Lycium barbarum Fruit supplement health benefit
November 2 2017 by Ray Sahelian, M.D.

Also known as Lycium berry, wolfberry or goji berry, it is a fruit popular in China and Eastern Asia, and known medicinally for 2000 years.

Historical use
Lycium fruit has been used for a number of conditions including diabetes, fertility, cancer, and vision. Little human research is available in the West to know for sure what condition lycium fruit can be used for, in what dosage, and how often.

What's in it?
A number of compounds are present in lycium barbarum, including flavonoids and pyrrole derivatives.

Goji Berry - Wolfberry - buy Lycium Barbarum - 500 mg
See the Goji Berry article
 

Supplement Facts: Serving size: 1 Capsule
servings per container: 60

Amount Per Serving: Goji Berry - Wolfberry - Lycium Barbarum 500 mg

Suggested use: As a dietary supplement, take 1 lycium barbarum capsule a few times a week, or as recommended by your health care provider.

Improve vision naturally
I am glad to report that the proper use of many nutrients can help restore, at least partially, the magic of seeing that some of you may have long forgotten existed. After you try Eyesight Rx or some of the other vision supplements listed below, you may even take a vision test on a Snellen chart to see if your vision is better.

Eyesight Rx improves vision
Supplement Facts:
Vitamin C - (Ascorbic acid)
Citrus bioflavonoids
     (eriocitrin, hesperidin, flavonols, flavones, flavonoids, naringenin, and quercetin)
Mixed carotenoids
     (astaxanthin, beta carotene, cryptoxanthin,
Lutein, Lycopene, Zeaxanthin)
Bilberry extract (Vaccinium myrtillus)
Eyebright extract (Euphrasia officianales)
Jujube extract (Zizyphus jujube)
Ginkgo biloba (Ginkgo biloba)
Suma extract (Pfaffia paniculata)
Mucuna pruriens extract (Cowhage)
Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum)
Lycium (Lycium Barbarum)
Sarsaparila (Sarsaparilla Smilax)
Alpha Lipoic acid antioxidant

Lycium Barbarum review articles and potential anti-aging benefit
Drug Des Devel Ther. 2014. An evidence-based update on the pharmacological activities and possible molecular targets of Lycium barbarum polysaccharides. Lycium barbarum berries, also named wolfberry, Fructus lycii, and Goji berries, have been used in the People's Republic of China and other Asian countries for more than 2,000 years as a traditional medicinal herb and food supplement. L. barbarum polysaccharides (LBPs) are the primary active components of L. barbarum berries and have been reported to possess a wide array of pharmacological activities. Herein, we update our knowledge on the main pharmacological activities and possible molecular targets of LBPs. Several clinical studies in healthy subjects show that consumption of wolfberry juice improves general wellbeing and immune functions. LBPs are reported to have antioxidative and antiaging properties in different models. LBPs show antitumor activities against various types of cancer cells and inhibit tumor growth in nude mice through induction of apoptosis and cell cycle arrest. LBPs may potentiate the efficacy of lymphokine activated killer/interleukin-2 combination therapy in cancer patients.

Use of anti-aging herbal medicine, Lycium barbarum, against aging-associated diseases. What do we know so far?
Cell Mol Neurobiol. 2008. Department of Anatomy, LKS Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR, China.
Lycium barbarum (Gouqizi, Fructus Lycii, Wolfberry) is well known for nourishing the liver, and in turn, improving eyesight. However, many people have forgotten its anti-aging properties. Valuable components of Lycium barbarum are not limited to its colored components containing zeaxanthin and carotene, but include the polysaccharides and small molecules such as betaine, cerebroside, beta-sitosterol, p-coumaric, and various vitamins. Despite the fact that Lycium barbarum has been used for centuries, its beneficial effects to our bodies have not been comprehensively studied. Recently, our laboratory has demonstrated its neuroprotective effects to counter neuronal loss in neurodegenerative diseases. Polysaccharides extracted from Lycium barbarum can protect neurons against beta-amyloid peptide toxicity in neuronal cell cultures, and retinal ganglion cells in an experimental model of glaucoma. We have accumulated scientific evidence for its anti-aging effects that should be highlighted for modern preventive medicine.

Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med. 2013 May 16. A study of Lycium barbarum polysaccharides (LBP) extraction technology and its anti-aging effect. The objective of the study was to optimise the LBP extraction technology and to study the anti-aging effect of LBP by establishing D-gal aging mouse model. Orthogonal design was used to study the extraction technology. The experimental aging mouse model was formed by continuous injection of D-gal, and the anti-aging capacity of LBP was tested using measuring MDA, CAT and GSH-px contents and SOD activity in blood and SOD, MDA and Hyp levels in skin. The results showed that the optimum LBP extraction option determined by the orthogonal design is as follows: solid-liquid ratio of 1:30, extraction for 2 times, 90 min each time, and power is 100 kHz. Thus, LBP can increase SOD, CAT and GSH-px levels in blood and reduce MDA level. It can also improve skin SOD activity, reduce skin MDA content, and increase Hyp content. We concluded that the extraction method established in this experiment is easy and feasible, and the yield of LBP is high, apparently showing that LBP has the potential of delaying senility in D-gal induced mice.

Drug Des Devel Ther. 2014. An evidence-based update on the pharmacological activities and possible molecular targets of Lycium barbarum polysaccharides. Lycium barbarum berries, also named wolfberry, Fructus lycii, and Goji berries, have been used in the People's Republic of China and other Asian countries for more than 2,000 years as a traditional medicinal herb and food supplement. L. barbarum polysaccharides (LBPs) are the primary active components of L. barbarum berries and have been reported to possess a wide array of pharmacological activities. Herein, we update our knowledge on the main pharmacological activities and possible molecular targets of LBPs. Several clinical studies in healthy subjects show that consumption of wolfberry juice improves general wellbeing and immune functions. LBPs are reported to have antioxidative and antiaging properties in different models. LBPs show antitumor activities against various types of cancer cells and inhibit tumor growth in nude mice through induction of apoptosis and cell cycle arrest. LBPs may potentiate the efficacy of lymphokine activated killer/interleukin-2 combination therapy in cancer patients. LBPs exhibit significant hypoglycemic effects and insulin-sensitizing activity by increasing glucose metabolism and insulin secretion and promoting pancreatic β-cell proliferation. They protect retinal ganglion cells in experimental models of glaucoma. LBPs protect the liver from injuries due to exposure to toxic chemicals or other insults. They also show potent immunoenhancing activities in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, LBPs protect against neuronal injury and loss induced by β-amyloid peptide, glutamate excitotoxicity, ischemic/reperfusion, and other neurotoxic insults. LBPs ameliorate the symptoms of mice with Alzheimer's disease and enhance neurogenesis in the hippocampus and subventricular zone, improving learning and memory abilities. They reduce irradiation- or chemotherapy-induced organ toxicities.

Benefits of Lycium Barbarum
Lycium fruit contains flavonoids with antioxidant properties. Some of the compounds in lycium protect the liver from oxidants as well as milk thistle. In laboratory studies, lycium was able to inhibit growth of leukemia and liver cancer cells. Lycium fruit may also have anti-fatigue properties.

PLoS One 2014. Lycium barbarum Polysaccharides Prevent Memory and Neurogenesis Impairments in Scopolamine-Treated Rats.

Nat Prod Res. 2015. Anticancer effect of ethanol Lycium barbarum (Goji berry) extract on human breast cancer T47D cell line. Anticancer activity and lack of toxicity against normal cells indicate a chemopreventive potential of Goji berries in breast cancer treatment.

Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2017. Lycium barbarum Reduces Abdominal Fat and Improves Lipid Profile and Antioxidant Status in Patients with Metabolic Syndrome.

