Who should avoid Goji berry

Popular among celebrities from Madonna to Miranda Kerr, goji berries have been used in Chinese medicine for more than 6,000 years. The earliest record of goji berry in Chinese medical books was in the Shennongbong Classics (200 and 250 CE) for its anti-ageing purpose. 2000 years later, this amazing food is now known by the world and becoming popular in the wellbeing market.

The composition of goji berry contains:

  • Proteins, Fats, Gardenia Polysaccharides, Carotenoids, Thiamine, Riboflavin, Betaine(helps maintain cardiovascular health), Zeaxanthin(one of the two primary xanthophyll carotenoids contained within the retina of the eye)
  • Potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, manganese, zinc and other elements
  • 22 amino acids and multivitamins

Apart from the nutrient aspect, a lot of research have been done. In one trial, participants were individually instructed to carry out a healthy diet, but additionally, an inclusion of 14 g of the natural form of goji berry in the diet during 45 days for the A group was proposed. After 45 days of study, a significant reduction in transaminases, as well as an improvement in lipid profile in the A group, was observed. Likewise, a significant reduction in the waist circumference of the A group was observed when compared with that of the B group and increased glutathione and catalase levels associated with a reduction of lipid peroxidation. These results suggest that this is an effective dietary supplement for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases in individuals with metabolic syndrome. Goji berry reduces abdominal fat and improves lipid profile and antioxidant status in patients with metabolic syndrome.1

One study indicated goji berry extract exhibits potent free radical scavenging activity and protect against DNA damage induced by free radicals. Moreover, it was shown for the first time that one of these extracts increased the antioxidant mechanism of GSH and decreased lipid peroxidation and protein oxidation in muscle cells. Thus, the findings suggested that goji berry extract may be used as a food supplement to reduce the adverse effects of oxidative stress, especially after intensive exercise of athletes.2

In another randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study over 30 days, scientists found that daily consumption of Goji significantly increased several immunological responses and subjective feelings of general well-being without any adverse reactions.3

Goji berry is low in calories, a good source of fibre and a high-antioxidant food, its benefits include the ability to help fight disease, reduced fatigue and stress.

But Goji berry is NOT for everyone. As a commonly used Chinese medicine herb, there are some rules of not using Goji berries.

  1. People with poor digestion system should avoid it. Especially for someone with a sensitive stomach or loose stools as it may cause more problem.
  2. When you catch a cold you should not have Goji berry as the cold may linger longer.
  3. If your tongue coating is thick, Goji berries can be very bad. In Chinese medicine theory, the thick tongue coating indicates Dampness in the body and goji can make it worse.
  1. De Souza Zanchet MZ, Nardi GM, de Oliveira Souza Bratti L, Filippin-Monteiro FB, Locatelli C. Lycium barbarum Reduces Abdominal Fat and Improves Lipid Profile and Antioxidant Status in Patients with Metabolic Syndrome. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity. 2017;2017:9763210. doi:10.1155/2017/9763210.
  2. Skenderidis P, Kerasioti E, Karkanta E, et al. Assessment of the antioxidant and antimutagenic activity of extracts from goji berry of Greek cultivation. Toxicology Reports. 2018;5:251-257. doi:10.1016/j.toxrep.2018.02.001.
  3. Amagase H, Immunomodulatory effects of a standardized Lycium barbarum fruit juice in Chinese older healthy human subjects. J Med Food. 2009 Oct;12(5)