Goji Berry (Lycium barbarum): Composition and Health Effects – a Review

Open access

Abstract

Goji berries contain many nutrients and bioactive compounds which allowed to classify them as superfruits. A short description of the fruits is presented together with cultivation requirements. The chemical composition of the berries and their health-promoting properties are described later in this literature review. Based on the available data, their potentially beneficial application in dietary prevention of diseases of affluence, such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer, is elaborated. We also refer to the safety of Goji consumption in the context of ingredients potentially harmful for human health, allergic reactions and the interactions with other substances.

REFERENCES

  • 1. Adams M., Wiedenmann M., Tittel G., Bauer R., HPLC-MS trace analysis of atropine in Lycium berries. Phytochem. Anal., 2006, 17, 279–283.

  • 2. Ahmad S.R., Gokulakrishnan P., Giriprasad R., Yatoo M.A., Fruit based natural antioxidants in meat and meat products: a review. Crit. Rev. Food Sci. Nutr., 2015, 55, 1503–1513.

  • 3. Amagase H., Farnsworth N.R., A review of botanical characteristics, phytochemistry, clinical relevance in efficacy and safety of Lycium barbarum fruit (Goji). Food Res. Int., 2011, 44, 1702–1717.

  • 4. Amagase H., Sun B., Borek C., Lycium barbarum (goji) juice improves in vivo antioxidant biomarkers in serum of healthy adults. Nutr. Res., 2009a, 29, 19–25.

  • 5. Amagase H., Sun B., Nance D., Immunomodulatory effects of a standardized Lycium barbarum fruit juice in Chinese older healthy human subjects. J. Med. Food., 2009b, 12, 1159–1165.

  • 6. Amani R., Gill T., Shiftworking, nutrition and obesity: implications for workforce health-a systematic review. Asia Pac. J. Clin. Nutr., 2013, 22, 505–515.

  • 7. Astrup A., Kristensen M., Gregersen N.T., Belza A., Lorenzen J.K., Due A., Larsen T.M., Can bioactive foods affect obesity? Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci., 2010, 1190, 25–41.

  • 8. Batcagan-Abueg A.P.M., Lee J.J.M., Chan P., Rebello S.A., Amarra M.S.V., Salt intakes and salt reduction initiatives in Southeast Asia: a review. Asia Pac. J. Clin. Nutr., 2013, 22, 490–504.

  • 9. Benzie I.F.F., Wachtel-Galor S., Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2011, 2nd ed. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

  • 10. Bucheli P., Vidal K., Shen L., Gu Z., Goji berry effects on macular characteristics and plasma antioxidant levels. Optom. Vis. Sci., 2011, 88, 257–262.

  • 11. Carnés J., de Larramendi.CH., Ferrer A., Huertas A.J., López-Matas M.A., Pagán J.A., Peña M., Recently introduced foods as new allergenic sources: sensitisation to Goji berries (Lycium barbarum). Food Chem., 2013, 137, 130–135.

  • 12. Castro I.A., Barroso L.P., Sinnecker P., Functional foods for coronary heart disease risk reduction: a meta-analysis using a multivariate approach. Am. J. Clin. Nutr., 2005, 82, 32–40.

  • 13. Chen Z., Tan B.K.H., Chan S.H., Activation of T lymphocytes by polysaccharide-protein complex from Lycium barbarum L. Int. Immunopharmacol., 2008, 8, 1663–1671.

  • 14. Cheng D., Kong H., The effect of Lycium barbarum polysaccha-ride on alcohol-induced oxidative stress in rats. Molecules, 2011, 16, 2542–2550.

  • 15. Chiu K., Zhou Y., Yeung S.C., Lok C.K.M., Chan O.O.C., Chang R.C.C., Chiu J.F., Up-regulation of crystallins is involved in the neuroprotective effect of wolfberry on survival of retinal ganglion cells in rat ocular hypertension model. J. Cell Biochem., 2010, 110, 311–320.

  • 16. Cho Y.H., Ahn S.C., Lee S.Y., Jeong D.W., Choi E.J., Kim Y.J., Lee J.G., Lee Y.H., Shin B.C., Effect of Korean red ginseng on insulin sensitivity in non-diabetic healthy overweight and obese adults. Asia Pac. J. Clin. Nutr., 2013, 22, 365–371.

  • 17. Cui B., Liu S., Lin X., Wang J., Li S., Wang Q., Li S., Effects of Lycium barbarum aqueous and ethanol extracts on high-fat-diet induced oxidative stress in rat liver tissue. Molecules, 2011, 16, 9116–9128.

