Do goji berries deserve their A-list status?

Popular among celebs from Madonna to Mischa Barton, goji berries have been used in Chinese medicine for more than 6, !ears" These shrivelled red berries are alleged to boost the immune system and brain activity, protect against heart disease and cancer, and improve life expectancy. We've teamed up with the British Dietetic Association BDA! to examine whether the health claims about go"i berries are supported by the evidence.
#o"i berries contain vitamin $, vitamin B%, vitamin A, iron, selenium and other antioxidants notably polysaccharides!

#he evidence
$mmunit!, cardiovascular disease and life e%pectanc! There is no reliable evidence to support these alleged health benefits. &ost of the research into these conditions are small'si(ed, of poor )uality, and performed in laboratories using purified and highly concentrated extracts of the go"i berry. &ellbeing, brain activit! and digestion *ne small study from %++, found that a daily drin- of .%+ml of go"i berry "uice for ./ days improved feelings of wellbeing, brain activity and digestion. 0owever, the study involved only 1/ people and was attempting to measure the effects of go"i berry "uice on a variety of conditions. The results of the study were inconclusive. Cancer *ne of the most tal-ed about clinical studies on go"i berries is a.22/ $hinese study conducted on 32 patients with various advanced cancers. 4t found that those treated with immunotherapy in combination with go"i polysaccharides saw their cancers regress. 5nfortunately, information on the design of the study and the go"i berry compounds used are lac-ing, so it is difficult to fully assess the significance of the results.

#he dietitian's verdict
Alison 0ornby, a dietitian and BDA spo-esperson, says the evidence behind the health claims about go"i berries is wea-. 6he says7 89arious go"i berry products are sold as health foods, but the evidence of their health benefits so far comes from scientific studies using purified extracts of the fruit at much higher concentrations than the products contain.

8As these products tend to be relatively costly. it ma-es sense to eating a range of fruits and vegetables rather than spending your money on this one item with no proven health benefits.8 .

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