An in vivo investigation of the effects of serum LBP-standardized L. Diabetes mellitus is characterized by abnormally high levels of blood glucose, and it is also known as hyperglycaemia [ 58 ]. Due to the high cost and adverse side effects of many oral hypoglycaemic agents, the exploration and discovery of safer and more effective substitutes have become very important and significant.
This has led to the investigation for hypoglycaemic activity in other more traditionally edible food sources such as goji berries which have been shown to have a hypoglycaemic effect in cell and animal studies [ 1 ]. A cell experiment on hypoglycaemic effects for instance proved that LBP3b an extraction from L. Similar results were observed after a day treatment in alloxan-induced diabetic mice with LBP [ 62 — 64 ]. This was consistent with Zou et al.
Very limited or no clinical human studies exist, however. Monzon-Ballarin et al. The patients had a positive skin prick test and a detection of specific immunoglobulin Ig E to goji berry.
Larramendi et al. The subjects included five patients reporting allergenic symptoms on intake of goji berries, six tolerating the berries, and 20 never having eaten goji berries. All subjects underwent skin prick tests with goji berries, as well as with peach peel and plant food panallergens as biomarkers of cross-reactivity between unrelated foods. Positivity to goji berries was related with positivity to peach peel and to the panallergen-nonspecific LTPs.
Goji berries have been utilised in traditional Chinese medicine to prevent the onset and progression of cancer for so many years, due to its rich phytochemical and antioxidant composition [ 1 ]. Some of its ingredients might have a better therapeutic effect on cancer than other foods. Hsu et al.
Moreover, attributing to most of the biological effects of the fruits including anticancer, antitumour, and immunomodulatory and properties, goji berries are unusually rich in water-soluble peptide-conjugated polysaccharides i. They have the ability to enhance or potentiate the host defence mechanisms in a way to inhibit tumour growth without harming the host. Research work conducted by Tang et al.
The neurological protective effect of goji berries has been demonstrated in an experimental study including human clinical trial. Glutamate has been shown to be excitotoxic and is being implicated in many neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease [ 61 , 72 ]. Thus, reduction of glutamate toxicity is considered a therapeutic strategy for those neurodegenerative diseases. A study by Yang et al. LBP again improved the survival rate and promoted the growth of mixed cultured retinal ganglion cells, from neonatal Sprague-Dawley rats [ 74 ].
Regarding the effects on renal vascular tension of LBP, Jia et al.
It was observed that compared to rats not treated for hypertension, in isolated aortic rings of LBP-treated rats, the reduced phenylephrine contraction was observed, causing that LBP-treated rats were significantly prevented from elevated blood pressure. The authors reported that in the serum and liver of rats, total cholesterol and triglyceride levels were reduced; also, the level of serum low-density lipoprotein- LDL- C was decreased [ 5 , 78 ].
A similar result was observed in a study by Luo et al. LBPs lowered serum total cholesterol and triglyceride levels; meanwhile, the high-density lipoprotein HDL cholesterol level was increased after a day treatment among rabbits. In a recent review, Gao et al.
Histopathological examination was employed to confirm the ameliorative effects of the extract and betaine [ 80 ]. Betaine has been shown to be an anti-inflammation agent associated with colon carcinogenesis. It also has been shown to possess a tumour-preventing effect on colitis-associated cancer in mice induced by azoxymethane. Administration with betaine significantly lowered the incidence of tumour formation with downregulation of inflammation. Betaine has been shown to have preventive effects on ultraviolet B UVB irradiation-induced skin damage in mice.
UVB is a common kind of free radical that can cause extrinsic aging, such as skin aging. Betaine has been proved to reduce photodamage caused by UVB irradiation. Apart from the allergic and anaphylactic reactions, other side effects that consumers should be aware of are to be mentioned. These include the presence of organic toxic substances and risk of interactions with other prescriptions besides allergy. Atropine, a toxic alkaloid, is naturally present in goji berry.