  • 18. Dominion Seed House [online]., GOJI (Lycium barbarum) [access: 19–12–2013]. Retrieved from [http://www.dominion-seed-house.com/upload/GOJI_AN.pdf].

  • 19. Donno D., Beccaro G.L., Mellano M.G., Cerutti A.K., Bounous G., Goji berry fruit (Lycium spp.): antioxidant compound fingerprint and bioactivity evaluation. J. Funct. Food., 2015, doi:10.1016/j.jff.2014.05.020.

  • 20. dos Reis B.A., Kosińska–Cagnazzo A., Schmitt R., Andlauer W., Fermentation of plant material – Effect on sugar content and stability of bioactive compounds. Pol. J. Food Nutr. Sci., 2014, 64, 235–241.

  • 21. Gan L., Zhang S.H., Liang Yang X., Bi Xu H., Immunomodulation and antitumor activity by a polysaccharide-protein complex from Lycium barbarum. Int. Immunopharmacol., 2004, 4, 563–569.

  • 22. Gan L., Zhang S.H., Liu Q., Xu H.B., A polysaccharide-protein complex from Lycium barbarum upregulates cytokine expression in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Eur. J. Pharmacol., 2003, 471, 217–222.

  • 23. Gramza-Michałowska A., Caffeine in tea Camellia sinensis – content, absorption, benefits and risks of consumption. J. Nutr. Health Aging, 2014, 18, 143–149.

  • 24. Gramza-Michałowska A., Korczak J., Oxygen radical absorbance capacity of selected food products. Acta Sci. Pol., Technol. Aliment., 2013, 12, 175–180.

  • 25. Gramza-Michałowska A., Sidor A., Hęś M., Herb extract influence on the oxidative stability of selected lipids. J. Food Biochem., 2011, 35, 1723–1736.

  • 26. Gross M.P., [online]., Exotic Antioxidant Superfruits. Volume 2: Goji (“Wolfberry”) [access: 19–12–2013]. Retrieved from [http://www.gojitrees.com/BerryDoctorGoji-GeneralEbook0–07.pdf].

  • 27. Guiné R.P.F., Lima M.J.R., Barroca M.J., Functional components of Foods. 2010, in: Food, Diet and Health. Past, Present and Future Tendencies (ed. R.P.F. Guiné). Nova Science Publishers, New York, pp. 59–135.

  • 28. Guo D.J., Cheng H.L., Chan S.W., Yu P.H.F., Antioxidative activities and the total phenolic contents of tonic Chinese medicinal herbs. Inflammopharmacology, 2008, 16, 201–207.

  • 29. Guowen C., Longjun J., Qiang F., Anti-hyperglycemic activity of a polysaccharide fraction from Lycium barbarum. Afr. J. Biomed. Res., 2010, 13, 55–59.

  • 30. Harsh M.L., Tropane alkaloids from Lycium barbarum Linn. in vivo and in vitro. Curr. Sci., 1989, 58, 817–818.

  • 31. Henning S.M., Zhang Y., Rontoyanni V.G., Huang J., Lee R., Trang A., Nuernberger G., Heber D., Variability in the antioxidant activity of dietary supplements from pomegranate, milk thistle, green tea, grape seed, goji, and acai: effects of in vitro digestion. J. Agric. Food Chem., 2014, 62, 4313−4321.

  • 32. Hęś M., Jeżewska M., Szymandera–Buszka K., Gramza-Michałowska A., Effect of antioxidant additives on nutritive value of dried meat. Zyw. Nauka Technol. Jakosc., 2011, 5, 94–106.

  • 33. Hu C.K., Lee Y.J., Colitz C.M., Chang C.J., Lin C.T., The protective effects of Lycium barbarum and Chrysanthemum morifolum on diabetic retinopathies in rats. Vet. Ophthalmol., 2012, 15, 65–71.

  • 34. Huang L.J., Tian G.Y., Wang Z.F., Dong J.B., Wu M.P., Studies on the glycoconjugates and glycans from Lycium barbarum L in inhibiting low density lipoprotein (LDL) peroxidation. Acta Pharm. Sin., 2001, 36, 108–111.

  • 35. Inbaraj B.S., Lu H., Hung C.F., Wu W.B., Lin C.L., Chen B.H., Determination of carotenoids and their esters in fruits of Lycium barbarum Linnaeus by HPLC-DAD-APCI-MS. J. Pharm. Biomed. Anal., 2008, 47, 812–818.

  • 36. Jiang L., Preparation and antioxidant activity of Lycium barbarum oligosaccharides. Carbohydr. Polym., 2014, 99, 646–648.

