Goji Berry (2011) Components Eye Pigmentation

Learn more about macular degeneration.

2011

Goji berry contains a high level of antioxidants, particularly zeaxanthin which is an essential carotenoid antioxidant that accumulates in the macula.

The Chinese traditionally use a kind of milky tea containing goji berries and this double-blind, randomized study evaluated its effect on the integrity of the macula and blood plasma levels of zeaxanthin. 150 patients aged 65 to 70 years old were divided into two groups, one receiving the milk/goji formulation and one receiving placebo. Both groups received their dosage for 90 days.

At the beginning and at the end of the study period the patients received an ophthalmic exam to note the integrity of the pigmented layer of the eye (which protects the macula) and the number of drusen. Soft drusen, present in dry macular degeneration are yellowish fatty deposits on the macula. Untreated they multiply and eventually distort the structure of the macula resulting in vision loss.

The researchers found that daily supplementation with the milk/goji formulation increased the levels of zeaxanthin in the blood and protected from additional drusen formulation or loss of pigmentation.

This study was of fairly short duration, but nonetheless indicates a possible benefit from the nutrients contained in goji berry.

Researchers: P. Bucheli, K. Vidal, et al,
Published: Goji berry effects on macular characteristics and plasma antioxidant levels, Optometry and Visual Science, February, 2011.