The name “Wolfberry” first appeared in Shi Jing more than 2500 years ago.In addition,
the Shennong’s Classic of Materia Medica, the first official codex in ancient China,
mentioned Lycium barbarm (Goji berries) and named it as a “top grade.”
Pharmacological and Health-caring Effects
Historically, medicine and health care experts had been very concerned with
Wolfberry’s nutrients. In traditional Chinese medicine terms, they can nourish
liver and kidney and improve energy and eyesight. Thus, it can be used to cure
aching waist and knee, vertigo and tinnitus, internal heat and thirst, enervation,
chlorosis and blurred vision.
Modern medicine and clinical studies have indicated that goji berries contains the
following body strengthening elements: 18 amino acids, 32 microelements and
constant elements, 6 necessary long-chain fatty acids, 7 vitamins, LBPs and carotenes
and carotenoids. According to the study and practice of Chinese, American, and
Japanese scientists, it mainly serves to improve immunity and resist aging. For example,
resisting free radical, protect DNA, improve immunity, maintain heart health, protect the
pancreas, liver and eyes.
In recent years, Chinese scientists have tested the content of LBP (goji berry polysaccharides),
amino acids, lycine, flavone, constant elements and microelements and results appeared to be
very inspiring. Dried goji berries contained 12.71% LBP. Tests have found that goji berries
contained 3.01 mg amino acids per 100 mg and dried fruits contained 9.75 mg amino acids per
100 mg. By measuring the content of dried goji berries, the result from infrared spectrum was 1.11%
and result from photometry was 0.97%. By means of spectrophotometry, dried goji berries is
estimated to contain 580.0 mg flavones per 100 mg. By means of flame atomic absorption
spectrum, the content of major constant elements and microelements in dried goji berries are:
Ca (calcium): 103.34mg/100g
Mg (magnesium): 147.48mg/100g
K (potassium): 299.97/mg/100g
Na (sodium): 51.10mg/100g
Li (lithium): 6.200mg/100g
Cu (copper): 1.050mg/100g
Zn (zinc): 1.782mg/100g
Fe (iron): 10.054mg/100g
Ma (managanese): 0.943mg/100g
The content of goji berry polysaccharide (LBP) is more than 6% in the dried goji berries.
The goji berry polysaccharide is a bioactive substance combined six neutral monosaccharide
chains – arabinose (ARA), whose molecular formula is CH2OH (CHOH) 3CHO, galactose (GLA),
whose molecular formula is C24H42O21, rhamnose (RHA), whose molecular formula is
C6H12O5, xylose (XYL), whose molecular formula is C5H10O5, mannose (MAN), whose molecular
formula is C5H11O5CHO and glucose (GLU), whose molecular formula is C6H12O6 – with peptide
chain by the form of covalent bond. Now, we summarized the medical theory and clinic research of
the goji berry polysaccharide as the following:
1. The action of adjusting immunity
On the aspect of unspecific immune function: Goji berry polysaccharide (LBP) has an obvious
advancing and bilaterally adjusting function to the macrophages, which are under a different state.
On the aspect of specific function: The LBP can increase the percentage of T cells and TH
subpopulation, enhancing the conversion of lymphocyte, and boost the expressing levels of
human body circumferential blood monocyte, interleukin – 2 (IL-2) and the tumor necrosis factor
– alpha – gene.
2. The action of anti-aging
The goji berry polysaccharide can boost the phagocytic function of phagocyte and the multiplication
capacity of T lymphocyte; increase the content of serum IgG and the alexin activity. LbGp4 has
been found to clean up the activity of free radicals commendably and are a dose-effect relationship.
3. The action of anti-tumor
The development of a tumor is closely related with the state of immunity. Applying the medicine of
boosting up the immune function can subsidize the tumor or suspend the development of it. The
LBP is not only a biologic response modulator (BRM) of adjusting the geologic response, it also can
exert the function of anti-cancer though the nervous – incretion – the immune adjusting network which
means that the function of LBP is not only on the immune cells.
4. The action of anti-fatigue
LBP can increase the stock-piling quantity of hepatin and liver hepatin in lab studies of mice, boost up
the total activity of the lactase dehydrogenase in the blood before and after exercise, reduce the
increasing quantity of blood carbamide nitrogen after exercising, and accelerate the eliminating speed
of blood carbamide nitrogen after exercising. This indicates that the LBP has an obvious action of
anti-fatigue and can accelerate to overcome fatigue due to exercise.
