It is well known that the Goji Berry has natural healing powers.  But as reported in the article from the Huffington Post below, it has been discovered that the Goji Berry can help protect the eyes from a common condition effecting diabetics called Diabetic Retinopathy. 

Goji Berry Could Protect Eyes From Diabetic Retinopathy

Goji Berry Could Protect EyesAn ancient berry may be a powerful tool in protecting eyes from diabetes-related vision loss, according to new cellular research.

Scientists from the University of Sydney discovered that a compound found in the goji berry, called taurine, may be able to protect the eye's retina from diabetic retinopathy. The condition occurs when glucose levels in the eye increase, thereby causing retina cells to die, explained Basil Roufogalis, a professor of pharmaceutical chemistry at the University of Sydney.

"Typically what happens is proteins in the eye become oxidated and high glucose levels force retinal cells to die," Roufogalis said in a statement. "What's more, blood vessels build up in the retina and grow over the vision spot, which can result in vision loss."

The study, published in the Journal of Diabetes & Metabolism, was conducted in cells exposed to high glucose that functioned as a model for diabetic retinopathy. The researchers exposed these cells to pure taurine, as well as goji berry extract that had taurine in it.

The researchers found that both the goji berry extract and the pure taurine seemed to protect the cells from dying.

"We are hopeful that these promising results for treating or preventing diabetic retinopathy will lead to human clinical trials," Roufogalis said in the statement.

Diabetic retinopathy is the No. 1 cause of blindness in adults in the U.S., according to the National Eye Institute. 

According to 2005 to 2008 statistics from the National Institutes of Health, 28.5 percent of people with diabetes ages 40 and older have retinopathy(4.2 million people). Of those people, 4.4 percent had an advanced form of the condition, putting them at risk for blindness.

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Exactly What Are Goji Berries?

An Overview Of This Healthy Food Known as the Goji Berry 

Goji Berries Have Medicinal Benefit and are Used as a Supplement

Goji BerriesGoji Berries, often sold in health food stores are indigenous to Asia and parts of Europe. The Goji Berries will go by a number of names, such as the mede berry or Himalayan Goji. Most of the Goji Berries are grown for health food shops and health food markets originated from China where the Goji Berries are grown on plantations. Many Goji Berry producers understand the value within the Goji Berries and plantations could be as large as 1,000 acres. The Goji Berries are utilized in conventional Asian medication and are also good for supplemental use in the U.S.


Harvesting and Drying the Fruit

When the oblong-shaped Goji Berries are harvested, they are carefully picked as the fragile fruit can spoil if care is not taken to maintain them. Preservation of the fruit includes drying the Goji Berries in the sun or dehydration by mechanical means.

A Power Meal

There is a festival in China that takes place annually that's associated with the harvesting of the Goji Berries and is celebrated within the county of Zhongning in China, a primary area where the Goji Berries are grown. Goji Berries are useful for anyone who desires to reap the nutritional rewards that fruit bestows. That is simply because Goji Berries consist of a significant quantity of carbs and fiber that is essential for good health and well being. Most of the Goji Berry is made up carbohydrates while a smaller portion consists of protein and fiber.

Other Essential Nutrients

Goji Berries are also made from phytochemicals and micronutrients that include:

  • Essential and trace minerals
  • Amino acids
  • Polysaccharides
  • Monosaccharides
  • Six vitamins important for well being
  • Unsaturated body fat, such as alpha-linoleic acid, that is great for heart health and also the lowering cholesterol within the blood
  • Carotenoids, such as beta-carotene
  • Antioxidant chemical substances or phenols

The Health Advantages of Goji Berries are Immense

Included within the above listing is calcium for which the Goji Berries have about 10 percent of the recommended dietary consumption (DRI) for 100 grams and also as potassium, which provides nearly 1/4th of the DRI for good health. Goji Berries also contain 100% with the DRI for iron and a little more than 90% of the DRI for selenium per 100 grams. About 18% DRI for Zinc is also contained within the dried fruit, per 100 grams. Goji Berries contain a great deal of riboflavin or B2 as well, and provide 100% DRI when measured, once more, per 100 grams.

The amount of ascorbic acid in the commercial berry although can differ substantially. In certain cases the berry can contain about 30% DRI per 100 grams while in other instances the percentage can jump a great astounding 160% per exactly the same amount.

How a Berry is Marketed

The berry is usually commercially produced and marketed especially in the U.S. as Goji juice, which is often a combination of the Goji Berries along with other sorts of berries. The berry may also be used:

  • in soap for the skin
  • in yogurt
  • in granola bars
  • in a type of puree or powder
  • in seeds, or
  • as a vital oil

Enhanced Health

Products containing Goji Juice or Goji Berries can help anyone who wants to improve their general health and well being as they will receive a definite benefit through regular consumption. The Zeal for Life Stabilized Rice Bran Drink contains extract from Goji Berries.