Side effects of Lycium Berry
Not enough research has been done regarding the side effect profile of lycium berry.

Review
There are quite a number of positive aspects to the lycium fruit but we will need human trials to find out how practical this herb can be in terms of disease prevention or treatment. I have come across some libido products that have lycium in their formula, however I have not seen any research yet in regards to this aphrodisiac property.

Research review
Lycium barbarum polysaccharides: Protective effects against heat-induced damage of rat testes and H2O2-induced DNA damage in mouse testicular cells and beneficial effect on sexual behavior and reproductive function of hemicastrated rats.
Life Sci. 2006. College of Public Health, Wuhan University, Wuhan, Hubei, PR China.
Lycium barbarum, a famous Chinese medicinal herb, has a long history of use as a traditional remedy for male infertility. Polysaccharides are the most important functional constituent in Lycium barbarum fruits. We systematically investigated the effect of Lycium barbarum polysaccharides on rat testis damage induced by a physical factor (43 degrees C heat exposure), on DNA damage of mouse testicular cells induced by a chemical factor (H2O2), and on sexual behavior and reproductive function of hemicastrated male rats. The results showed that Lycium barbarum provided a protective effect against the testicular tissue damage induced by heat exposure. When compared with negative control, a suitable concentration of Lycium barbarum significantly increased testis and epididymis weights, improved superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, and raised sexual hormone levels in the damaged rat testes. Lycium barbarum had a dose-dependent protective effect against DNA oxidative damage of mouse testicular cells induced by H2O2. Lycium barbarum improved the copulatory performance and reproductive function of hemicastrated male rats, such as shortened penis erection latency and mount latency, regulated secretion of sexual hormones and increased hormone levels, raised accessory sexual organ weights, and improved sperm quantity and quality. The present findings support the folk reputation of Lycium barbarum fruits as an aphrodisiac and fertility-facilitating agent, and provide scientific evidence for a basis for the extensive use of Lycium barbarum fruits as a traditional remedy for male infertility in China.

Effect of lycium barbarum polysaccharide on human hepatoma QGY7703 cells: inhibition of proliferation and induction of apoptosis.
Life Sci. 2005.
Lycium barbarum polysaccharide is found to have anticancer activity. In this study, the effect of lycium on the proliferation rate, cell cycle distribution and apoptosis in the human hepatoma QGY7703 cell line were investigated. The study suggests that the induction of cell cycle arrest and the increase of intracellular calcium in apoptotic system may participate in the antiproliferative activity of lycium in human hepatoma QGY7703 cells.

Fasting plasma zeaxanthin response to Lycium barbarum (wolfberry; Kei Tze) in a food-based human supplementation trial.
Br J Nutr. 2005.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common disorder that causes irreversible loss of central vision. Increased intake of foods containing zeaxanthin may be effective in preventing AMD because the macula accumulates zeaxanthin and lutein, oxygenated carotenoids with antioxidant and blue light-absorbing properties. Lycium barbarum L. is a small red berry known as Fructus lycii and wolfberry in the West, and Kei Tze and Gou Qi Zi in Asia. Lycium is rich in zeaxanthin dipalmitate, and is valued in Chinese culture for being good for vision. The aim of this study, which was a single-blinded, placebo-controlled, human intervention trial of parallel design, was to provide data on how fasting plasma zeaxanthin concentration changes as a result of dietary supplementation with whole wolfberry. Fasting blood was collected from healthy, consenting subjects; fourteen subjects took 15 g/d lycium (estimated to contain almost 3 mg zeaxanthin) for 28 d. Repeat fasting blood was collected on day 29. Age- and sex-matched controls (n 13) took no lycium. After lycium supplementation, plasma zeaxanthin increased 2.5-fold. This human supplementation trial shows that zeaxanthin in whole lycium is bioavailable and that intake of a modest daily amount markedly increases fasting plasma zeaxanthin levels. These new data will support further study of dietary strategies to maintain macular pigment density.

Hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects and antioxidant activity of fruit extracts from Lycium barbarum.
Life Sci. 2004.
The hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects of Lycium barbarum fruit water decoction, crude polysaccharide extracts (crude LBP), and purified polysaccharide fractions (LBP-X) in alloxan-induced diabetic or hyperlipidemic rabbits were investigated. Total antioxidant capacity assay showed that all three Lycium barbarum extracts/fractions possessed antioxidant activity. However, water and methanolc fruit extracts and crude polysaccharide extracts exhibited stronger antioxidant activity than purified polysaccharide fractions because crude extracts were identified to be rich in antioxidants (e.g., carotenoids, riboflavin, ascorbic acid, thiamine, nicotinic acid). Lycium barbarum polysaccharides (glycocojugates), containing several monosaccharides and 17 amino acids, were major bioactive constituents of hypoglycemic effect. Both polysaccharides and vitamin antioxidants from Lycium barbarum fruits were possible active principles of hypolipidemic effect.

Comparison of plasma responses in human subjects after the ingestion of 3R,3R'-zeaxanthin dipalmitate from wolfberry (Lycium barbarum) and non-esterified 3R,3R'-zeaxanthin using chiral high-performance liquid chromatography.
Br J Nutr. 2004.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the most common eye diseases of elderly individuals. It has been suggested that lutein and zeaxanthin may reduce the risk for AMD. Information concerning the absorption of non-esterified or esterified zeaxanthin is rather scarce. Furthermore, the formation pathway of meso (3R,3'S)-zeaxanthin, which does not occur in plants but is found in the macula, has not yet been identified. Thus, the present study was designed to assess the concentration of 3R,3R'-zeaxanthin reached in plasma after the consumption of a single dose of native 3R,3'R-zeaxanthin palmitate from Lycium barbarum or non-esterified zeaxanthin in equal amounts.

2-O-(beta-D-Glucopyranosyl)ascorbic acid, a novel ascorbic acid analogue isolated from Lycium fruit.
J Agric Food Chem. 2004.
A novel stable precursor of ascorbic acid (vitamin C), 2-O-(beta-D-glucopyranosyl)ascorbic acid, was isolated from both the ripe fresh fruit and dried fruit of Lycium barbarum, a plant of the Solanaceae family. The chemical structure was inferred by instrumental analyses and confirmed by chemical synthesis. The dried fruit of Lycium barbarum contained ca. 0.5% of it, which is comparable to the ascorbic acid content of fresh lemons. It increased the blood ascorbic acid by oral administration to rats, and it was also detected in blood from the portal vein.

[Study on protective action of lycium barbarum polysaccharides on DNA imparments of testicle cells in mice]
Wei Sheng Yan Jiu. 2003.
To investigate the protective effect of lycium barbarum polysaccharides on DNA oxidative damage of testicle cells induced by hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). The single cell gel electrophoresis (SCGE) was used to detect the breakage of DNA strand and analyze lycium protection against oxidation damage in testicle cells treated by different concentrations of lycium for 1 hour firstly, and then cultured with 100 mumol/L H2O2 for 25 min. The results showed that a certain moment action by H2O2 could induce the breakage of DNA strand. The pretreatment of lycium significantly decreased the frequencies of cells with tail moment and the tail length of testicle cells treated by H2O2. It is suggested that lycium itself could not cause the oxidation damage, but it could clean out the free-radical and restrain the DNA damage of testicle cells caused by the oxidative stress.

Effect of lycium fruit and epimedium on DNA synthesis of the aging-youth 2BS fusion cells
Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. 2003.
To study the effect of water extracts of lycium fruit and Epimedium (EM) on DNA synthesis of the aging-youth 2BS fusion cells. Human embryonic lung diploid fibroblasts 2BS national standard strain, were used as an aging model. Cell denucleation and cell fusion techniques were applied to observe the effect of lycium and EM on DNA synthesis of 2BS fusion cells. Both lycium and EM can accelerate the DNA synthesis rate of the aging youth 2BS fusion cells and prolong the life span of 2BS cells.

