|Evan Watson, NatureCity author & contributor|
Goji berry juice may boost both mood and energy levels in just two weeks according to a study published in the May 2008 issue of the Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine.
Goji’s are small fruits found on evergreen shrubs in China, Tibet and India. They are shriveled red fruits that look much like raisins. The fruit has been used by herbalists in the Far East for thousands of years for eye health, improved sexual function and to boost the immune system and circulation. Recently, goji’s have become popular in the west as a â€œfunctionalâ€ food high in antioxidants and caretenoids.
In the past, several test tube studies have shown that goji berries contain powerful antioxidants and may inhibit the growth of cancer cells, reduce blood sugar levels and reduce cholesterol. But this is the first human, double blind, placebo controlled study outside of China to examine the effects of drinking goji berry juice.
In the study, researchers recruited 35 people who were split into two groups. One group received goji berry juice equivalent to 150g of fresh fruit and the other received a placebo.
All participants went through a â€œdetoxâ€ phase during which they did not consume any products containing goji berries, dietary supplements or energy drinks. Each filled out a questionnaire at the beginning and two weeks later at the end of the study.
The questions included general feelings of well-being, neurologic and psychological traits and gastrointestinal, muscle and cardiovascular issues. Answers were based on a subjective rating between 0 and 5 points per question.
After 14 days the researchers noted significant increases in ratings for energy levels, athletic performance, quality of sleep, focus, and feelings of calmness, contentment and happiness among the participants who received the goji berry juice. The goji group also saw reduced fatigue and stress and improved digestion. In contrast, the placebo group only showed changes in heartburn and happiness
While the study’s authors suggest that more research needs to be done to understand how goji berry juice is responsible for these benefits, they also say that the results of this study clearly indicate that their are benefits associated with drinking the juice.
Source: Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Volume 14, Number 4, 2008, pp. 403-412
Authors: Harunobu Amagase, PhD Dwight Nance, PhD