Go Goji?

Professor disputes "super food" status of Goji berries

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Although their properties have not been scientifically proven yet, proponents claim Goji berries (Lycium Barbarum), grown in China and Mediterranean regions, enhance health.

A University of Granada professor found that the berries -- which belong to the same Solanaceae family in which potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, aubergines and other vegetables included in the Mediterranean diet belong -- do not have any positive effect on people who do not follow a balanced diet and have a "significant placebo effect" for some.

Professor Emilio Martínez de Victoria Muñoz at the Institute of Nutrition and Food Science of the University of Granada said the dried berries, which resemble long red raisins, have numerous nutrients but that supposed scientific evidence endorsing the beneficial properties of Goji berries “were exclusively developed in vitro and in animals in China."

Muñoz said consumption of the berries will not result in any harm, but those on anticoagulant drugs and certain allergies should use caution before eating the fruit. The berries contain antioxidants, complex polysaccharides and monosaccharides, lutein and zeaxanthin (beneficial for the eyes), fiber, proteins and carbohydrates.

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Review Date: 
December 20, 2010
Last Updated:
December 20, 2010