The content was reported to be at toxic level. Therefore, its content is far below toxic levels Adam et al. Patients who experienced interactions between goji berries and warfarin have been described in three published case reports. Warfarin is prescribed as a common anticoagulation therapy. The international normalized ratio INR was observed to elevate in patients after drinking goji tea [ 83 ]. Increased bleeding from the rectum and nose was observed in another patient who drank goji berry juice [ 84 ]. Most recently, a study by Zhang et al.
Other possible interactions between goji berries and prescription medications are still unknown. It is important to take into consideration the possible risks of taking goji berries in individuals taking medications with a narrow therapeutic index. Arroyo-Martinez et al.
The symptoms reported included nonbloody diarrhea, asthenia, and colic abdominal pain. The patient had a mild mucocutaneous jaundice and a generalized erythematous and pruriginous maculopapular rash. The patient consumed goji berry tea 3 times a day [ 86 ]. The liver function tests were elevated. However, another possible change in goji composition is contamination, during its production and post-marketing.
Thus, the toxic side effects of post-marketing surveillance are another area of concern. Similar to other plants [ 87 — 91 ], goji berries are a high antioxidant potential fruits which alleviate oxidative stress to confer many health protective benefits such as preventing free radicals from damaging DNA, lipids, and proteins. There is a better protection through synergistic and additive effects in fruits and herbal products from a complex mixture of phytochemicals than from a single phytochemical.
National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Oxid Med Cell Longev. Published online Jan 9. Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Corresponding author. Zheng Feei Ma: moc. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract Goji berries Lycium fruits are usually found in Asia, particularly in northwest regions of China. Introduction Goji berries Lycium fruits are obtained from two closely related plants, Lycium chinense and Lycium barbarum. Bioactive Compounds of Goji Berries There are many bioactive compounds distinguished by high antioxidant potential in goji berries. Table 1 Some chemical compounds of goji berries. Open in a separate window. Vision-Protective Effect The mixture of highly branched polysaccharides and proteoglycans in LBPs has been reported to exert ocular neuroprotective effects [ 30 , 31 ].
Lipid-Lowering Effect The lipid-lowering health benefit of LBP and its purified constituents have been demonstrated in animals with limited clinical studies in humans. Hypoglycaemic Effect Diabetes mellitus is characterized by abnormally high levels of blood glucose, and it is also known as hyperglycaemia [ 58 ].
Allergic and Anaphylactic Reactions Monzon-Ballarin et al. Anticancer, Antitumour, Immunostimulatory, and Modulatory Effects Goji berries have been utilised in traditional Chinese medicine to prevent the onset and progression of cancer for so many years, due to its rich phytochemical and antioxidant composition [ 1 ]. Neurological Protective Effect The neurological protective effect of goji berries has been demonstrated in an experimental study including human clinical trial.
Antiaging Effects In a recent review, Gao et al. Adverse Effects of Goji Berries Apart from the allergic and anaphylactic reactions, other side effects that consumers should be aware of are to be mentioned. Conclusion Similar to other plants [ 87 — 91 ], goji berries are a high antioxidant potential fruits which alleviate oxidative stress to confer many health protective benefits such as preventing free radicals from damaging DNA, lipids, and proteins.
Conflicts of Interest The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest. References 1. Goji berry Lycium barbarum : composition and health effects—a review. Polish Journal of Food and Nutrition Sciences. Potterat O. Goji Lycium barbarum and L.
Planta Medica. Cheng J. An evidence-based update on the pharmacological activities and possible molecular targets of Lycium barbarum polysaccharides. Drug Design, Development and Therapy. Cheng C. Fasting plasma zeaxanthin response to Fructus barbarum L. British Journal of Nutrition. Amagase H. A review of botanical characteristics, phytochemistry, clinical relevance in efficacy and safety of Lycium barbarum fruit goji Food Research International.