What is Wolfberry（Goji）Extract ?
Wolfberry is a fruit popular in China and Eastern Asia, and known medicinally for 2000 years。
In traditional medicine, goji berries were used to cure liver diseases, infertility, abdominal pain, dry cough, fatigue, headache, etc. It was considered to be tonic which increased longevity.
Since the early 21st century there has been rapidly growing attention for wolfberries for their nutrient value and antioxidant content. They have been termed a superfruit, which has led to a profusion of consumer products.
Goji is not only used as food and medicine in China, but also in other Asian countries such as Korea, Japan and Vietnam. The whole plant including the berries, leaves, roots, root bark have been used for medicinal purposes.
During the first decade of the 21st Century, farmers in Canada and the United States began cultivating goji on a commercial scale to meet potential markets for fresh berries, juice and processed products.
In addition, commercial volumes of wolfberries grow in the Chinese regions of Inner Mongolia, Qinghai, Gansu, Shaanxi, Shanxi, and Hebei. When ripe, the oblong, red berries are tender and must be picked carefully or shaken from the vine into trays to avoid spoiling. The fruits are preserved by drying them in full sun on open trays or by mechanical dehydration employing a progressively increasing series of heat exposure over 48 hours.
Chemical constituents of Wolfberry（Goji）Extract
Wolfberry（Goji）including flavonoids, carotenoids, and pyrrole derivatives.
Nutritionally, goji berry fruit juice has many benefits. It contains 19 amino acids, eight of them considered essential amino acids. The berries are rich in trace minerals. 21 minerals, including selenium, zinc, phosphorus, and calcium, can be found in the fruit. Other nutrients the juice contains include vitamin E, B vitamins, and essential fatty acids. Goji juice also contains greater amounts of beta carotene and vitamin C by weight than carrots and oranges respectively.
Benefits of taking Wolfberry（Goji）Extract supplements:
PREVENT VISION LOSS
Age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma can lead to irreversible blindness. Zearanthin and lutein are two antioxidants found in goji berries that are thought to preserve eyesight. C.Y. Cheng and colleagues at Hong Kong Polytechnic University gave 14 healthy volunteers a serving of 15 grams of whole goji berries daily for 28 days, comparing blood levels to 13 matched controls. The results, published in the January 2005 «British Journal of Nutrition,» proved that regular consumption of goji berries significantly raised zeaxanthin levels in the blood and reduced the risk of vision loss. In glaucoma, elevated fluid pressure in the eyes destroys cells in the retina. H.C. Chan and colleagues at the University of Hong Kong induced glaucoma in rats and treated the study group with goji berry extract. The retinal cells in rats receiving the remedy almost completely escaped retinal damage. The study was published in the January 2007 «Experimental Neurology.»
Fasting plasma zeaxanthin response to Fructus barbarum L. (wolfberry; Kei Tze) in a food-based human supplementation trial.
Br J Nutr. 2005.
Age-related macular degeneration is a common disorder that causes irreversible loss of central vision. Increased intake of foods containing zeaxanthin may be effective in preventing AMD because the macula accumulates zeaxanthin and lutein, oxygenated carotenoids with antioxidant and blue light-absorbing properties. Lycium barbarum L. is a small red berry known as Fructus lycii and wolfberry in the West, and Kei Tze and Gou Qi Zi in Asia. Wolfberry is rich in zeaxanthin dipalmitate, and is valued in Chinese culture for being good for vision. The aim of this study was to provide data on how fasting plasma zeaxanthin concentration changes as a result of dietary supplementation with whole wolfberry. Fasting blood was collected from healthy, consenting subjects; fourteen subjects took 15 g/d wolfberry (estimated to contain almost 3 mg zeaxanthin) for 28 d. After supplementation, plasma zeaxanthin increased 2.5-fold. This human supplementation trial shows that zeaxanthin in whole wolfberries is bioavailable and that intake of a modest daily amount markedly increases fasting plasma zeaxanthin levels.
Recent studies suggest that the fruit extracts of goji berries possess considerable hypoglycaemic properties. Studies also indicate that using goji berries to control diabetes will yield no side effects.
Hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects and antioxidant activity of fruit extracts from Lycium barbarum ( wolfberry ).
Life Sci. 2004.
The hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects of wolfberry water decoction, crude polysaccharide extracts (crude LBP), and purified polysaccharide fractions in alloxan-induced diabetic or hyperlipidemic rabbits were investigated. Total antioxidant capacity assay showed that all three wolfberry extracts/fractions possessed antioxidant activity. However, water and methanolc fruit extracts and crude polysaccharide extracts exhibited stronger antioxidant activity than purified polysaccharide fractions because wolfberry crude extracts were identified to be rich in antioxidants (e.g., carotenoids, riboflavin, ascorbic acid, thiamine, nicotinic acid). Wolfberry polysaccharides (glycocojugates), containing several monosaccharides and 17 amino acids, were major bioactive constituents of hypoglycemic effect. Both polysaccharides and vitamin antioxidants from wolfberry were possible active principles of hypolipidemic effect.
