|The goji berry in its natural state|
So what is in this magical fruit that confers these great benefits and what research or evidence is there to support the marketing claims?
There are plenty of substances in goji berry that make it a very good source of important micronutrients such as vitamin C, calcium, potassium, iron and zinc. It also contains beta-carotene, vitamin B2 and selenium. There are also a host of other nutrients such as sugars, plant sterols and unsaturated fats. However, preliminary medical research into goji berry does not support the many marketing claims that have been made of the purported health benefits and biological effects of the fruit and therefore does not hold up to scrutiny and as such does not have the approval of any regulatory authority in this regard.
|The dried form of goji berry is |
very popular as a health food
Other use of goji berries are to be found in soap bars (made from its seed oils), as an additive for manufacturing, a juice concentrate, whole fruit puree, powders from the fruit or juice concentrate (made from spray drying), pulp powders, whole or ground seeds and seed oils (essential oils or oils extracted rather like grape seed oil).
Goji Berry in Skincare
In addition to the nutritional benefits of this fruit, extracts of it can be found in a range of synthetic and natural skincare products. Some chemicals can weaken the cosmetic benefits of goji berries so opt for more natural varieties. The basis upon which it is added is that given its high antioxidant content, it can work at the local level and surface skin layer. It is thought to reverse skin damage, increase collagen synthesis and prevent premature ageing. The ingredient joins the list of products classified generally as anti-ageing cosmetic/ skincare products. Whether there is any evidence to these anti-ageing products remains to be seen as there is limited scientific and clinical studies on goji berries and anti-ageing in human trials. However, it is not to say that it cannot be good as a skincare ingredient, after all, it is an incredibly nutritionally-dense substance and in theory, it should do wonders for our skin! The only way to determine this of course is to trial it yourself and as ever, brand will be a determining factor as will a healthy diet and lifestyle which all influence how we age.
- for a healthy dose consume a small handful (10-30g) each day
- check out the labels of natural skincare brands with botanical ingredients that include goji berries in them but be careful - more expensive ones does not translate to better quality and organic and parabens-free doesn't mean it is a superior product
- be careful if you are on conventional medicines as goji berries may interact with them and stop them working (leading to other problems or an exacerbation of your existing condition)
- if you have pollen allergies, you should limit consumption of goji berries or avoid it altogether if the allergy is severe
- be careful about dried fruit intake if you are diabetic and always consult your doctor beforehand