The leading cause of vision loss is age-related macular degeneration, something that cannot be stopped. However, new research from the University of California, Davis has shown that eating goji berries may help provide protection and delay any age-related vision deterioration.
Learn more about the study below:
“Goji berries are the fruit of Lycium chinense and Lycium barbarum, two species of shrubby bushes found in northwest China. The dried berries are a common ingredient in Chinese soups and are popular as herbal tea. They are similar to raisins and eaten as a snack.
In Chinese medicine, goji berries are said to have “eye brightening” qualities. Li grew up in northern China and became curious whether there were any physiological properties to ‘eye brightening.’
‘Many types of eye diseases exist, so it is not clear which disease ‘eye brightening’ is targeting,’ said Li.
She researched the bioactive compounds in goji berries and found they contain high quantities of lutein and zeaxanthin, which are known to reduce the risk of eye diseases related to AMD. The form of zeaxanthin in goji berries is also a highly bioavailable form, according to Li, meaning it is readily absorbed in the digestive system so the body can use it.
The current treatment for intermediate stages of AMD uses special dietary supplements, called AREDS, that contain vitamins C, E, zinc, copper and lutein and zeaxanthin. No known therapy has yet been shown to impact early stages of AMD.
The cause of AMD is complex and multifactorial, according to Yiu, and involves a mix of genetic risks, age-associated changes, and environmental factors like smoking, diet and sun exposure. Early stages of AMD do not have symptoms; however, physicians can detect AMD and other eye problems during a regular comprehensive eye exam.
‘Our study shows goji berries, which are a natural food source, can improve macular pigments of healthy participants beyond taking high-dose nutritional supplements,’ said Yiu. ‘The next step for our research will be to examine goji berries in patients with early-stage AMD.'”
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