  • 37. Kmiecik D., Korczak J., Rudzińska M., Gramza-Michałowska A., Hęś M., Kobus-Cisowska J., Stabilization of phytosterols by natural and synthetic antioxidants in high temperature conditions. Food Chem., 2015, 173, 966–971.

  • 38. Kris-Etherton P.M., Hecker K.D., Bonanome A., Coval S.M., Binkoski A.E., Hilpert K.F., Griel A.E., Etherton T.D., Bioactive compounds in foods: their role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Am. J. Med., 2002, 113, 71S–88S.

  • 39. Lam A.Y., Elmer G.W., Mohutsky M.A., Possible interaction between warfarin and Lycium barbarum L. Ann. Pharmacother., 2001, 35, 1199–1201.

  • 40. Larramendi C.H., García-Abujeta J.L., Vicario S., García-Endrino A., López-Matas M.A., García-Sedeño M.D., Carnés J., Goji berries (Lycium barbarum): risk of allergic reactions in individuals with food allergy. J. Investig. Allergol. Clin. Immunol., 2012, 22, 345–350.

  • 41. Leung H., Hung A., Hui A.C.F., Chan T.Y.K., Warfarin overdose due to the possible effects of Lycium barbarum L. Food Chem. Toxicol., 2008, 46, 1860–1862.

  • 42. Li X., Ma Y., Liu X., Effect of the Lycium barbarum polysaccha-rides on age-related oxidative stress in aged mice. J. Ethnopharmacol., 2007, 111, 504–511.

  • 43. Li X., Zhou A., Evaluation of the antioxidant effects of polysaccharides extracted from Lycium barbarum. Med. Chem. Res., 2007, 15, 471–482.

  • 44. Li X.M., Protective effect of Lycium barbarum polysaccharides on streptozotocin-induced oxidative stress in rats. Int. J. Biol. Macromol., 2007, 40, 461–465.

  • 45. Lin C., Wang C., Chang S., Antioxidative activity of polysaccharide fractions isolated from Lycium barbarum Linnaeus. Int. J. Biol. Macromol., 2009, 45, 146–151.

  • 46. Liu R.H., Dietary bioactive compounds and their health implications. J. Food Sci., 2013, 78, A18–25.

  • 47. Liu X.L., Sun J.Y., Li H.Y., Zhang L., Qian B.C., Extraction and isolation of active component for inhibiting PC3 cell proliferation in vitro from the fruit of Lycium barbarum L. J. Chinese Materia Medica, 2000, 25, 481–483.

  • 48. Llorent-Martínez E.J., Fernández-de Córdova M.L., Ortega-Barrales P., Ruiz-Medina A., Characterization and comparison of the chemical composition of exotic superfoods. Microchem. J., 2013, 110, 444–451.

  • 49. Luo Q., Cai Y., Yan J., Sun M., Corke H., Hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects and antioxidant activity of fruit extracts from Lycium barbarum. Life Sci., 2004, 76, 137–149.

  • 50. Mao F., Xiao B., Jiang Z., Zhao J., Huang X., Guo J., Anticancer effect of Lycium barbarum polysaccharides on colon cancer cells involves G0/G1 phase arrest. Med. Oncol., 2011, 28, 121–126.

  • 51. Marczyński S., Piotrowski W., Clematis [online]. Encyclopaedia of vines [access: 07–12–2013]. Retrieved from [http://www.clematis.com.pl].

  • 52. Marrazzo G., Barbagallo I., Galvano F., Malaguarnera M., Gazzolo D., Frigiola A., D’Orazio N., Li Volti G., Role of dietary and endogenous antioxidants in diabetes. Crit. Rev. Food Sci. Nutr., 2014, 54, 1599–1616.

  • 53. Medina M.B., Determination of the total phenolics in juices and superfruits by a novel chemical method. J. Funct. Foods, 2011, 3, 79–87.

  • 54. Meydani M., Hasan S.T., Dietary polyphenols and obesity. Nutrients, 2010, 2, 737–751.

  • 55. Mikulic-Petkovsek M., Schmitzer V., Slatnar A., Stampar F., Veberic R., Composition of sugars, organic acids, and total phenolics in 25 wild or cultivated berry species. J. Food Sci., 2012, 77, C1064–1070.

  • 56. Milner J.A., Molecular targets for bioactive food components. J. Nutr., 2004, 134, 2492S-2498.

  • 57. Ming M., Guanhua L., Zhanhai Y., Guang C., Xuan Z., Effect of the Lycium barbarum polysaccharides administration on blood lipid metabolism and oxidative stress of mice fed high-fat diet in vivo. Food Chem., 2009, 113, 872–877.

