Blueberry
Blueberry

Background

Blueberries are edible fruits from the Vaccinium angustifolium plant. Blueberry is a common food and is also sometimes used as medicine.

Blueberries are high in fiber, which can help with normal digestion. They also contain vitamin C, other antioxidants, and chemicals that might reduce swelling and destroy cancer cells.

People use blueberry for aging, memory and thinking skills, high blood pressure, athletic performance, diabetes, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

Don't confuse blueberry with bilberry. They are related but they are not the same. In countries outside of the US, the name blueberry is used to refer to the plant that is often called bilberry in the US.
When taken by mouth: Blueberry whole fruit, juice, and powders are commonly consumed in foods. Drinks made with freeze-dried blueberries might cause constipation, diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting in some people.

There isn't enough reliable information to know if taking blueberry leaf is safe or what the side effects might be.

When applied to the skin: There isn't enough reliable information to know if blueberry is safe or what the side effects might be.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Blueberry fruit is commonly consumed in foods. But there isn't enough reliable information to know if blueberry is safe to use in larger amounts as medicine when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and stick to food amounts.

Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency: G6PD is a genetic disorder. People with this disorder have problems breaking down some chemicals in food and drugs. One or more of these chemicals are found in blueberries. If you have G6PD, check with your healthcare provider before eating blueberries.

Surgery: Blueberry fruit and leaf might affect blood glucose levels and could interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery.

Effectiveness

NatMed Pro rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.
Likely effective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly effective Effectiveness definitions
Likely ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly ineffective Effectiveness definitions
  • High blood pressure. Eating freeze-dried blueberries or taking blueberry powder by mouth doesn't lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure or other heart disease risk factors.
There is interest in using blueberry for a number of other purposes, but there isn't enough reliable information to say whether it might be helpful.
Insufficient evidence Effectiveness definitions

Dosing & administration

Blueberries are commonly consumed in foods. As medicine, freeze-dried blueberries have most often been used by adults in doses of 22-50 grams by mouth daily for up to 16 weeks. Blueberry extracts and blueberry leaf extracts have also been used. Speak with a healthcare provider to find out what type of product and dose might be best for a specific condition.

Interactions with pharmaceuticals

Buspirone (BuSpar)

Interaction Rating=Minor Be watchful with this combination.

Blueberry juice might decrease how fast the body gets rid of buspirone. But this is not likely to be a major concern.

Flurbiprofen (Ansaid, others)

Interaction Rating=Minor Be watchful with this combination.

Blueberry juice might decrease how fast the body gets rid of flurbiprofen. But this is not likely to be a major concern.

Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)

Interaction Rating=Minor Be watchful with this combination.

Blueberry fruit or leaf might lower blood sugar levels. Taking blueberry along with diabetes medications might cause blood sugar to drop too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely.

Interactions with herbs & supplements

Herbs and supplements that might lower blood sugar: Blueberry fruit or leaf might lower blood sugar. Taking it with other supplements with similar effects might lower blood sugar too much. Examples of supplements with this effect include aloe, bitter melon, cassia cinnamon, chromium, and prickly pear cactus.

Interactions with foods

Drinking milk along with blueberries might lower the potential health benefits of blueberries. Consuming blueberries 1-2 hours before or after drinking milk might prevent this interaction.
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This monograph was last reviewed on 22/02/2023 11:00:00 and last updated on 12/11/2020 02:03:43. Monographs are reviewed and/or updated multiple times per month and at least once per year.
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