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The Amazing Health Benefits of the Goji Berry

Dr. Kristie Leong

There’s a tasty little berry that’s gaining a solid reputation as powerful promoter of good health. The official name for this berry is Lycium barbarum, but it’s more commonly known as the goji berry. The goji berry has a long history, having been used in Chinese medicine for 6,000 years to treat a variety of medical problems as well as to promote longevity. What are the purported health benefits of the goji berry?

One of the most compelling health benefits of the goji berry is its ability to protect visual health. Some of the beneficial biochemicals found in the goji berry include beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, as well as a variety of vitamins and minerals. Zeaxanthin in particular has been shown to help maintain healthy vision by reducing the risk of developing age related macular degeneration which can lead to blindness.

The goji berry is rich source of antioxidants, including the powerful carotenoids that have been shown in some studies to have cancer preventative properties. The antioxidants found in the goji berry have also been shown in preliminary research studies to reduce cholesterol and lower blood sugar levels.

There are various ways you can take advantage of the benefits of the goji berry. These include eating the raw or cooked berry, adding goji berry powder to different food and drink preparations, drinking goji berry juice, and taking goji berry extract. Most of the demonstrated health benefits of the goji berry have focused on the raw goji berry, although it would seem likely that the juice, powder, and extract would have some of the same healthy properties.

Copyright ©2008. Dr. Kristie Leong is a family practice physician and medical writer. Published with permission.