Recent studies have shown that intake of goji berries reduces the high cholesterol levels and particularly the LDL cholesterol levels are reduced.
Free radical scavenging:
Research study suggests that consumption of goji may help in reduction of medical conditions related to free radicals. The antioxidants present in goji berry may also help in boosting immune system goji berry
[Isolation and purification of Lycium barbarum polysaccharides and its antifatigue effect]
Wei Sheng Yan Jiu. 2000.
Wolfberry polysaccharide was tested on five different doses in mice. The results showed that it induced a remarkable adaptability to exercise load, enhanced resistance and accelerated elimination of fatigue. Wolfberry could enhance the storage of muscle and liver glycogen, increase the activity of LDH before and after swimming, decrease the increase of blood urea nitrogen (BUN) after strenuous exercise, and accelerate the clearance of BUN after exercise.
Goji berry extracts can protect our skin from damage caused by UV radiation. Studies have shown that by goji berries significantly reduce skin inflammation and immune suppresion. The antioxidant potential in goji berries has been attributed to this action.
Improves quality of sleep:
Some of the Chinese traditional uses of goji berry were to induce sleep and to reduce stress. Research has shown that goji berry when given to human subjects, the quality of their sleep improved significantly without any adverse effects. Apart from this easy awakening was also observed, compared to control group.
Increases semen and sperm quality:
Goji berry has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine as an aphrodisiac. Scientific studies on goji berry’s aphrodisiac properties concluded that it can reduce the damage caused to testis and provides protection against oxidative stress by hydrogen peroxide, which can decrease semen as well as sperm quality.
Goji berry due to its antioxidant properties also helps in improving eyesight. The antioxidants protect the eye from free radicals that may cause loss of eyesight, cataract and other eye related disorders.
Wolfberry and cancer
Preliminary research in test tubes shows wolfberry is able to inhibit growth of leukemia and liver cancer cells. Wolfberry also may have anti-fatigue properties.
>>Correlation Study 1
Inhibition the growth of human leukemia cells by Lycium barbarum polysaccharide ( wolfberry )
Wei Sheng Yan Jiu. 2001.
The effect and the mechanism of Wolfberry polysaccharide on inhibiting the growth of human leukemia HL-60 cells were examined. Wolfberry could inhibit the growth of HL-60 cells in dose-dependent manner and decrease the membrane fluidity of the cell. Agarose gel electrophoresis of DNA from the cells treated with wolfberry revealed a «DNA ladder» and positive TUNEL test. The results showed that the apoptosis of HL-60 cells induced by wolberry maybe its important mechanism on anti-tumorgenesis.
>>Correlation Study 1
A polysaccharide-protein complex from Lycium barbarum upregulates cytokine expression in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells.
Eur J Pharmacol. 2003.
The production of cytokine is a key event in the initiation and regulation of an immune response. Many compounds are now used routinely to modulate cytokine production, and therefore the immune response, in a wide range of diseases, such as cancer. Interleukin-2 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha are two important cytokines in antitumor immunity. In this study, the effects of Wolfberry polysaccharide-protein complex on the expression of interleukin-2 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells were investigated by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and bioassay. Administration of wolfberry increased the expression of interleukin-2 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha at both mRNA and protein levels in a dose-dependent manner. The results suggest that wolfberry may induce immune responses and possess potential therapeutic efficacy in cancer.
REDUCE THE RISK OF ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE
Goji berries are traditionally used in Asia to fight cancer and aging. Alzheimer’s disease may be associated with high levels of homocysteine, an amino acid thought to damage arteries. Goji berries have B vitamins that may help to break down homocysteine. Y. S. Ho and colleagues, at the University of Hong Kong, also found that carbohydrates in wolfberries can help protect nerve cells and brain function against homocysteine-induced damage, which could lead to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. The study was published in 2010 in the «Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.»
Goji berries are considered an aphrodisiac and male fertility treatment in China. Q. Luo and colleagues of Wuhan University in China experimented by giving carbohydrates from goji berries to rats and mice. When the rats were subjected to heat, the goji berries protected testicular cells and preserved function compared to controls. In mice subjected to hydrogen peroxide, the same protective effects were seen. Rats that had been partially castrated and given goji berries were able to have an erection and mount females significantly faster than similarly injured controls. Goji berries also improved sperm quantity and quality in the animals. Findings were published in the July 2006 issue of «Life Sciences.»
Side effects and safety of Wolfberry（Goji）Extract
Wolfberry（Goji）Extract is considered safe when taken by mouth for most people.may cause minor side effects such as nausea and vomiting.Wolfberry is not safe for pregnant and breast feeding mothers .
Goji berries can also interact with drugs and may cause bleeding. Warfarin is one of the drugs that have been known to be reactive with goji berries. Warfarin is used as an anticoagulant and reaction with goji berries during treatment with warfarin induced bleeding. Patient during the treatment with warfarin, reported epistaxis, bruising and rectal bleeding after taking goji berry juice.