  • 58. Mocan A., Vlase L., Vodnar D.C., Bischin C., Hanganu D., Gheldiu A., Operan R., Silaghi-Dumitrescu R., Crisan G., Polyphenolic content, antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of Lycium barbarum L. and Lycium chinense Mill. leaves. Molecules, 2014, 19, 10056–10073.

  • 59. Möller N.P., Scholz-Ahrens K.E., Roos N., Schrezenmeir J., Bio-active peptides and proteins from foods: indication for health effects. Eur. J. Nutr., 2008, 47, 171–182.

  • 60. Monzón Ballarín S., López-Matas M.A., Sáenz Abad D., Pérez-Cinto N., Carnés J., Anaphylaxis associated with the ingestion of Goji berries (Lycium barbarum). J. Investig. Allergol. Clin. Immunol., 2011, 21, 567–570.

  • 61. Morimoto A., Ohno Y., Tatsumi Y., Mizuno S., Watanabe S., Effects of healthy dietary pattern and other lifestyle factors on incidence of diabetes in a rural Japanese population. Asia Pac. J. Clin. Nutr., 2012, 21, 601–608.

  • 62. Ni T., Wei G., Yin X., Liu X., Liu D., Neuroprotective effect of Lycium barbarum on retina of Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) rats: a preliminary study. Folia Neuropathol., 2013, 2, 158–163.

  • 63. Pai P., Habeeba P., Ullal S., Evaluation of hypolipidemic effects of Lycium barbarum (Goji Berry) in a murine model. J. Nat. Rem., 2013, 13, 4–8.

  • 64. Peaceful Valley Farm Supply [online]. Goji (Wolf) Berries. Planting and growing guide [access: 21–12–2013]. Retrieved from [http://www.groworganic.com/media/pdfs/goji-l.pdf].

  • 65. Peng X.M., Qi C.H., Tian G.Y., Zhang Y.X., Physico-chemical properties and bioactivities of a glycoconjugate LbGp5B from Lycium barbarum L. Chin. J. Chem., 2001, 19, 842–846.

  • 66. Peng Y., Ma C., Li Y., Leung K.S.Y., Jiang Z.H., Zhao Z., Quantification of zeaxanthin dipalmitate and total carotenoids in Lycium fruits (Fructus Lycii). Plant Foods Hum. Nutr., 2005, 60, 161–164.

  • 67. Potterat O., Goji (Lycium barbarum and Lycium chinense): Phytochemistry, pharmacology and safety in the perspective of traditional uses and recent popularity. Planta Med., 2010, 76, 7–19.

  • 68. Reguła J., Gramza-Michałowska A., New cereal food products with the addition of dried shiitake mushroom (Lentinula edodes) as a source of selected nutrients. Ital. J. Food Sci., 2010, 3, 292–297.

  • 69. Reguła J., Gramza-Michałowska A., Nutritional value and glycemic index of cereal products with dried oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) added. Żywność. Nauka, Technologia, Jakość, 2013, 5, 119 – 128.

  • 70. Rivera C.A., Ferro C.L., Bursua A.J., Gerber B.S., Probable interaction between Lycium barbarum (Goji) and warfarin. Pharmacotherapy, 2012, 32, e50-e53.

  • 71. Saldanha G.L., Summary of comments received in response to the Federal Register notice defining bioactive food components. Federal Register, 2004, 69, 55821–55822.

  • 72. Shan X., Zhou J, Ma T., Chai Q., Lycium barbarum polysaccha-rides reduce exercise-induced oxidative stress. Int. J. Mol. Sci., 2011, 12, 1081–1088.

  • 73. Sharma R., Singh R.B., Bioactive foods and nutraceutical supplementation criteria in cardiovascular protection. Open Nutraceut. J., 2010, 3, 141–153.

  • 74. Shashirakhaa M.N., Mallikarjunaa S.E., Rajarathnama S. Status of bioactive compounds in foods, with focus on fruits and vegetables. Crit. Rev. Food Sci. Nutr., 2015, 55, 1324–1339.

  • 75. Shen Z., Wang J., Li G., Effect of extract of Lycium barbarum L. on adult human retinal nerve cells. Chin. J. Ophthalmol., 2012, 48, 824–828.

  • 76. Sidor A., Gramza-Michałowska A., Advanced research on the antioxidant and health benefit of elderberry (Sambucus nigra) in food – a review. J. Funct. Foods, 2015, doi:10.1016/j.jff2014.07.012, in press.