A polysaccharide-protein complex from Lycium barbarum upregulates cytokine expression in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells.
Eur J Pharmacol. 2003.
The production of cytokine is a key event in the initiation and regulation of an immune response. Many compounds are now used routinely to modulate cytokine production, and therefore the immune response, in a wide range of diseases, such as cancer. Interleukin-2 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha are two important cytokines in antitumor immunity. In this study, the effects of Lycium barbarum polysaccharide-protein complex on the expression of interleukin-2 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells were investigated. Administration of Lycium increased the expression of interleukin-2 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha at both mRNA and protein levels in a dose-dependent manner. The results suggest that Lycium polysaccharide may induce immune responses and possess potential therapeutic efficacy in cancer.

Hepatoprotective pyrrole derivatives of Lycium chinense fruits.
Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2003.
As a part of our search for hepatoprotective compounds from Lycium chinense fruits, three new pyrrole derivatives were isolated. These compounds and a related synthetic methylated compound (4) were evaluated for their biological activity and structure-activity relationship, and compounds 1 and 2 showed hepatoprotective effects comparable to silybin.

[Isolation and purification of Lycium barbarum polysaccharides and its antifatigue effect]
Wei Sheng Yan Jiu. 2000.
A purified component of lycium barbarum polysaccharide was isolated from lycium barbarum. Lycium was tested on five different doses (5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 mg.kg-1.d-1) in mice. The results showed that lycium induced a remarkable adaptability to exercise load, enhanced resistance and accelerated elimination of fatigue. Lycium could enhance the storage of muscle and liver glycogen, increase the activity of LDH before and after swimming, decrease the increase of blood urea nitrogen (BUN) after strenuous exercise, and accelerate the clearance of BUN after exercise. The dosage of lycium 10 mg.kg-1.d-1 was the best amount among the five tested doses.

Inhibition the growth of human leukemia cells by Lycium barbarum polysaccharide
Wei Sheng Yan Jiu. 2001.

The protective effects of total flavonoids from Lycium Barbarum L. on lipid peroxidation of liver mitochondria and red blood cell in rats
Wei Sheng Yan Jiu. 1999.
The protective effects of total flavonoids from Lycium Barbarum L. on lipid peroxidation in mitochondria and red blood cells (RBC) induced by oxygen radicals produced by Fe2+ cysteine system were investigated. The mitochondria lipid peroxidation (measured as malondialdehyde, MDA) was significantly inhibited by lycium, and the fluidity of mitochondria membrane was also protected effectively. It was observed by scan electron microscope, that the shape of RBC in the Fe2+ system was damaged significantly. The shape of RBC was remained with the addition of lycium barbarum.

Lycium supplement emails
Q. I have a lycium extract and I am in rowing team of my college and from personal experiences I know lycium supplies huge amounts of energy. I also feel euphoric while using it. It is said to be a yin essence tonic, which implies to DHEA. Can it have the ability to boost dhea synthesis. I dont thnik the joy lyceum provides is not because of increased serotonin, at least not just that.
     A. Yes, lycium can provide a lot of energy, and it is much more complicated than just influencing one or two body chemicals and hormones. Lycium probably has an effect on many physiological metabolic factors in the body which have not yet been fully evaluated. Many herbs enhance energy.

Q. I have seen both spellings, lyceum and lycium fruit. Which one is correct?
     A. Actually these are two different words. Lycium refers to the fruit. The Lyceum was a gymnasium near Athens and the site of a philosophical school. The Lyceum was named after the neighboring temple of Lycian Apollo. In 335 B.C. Aristotle established a school and research institute in the Lyceum. A lyceum can also be defined as an educational institution (often a school of secondary education in Europe), or a public hall used for cultural events.

Can it be taken with LJ100?
   In small doses, yes.