Goji Berries Protect Against Age-Related Vision Loss
- Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of vision loss in seniors.
- Study found 90 days of consuming a small serving of dried goji berries increased protective pigments in the eye.
- Goji berries are the fruits of 2 Chinese shrubs - Lycium chinense and Lycium barbarum.
- Causes of AMD are complex and multifactorial: genetics, age, environment (smoking, diet, sun exposure).
- Early stages of AMD do not have symptoms; physicians can detect AMD during a regular comprehensive eye exam.
Regularly eating a small serving of dried goji berries may help prevent/delay the development of age-related macular degeneration in healthy middle-aged people. 13 healthy participants aged 45-65 who consumed 28g (a 1oz handful) of goji berries 5 times/week for 90 days, increased the density of protective pigments in their eyes. In contrast, 14 participants who consumed a commercial eye health supplement did not show an increase.
The increased pigments (lutein and zeaxanthin) filter out harmful blue light and provide antioxidant protection. Both help to protect the eyes during aging.
“Lutein and zeaxanthin are like sunscreen for your eyes. The higher the retinal lutein and zeaxanthin, the more protection you have. Even in normal healthy eyes, these optical pigments can be increased with a small daily serving of goji berries”.