  • 77. Song M.K., Salam N.K., Roufogalis B.D., Huang T.H.W., Lycium barbarum (Goji Berry) extracts and its taurine component inhibit PPAR-γ-dependent gene transcription in human retinal pigment epithelial cells: Possible implications for diabetic retinopathy treatment. Biochem. Pharmacol., 2011, 82, 1209–1218.

  • 78. Sopher L. Lauren. (n.d.)., Lycium barbarum L. climbers.lsa.umich.edu, (11), 1–5. Retrieved from [http://climbers.lsa.umich.edu/wpcontent/uploads/2013/07/LycibarbSOLAFINAL.pdf].

  • 79. Srinath Reddy K., Katan M.B., Diet, nutrition and the prevention of hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. Public Health Nutr., 2004, 7, 167-186.

  • 80. Tang L., Zhang Y., Jiang Y., Willard L., Ortiz E., Wark L., Medeiros D., Lin D., Dietary wolfberry ameliorates retinal structure abnormalities in db/db mice at the early stage of diabetes. Exp. Biol. Med., 2011, 236, 1051–1063.

  • 81. Tang W.M., Chan E., Kwok C.Y., Lee Y.K., Wu J.H., Wan C.W., Chan S.W., A review of the anticancer and immunomodulatory effects of Lycium barbarum fruit. Inflammopharmacology, 2012, 20, 307–314.

  • 82. USDA, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. 2010. Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) of Selected Foods, Release 2. Nutrient Data Laboratory Home Page: http://www.ars.usda.gov/nutrientdata/orac

  • 83. Wang C.C., Chang S.C., Inbaraj B.S., Chen B.H., Isolation of carotenoids, flavonoids and polysaccharides from Lycium barbarum L. and evaluation of antioxidant activity. Food Chem., 2010, 120, 184–192.

  • 84. Wu S., Ng L., Lin C., Antioxidant activities of some common ingredients of traditional Chinese medicine, Angelica sinensis, Lycium barbarum and Poria cocos. Phytother. Res., 2004, 18, 1008–1012.

  • 85. Xiao J., Liong E., Ching Y., Chang R., Lycium barbarum polysaccharides protect mice liver from carbon tetrachloride-induced oxidative stress and necroinflammation. J. Ethnopharmacol., 2012, 139, 462–470.

  • 86. Yu H., Wark L., Ji H., Willard L., Jaing Y., Han J., Lin D., Dietary wolfberry upregulates carotenoid metabolic genes and enhances mitochondrial biogenesis in the retina of db/db diabetic mice. Mol. Nutr. Food Res., 2013, 57, 1158–1169.

  • 87. Zhang M., Chen H., Huang J., Li Z., Zhu C., Zhang S., Effect of Lycium barbarum polysaccharide on human hepatoma QGY7703 cells: inhibition of proliferation and induction of apoptosis. Life Sci., 2005, 76, 2115–2124.

  • 88. Zhang Z., Liu X., Wu T., Liu J., Zhang X., Yang X., Wang Y., Selective suppression of cervical cancer Hela cells by 2-O-β-D-glucopyranosyl-L-ascorbic acid isolated from the fruit of Lycium barbarum L. Cell Biol. Toxicol., 2011a, 27, 107–121.

  • 89. Zhang Z., Liu X., Zhang X., Liu J., Hao Y., Comparative evaluation of the antioxidant effects of the natural vitamin C analog 2-O-β-D-glucopyranosyl-L-ascorbic acid isolated from Goji berry fruit. Arch. Pharm. Res., 2011b, 34, 801–810.

  • 90. Zhao R., Li Q., Xiao B., Effect of Lycium barbarum polysaccha-ride on the improvement of insulin resistance in NIDDM rats. Yakugaku zasshi.J. Pharmaceut. Soc. Jap., 2005, 125, 981–988.

  • 91. Zhong Y., Shahidi F., Naczk M., Phytochemicals and health benefits of goji berries. 2013, in: Dried Fruits: Phytochemicals and Health Effects, 1st Edition (eds. C. Alasalvar, F. Shahidi). Wiley-Blackwell Publisher, Hoboken, New Jersey, pp. 133–144.

  • 92. Zhu C.P., Zhang S.H., Lycium barbarum polysaccharide inhibits the proliferation of HeLa cells by inducing apoptosis. J. Sci. Food. Agric., 2013, 93, 149–156.

Polish Journal of Food and Nutrition Sciences

The Journal of Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research of Polish Academy of Sciences in Olsztyn

Journal Information


IMPACT FACTOR 2016: 1.276

CiteScore 2016: 1.56

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.397
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 0.951

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 207 207 128
PDF Downloads 79 79 43