5. The action of anti-radiating damage
The LBP’s immune adjusting action of a radio–therapy patient can slow down the reduction of white
cells caused by radio-therapy, increase the amount of T lymphocyte in the circumferential blood,
and adjust the proportion of immune cells in the patient. All of which indicates that the LBP is a perfect
immune function protectant of preventing organism cells against ionization radiation damage.
6. The action of reducing blood fat
Increased concentration of blood fat makes for a higher demand of oxygen and the level of energy
necessary for metabolism is increased. The probability of the respiratory chain creating O2- is increased,
which can result in increasing the speed of the cell’s over-oxidizing damage. The LBP not only can slow
down oxidation through reducing the content of blood fat, but can also enhance the level of SOD in the
cells effectively; by cleaning up the free radicals, reduce the content of lipofusion and LPO.
7. The action of reducing blood sugar
LBP can boost up the activity of SOD in the defective islet cells, increase the antioxidant ability of islet
cells, slow down the over-oxidizing damage of cells, and reduce the procreant quantity of MDA. This
indicates that the LBP has an absolute protective action towards the islet cells in lab studies of mice
affected by alloxan.
8. The action of decreasing blood pressure
In lab studies of mice, LBP decreased the arterial pressure and lowered the extent of the systolic
pressure. Although before and after the pneumogastric nerve was cut, the LBP’s effect of decreasing
blood pressure had no marked significance.
9. Protecting the genital system
LBP boosted the sex hormone levels of mice, whose testicles were damaged. It increased the organ’s
coefficient of its testicle and epididymis, enhanced the SOD activity of its testicle tissue, decreased the
content of MDA and benefited the damaged testicle tissue which reached normal levels.
Effects of Goji berry oil
1. Cure diseases: goji berry oil contains more than 90% unsaturated fatty acids, linoleic acid
and oleic acid and plenty of phosopholipids. Frequent consumption could reduce cholesterol in
plasma and cholesterol sediment in the blood vessel wall and thus prevent atherosclerosis.
2. Beautify and whiten: the softgel made of goji berry oil could activate the functions of the skin
and liver, promote blood circulation, enhance cell activity, directly impact skin metabolism, eliminate
free radicals, slow epidermal and dermal aging, improve hydration and make the skin appear soft,
elastic and white.
3. Remove pigmented spots: the softgel made of goji berry oil can remove melasma, chloasma and age
pigment. This magic effect can be attributed to active factors and VE contained in the goji berry oil.
These substances can activate the skin, strengthen the liver, effectively promote metabolism, reduce
melanin sediment, and weaken and remove pigmented spots.
4. Nourish Yin and Strengthen Yang: Goji berry oil can stimulate the nerve, increase female hormone
and improve the hypothalamus, pituitary and sex gland.
5. Brighten eyesight: Goji berry oil is rich in beta-carotene, the most important active ingredient in vitamin A.
Vitamin A is related to our eyesight and the light sensitive substance in retina consists of vitamin and opsin.
Anti-oxidation Measurement of Some Familiar Foods
In 1994, scientists in Tufts University invented a method of measuring the anti-oxidation of some familiar
foods. Dr. Cao Guo-Hua, an expert on aging in the Research Center of Tufts University invented the ORAC
method, which can measure the anti-oxidation of various foods.
At present, the ORAC method is one of the most precise and advanced methods of measuring the absorption
by antioxidants of free radicals. This method can measure both the magnitude and the duration of the
resistance to free radicals.
In October 2000, at Braunschweig Lab of Germany, Mr. Marc Schreuder from the United States, who studied
primary active refined oil, made an anti-oxidation sample that measured the absorption capacity of oxygen
atoms in goji berries. Results from ORAC method indicated that for goji berries kept for 1-3 years, its
anti-oxidation is nearly 12 times that of oranges, 14 times that of raisins, 25 times that of spinach, 150 times
that of an apple, banana, and carrot. Actually, in accordance with published ORAC data, goji berry has the
highest ORAC figure.
THE ORAC of Top Antioxidant Foods
Ningxia goji berry 303
Chinese goji berry 202
Black Raspberry 164
Brussel Sprouts 9
Red Grape 11
Alfalfa Sprouts 9
Brocoli florets 9
*Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity
*Data from dried fruit stored 1-3 years
*Analysis performed by Brunswick Labs, Wareham, MA
With all that's been said, goji berries are a powerful antioxidant and can effectively prevent cellular
mutation and the formation of and damages by free radicals in cancer cells. Antioxidants protect
our body by weakening and destroying free radicals produced in the process of food digestion.