Use of Goji berries dates back to early Chinese medicine. Goji berries are considered both a fruit and an herb. Goji berries have been used to treat many common health problems such as diabetes, fever, age-related eye problems, and high blood pressure. They are an excellent source of antioxidants, 18 amino acids (including the 8 essential to life), vitamins (C, B1, B2, B6, and E), beta-carotene (vitamin A - more than carrots), 22 trace minerals, and packed with fiber. Goji berries are also rich in Lycium barbarum polysaccharides (LBP), which exhibit anticancer, antioxidant, hypoglycemic, and immunological activities. In a clinical study of advanced cancer patients, researchers concluded LBP can be used as an adjuvant in cancer therapy(1).
Goji berries have an oxygen radical absorbency capacity (ORAC) 10 times that of blueberries. Antioxidants are key in preventing cell damage by free radicals. Taurine, a Goji berry compound, may help protect against diabetes-related vision loss, and zeaxanthin may protect the retina by absorbing blue light. Polysaccharides have been shown to help balance blood sugar and insulin response, and betaine to prevent fatty liver disease and vascular damage(2). The goji berry also seems to offer skin protection against UV-radiation(4).
LBP has been shown to inhibit certain colon cancers(3), sarcoma tumors, prostate cancer, and breast cancer(5). It also alleviated the decrease in red and white blood cells in certain irradiation- or chemotherapy-induced myelosuppressed mice (injected subcutaneously). LBP contributes to the growth of stem cells and increase the number of monocytes in the bone marrow. Goji Berry used in several recent clinical trials for the treatment of bone marrow with a deficit of production of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets showed that the berries Goji cause a noticeable improvement in all parameters of the blood.
Goji berries could interact with blood thinners like warfarin, diabetes drugs, and blood pressure drugs. Talk with your doctor before taking any product with Goji berries.
WebMD. Goji Berries: Health Benefits and Side Effects. http://www.webmd.com/balance/goji-berries-health-benefits-and-side-effects
2)The Organic Diabetic. Goji berry health benefits for diabetics. 2016. http://theorganicdiabetic.org/2016/01/goji-berry-health-benefits-for-diabetics/
1)Bodeker, G. "Integrative oncology meets immunotherapy: New prospects for combination therapy grounded in Eastern medical knowledge", Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine,2012,18,(9),652—662. doi=10.1007/s11655-012-1201-0. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Gerard_Bodeker/publication/230769077_Integrative_oncology_meets_immunotherapy_new_prospects_for_combination_therapy_grounded_in_Eastern_medical_knowledge/links/0046352a57bb6111cb000000.pdf
3)Sadia Afrin, Francesca Giampieri, Massimiliano Gasparrini, Tamara Y. Forbes-Hernandez, Alfonso Varela-López, José L. Quiles, Bruno Mezzetti and Maurizio Battino. Chemopreventive and therapeutic effects of edible berries: A focus on colon cancer prevention and treatment. Molecules 2016, 21(2), 169; doi:10.3390/molecules21020169. http://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/21/2/169/htm
4)Reeve, V. E., M. Allanson, S. J. Arun, D. Domanski and N. Painter (2010) Mice drinking goji berry juice (Lycium barbarum) are protected from UV radiation-induced skin damage via antioxidant pathways. Photochem. Photobiol. Sci. 9, 601–607. http://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2010/pp/b9pp00177h#!divCitation
5)Goji (Lycium barbarum and L. chinense): Phytochemistry, Pharmacology and Safety in the Perspective of Traditional Uses and Recent Popularity Olivier Potterat1 Planta Med 2010; 76(1): 7-19 DOI: 10.1055/s-0029-1186218 https://www.thieme-connect.com/products/ejournals/html/10.1055/s-0029-1186218