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Lingonberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea)

Last Updated on May 19, 2021 by MyFormulary

Alternate Title

  • Alpine cranberry

Related Terms

  • Alpine cranberry, anthocyanin, cowberry, cranberry, Ericaceae (family), evergreen, mountain cranberry, periwinkle leaf extracts, red berries, red bilberry, red whortleberry, Vaccinium vitis-idaea, Vaccinium vitis-idaea L, Vaccinium vitis-idaea cv. Amberland, Vaccinium vitis-idea.

Background

  • Lingonberry is a food native to Scandinavia. Lingonberry has shown antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects in laboratory studies.
  • Lingonberry has been used as a food and as a traditional medicine to treat inflammatory diseases and wounds in Sweden.

Evidence Table

    Disclaimer

    These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

    U – U


    C C – C

*Key to grades:

Tradition

    Disclaimer

    The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.

Dosing

    Disclaimer

    The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.

  • Adults (over 18 years old)

    • There is no proven safe or effective dose for lingonberry supplements in adults.
  • Children (under 18 years old)

    • There is no proven safe or effective dose for lingonberry supplements in children.

Safety

    Disclaimer

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

  • Allergies

    • Avoid in individuals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to lingonberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea) or its constituents.
  • Side Effects and Warnings

    • Lingonberry is likely safe when used in food amounts.
    • Lingonberry may not be safe in male patients in couples who are trying to become pregnant.
    • There are few adverse effects associated with lingonberry reported in the available literature. However, one animal study indicates that Vaccinium vitis leaf extract may have adverse effects on the male reproductive system.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

    • Vaccinium vitis leaf extract may have negative effects on fertility. Lingonberry should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack of available scientific evidence.

Interactions

    Disclaimer

    Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

  • Interactions with Drugs

    • Extracts from dry red bilberry fruit (Vaccinium vitis
      idaea L.) may expel or destroy intestinal worms. Use cautiously with medications that expel worms (anthelmintics), due to possible additive effects.
    • Lingonberry may have antibacterial effects. Use cautiously with antibiotic medications, due to possible additive effects.
    • Lingonberry may have anti-inflammatory effects.
    • Lingonberry may have anti-cancer (antineoplastic) effects. Use cautiously in patients taking medications for the prevention or treatment of cancer, due to possible additive effects.
    • Lingonberry may have antioxidant activity.
    • Lingonberry may interact with cough suppressant medications; use cautiously.
    • Aqueous (water) extracts of Vaccinium vitis-idaea berries may have antiviral activity. Use cautiously with antiviral medications, due to possible additive effects.
    • Vaccinium vitis leaf extract may have negative effects on the reproductive system. Caution is advised in males who are part of couples trying to become pregnant.
  • Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

    • Extracts from dry red bilberry fruit (Vaccinium vitis
      idaea L.) may expel or destroy intestinal worms. Use cautiously with herbs and supplements that expel worms (anthelmintics), due to possible additive effects.
    • Lingonberry may have antibacterial effects. Use cautiously with herbs and supplements with antibacterial activity, due to possible additive effects.
    • Lingonberry may have anti-inflammatory effects.
    • Lingonberry may have anti-cancer (antineoplastic) activity; use cautiously with herbs and supplement used to prevent or treat cancer, due to possible additive effects.
    • Lingonberry may have antioxidant activity.
    • Lingonberry may interact with herbs and supplements taken as cough suppressants.
    • Aqueous (water) extracts of Vaccinium vitis-idaea berries may have antiviral activity. Use cautiously with herbs and supplements with antiviral activity, due to possible additive effects.
    • Vaccinium vitis leaf extract may have negative effects on the reproductive system. Caution is advised in males who are part of couples trying to become pregnant.

Attribution

  • This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration ().

Bibliography

    Disclaimer

    Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to . Selected references are listed below.

  • Ehala S, Vaher M, Kaljurand M. Characterization of phenolic profiles of Northern European berries by capillary electrophoresis and determination of their antioxidant activity. J Agric Food Chem 8-10-2005;53(16):6484-6490.
    View Abstract
  • Ek S, Kartimo H, Mattila S, et al. Characterization of phenolic compounds from lingonberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea). J Agric Food Chem 12-27-2006;54(26):9834-9842.
    View Abstract
  • Eriksson NE, Moller C, Werner S, et al. Self-reported food hypersensitivity in Sweden, Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania, and Russia. J Investig.Allergol.Clin Immunol 2004;14(1):70-79.
    View Abstract
  • Erlund I, Freese R, Marniemi J, et al. Bioavailability of quercetin from berries and the diet. Nutr Cancer 2006;54(1):13-17.
    View Abstract
  • Ho KY, Tsai CC, Huang JS, et al. Antimicrobial activity of tannin components from Vaccinium vitis-idaea L. J Pharm Pharmacol 2001;53(2):187-191.
    View Abstract
  • Jepson RG, Mihaljevic L, Craig J. Cranberries for preventing urinary tract infections. Cochrane.Database.Syst.Rev 2004;(1):CD001321.
    View Abstract
  • Kallio H, Nieminen R, Tuomasjukka S, et al. Cutin composition of five finnish berries. J Agric Food Chem 1-25-2006;54(2):457-462.
    View Abstract
  • Kontiokari T, Sundqvist K, Nuutinen M, et al. Randomised trial of cranberry-lingonberry juice and Lactobacillus GG drink for the prevention of urinary tract infections in women. BMJ 6-30-2001;322(7302):1571.
    View Abstract
  • Sarkola T, Eriksson CJ. Effect of 4-methylpyrazole on endogenous plasma ethanol and methanol levels in humans. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 2001;25(4):513-516.
    View Abstract
  • Sun H, Wang X, Huang R, et al. [Determination of arbutin in the herbs of Vaccinium vitis-idaea L. by RP-HPLC]. Zhongguo Zhong.Yao Za Zhi. 1997;22(9):555.
    View Abstract
  • Viljanen K, Kylli P, Kivikari R, et al. Inhibition of protein and lipid oxidation in liposomes by berry phenolics. J Agric Food Chem 12-1-2004;52(24):7419-7424.
    View Abstract
  • Wang SY, Feng R, Bowman L, et al. Antioxidant activity in lingonberries (Vaccinium vitis-idaea L.) and its inhibitory effect on activator protein-1, nuclear factor-kappaB, and mitogen-activated protein kinases activation. J Agric Food Chem 4-20-2005;53(8):3156-3166.
    View Abstract
  • Wang X, Sun H, Fan Y, et al. Analysis and bioactive evaluation of the compounds absorbed into blood after oral administration of the extracts of Vaccinium vitis-idaea in rat. Biol Pharm Bull. 2005;28(6):1106-1108.
    View Abstract
  • Wu QK, Koponen JM, Mykkanen HM, et al. Berry phenolic extracts modulate the expression of p21(WAF1) and Bax but not Bcl-2 in HT-29 colon cancer cells. J Agric Food Chem 2-21-2007;55(4):1156-1163.
    View Abstract
  • Zheng W, Wang SY. Oxygen radical absorbing capacity of phenolics in blueberries, cranberries, chokeberries, and lingonberries. J Agric Food Chem 1-15-2003;51(2):502-509.
    View Abstract
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