rhodopsin… and defend retinal cells.

The Canadian team says this is key, because retinal cells have the highest metabolic activity of any cells in your body.4

ATCs don’t just influence visual purple. As a Japanese study reveals…

Boosting Low-Light Abilities

Bioscience researchers in Japan looked at the effect of 4 ATCs on visual purple. They found all four promote regeneration of this key vision component. Here’s why this is important…

The back of your eye – the retina – is covered with two types of cells. These cells, called rods and cones, have slightly different jobs.

Cone cells are concentrated in the center of the retina. They’re less light sensitive than rod cells, but they operate in full color. Cone cells help you see a dazzlingly beautiful world… but largely in bright light.

Rod cells, on the other hand, aren’t good at seeing color. Instead, their job is to help you see in low light. They’re mostly located more to the edges of your retina. That’s why you see more clearly around the “edges” of your vision at night.

Visual purple is concentrated in your rod cells, and converts light to an electrical signal. This process depletes visual purple. So a healthy supply of anthocyanins – which replenish this pigment – is key to maintaining healthy vision.5

This function may also be why some studies have found bilberries appear to promote low-light vision.

A Japanese study clearly showed ATCs from black currants speed visual adjustment to the dark.3 This is probably also linked to ATCs’ effect on visual purple.

ATCs appear to have one other vision benefit I’d like to mention.

Promoting Healthy Eye Pressure

Normally, fluid inside your eye maintains a steady pressure. The fluid – called aqueous humor – sometimes builds up in the front part of your eye. This boost in pressure can damage your optic nerve, eventually even leading to blindness.

In a 2013 study, doctors gave ATCs to volunteers. Some subjects had healthy eye pressure. Others’ eye pressure was too high.

In both groups, taking ATCs resulted in a drop in eye pressure. Significant drops were measured after both 2 weeks and 4 weeks.

The doctors gave a placebo to two similar groups. Neither the healthy or high-pressure placebo groups showed a change in eye pressure.6


Bilberry- along with several other dark red and purple berries – appears to offer significant vision benefits. And you’ll find it in Best Life Herbals’ Visanol advanced vision formula.

Visanol delivers ATCs- including bilberry- along with other key vision boosters.

Vision boosters like a natural source of lutein and zeaxanthin – key to defending your eyes from UV damage. Extra vitamin C. And, Visanol is rich in the key antioxidants quercetin and rutin.

To discover how the unique formula in Visanol can defend your precious vision, just visit:

Yours in continued good health,
Best Life Herbals Wellness Team

1 Nakajima, J., et al, “LC/PDA/ESI-MS Pro8ling and Radical Scavenging Activity of Anthocyanins in Various Berries,” Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology. 2004; 2004(5): 241-247.

2 Ozawa, Y., et al, “Bilberry extract supplementation for preventing eye fatigue in video display terminal workers,” The journal of nutrition, health & aging. May 2015; 19(5): 548-554.

3 Nakaishi, H., et al, “Effects of Black Currant Anthocyanoside Intake on Dark Adaptation and VDT Work-induced Transient Refractive Alteration in Healthy Humans,” Altern Med Rev. 2000; 5(6): 553-562.

4 Kalt, W., et al, “Recent research on polyphenolics in vision and eye health,” J Agric Food Chem. Apr 14, 2010; 58(7): 4001-4007.

5 Matsumoto, H., et al, “Stimulatory effect of cyanidin 3-glycosides on the regeneration of rhodopsin,” J Agric Food Chem. Jun 4, 2003; 51(12): 3560-3563.

6 Ohguro, H., et al, “Effects of black currant anthocyanins on intraocular pressure in healthy volunteers and patients with glaucoma,” J Ocul Pharmacol Ther. Feb 2013; 29(1): 61-67.

The statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. They are not intended to treat, diagnose, prevent or cure and disease.

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