Wolfberry Chinese, health benefit side effects, supplement dosage and review, also known as Goji Berry, by Ray Sahelian, M.D. 
Feb 12 2014

Wolfberry is a fruit popular in China and Eastern Asia, and known medicinally for 2000 years. A similar variety in Tibet is called goji Berry. I am not sure how similar Chinese wolfberry is to goji berry as far as their chemical composition. My understanding thus far is that goji berry and wolfberry are similar, it's just that they grow in different parts of Asia. However, there seems to be confusion and disagreement on this matter. I have spoken to different raw material suppliers, and some say they are the same while other claim goji berry and wolfberry are different. To help explain this matter better, think of apples. There are a number of different varieties of apples, for instance McIntosh, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, etc. It's nearly impossible to say which apple variety is a healthier option for long term consumption. I would say the same is true for goji berry and wolfberry. In China, the dried wolfberry fruit is a popular food. People also drink wolfberry juice.

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Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid)
Citrus bioflavonoids (eriocitrin, hesperidin, flavonols, flavones, flavonoids, naringenin, and quercetin)
Mixed carotenoids (alpha carotene, 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)
Wolfberry - Lycium berry extract (Lycium Barbarum) - Goji Berry
Sarsaparila (Sarsaparilla Smilax)
Alpha Lipoic Acid can improve vision, it is present in low dosages

Historical uses
Wolfberry (Lycium barbarum) has been used in China for a number of conditions including diabetes, fatigue, cancer, poor vision, and infertility.

What's in wolfberry plant?
A number of compounds are present in in this plant, including flavonoids, carotenoids, and pyrrole derivatives.

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Benefits of wolfberry herb
Wolfberry contains flavonoids and carotenoids with antioxidant properties. Wolfberry has a high content of the carotenoid zeaxanthin.
   Preliminary research in test tubes shows wolfberry is able to inhibit growth of leukemia and liver cancer cells. Wolfberry also may have anti-fatigue properties.

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013. Protective Effects of Wolfberry Polysaccharides on Testis Spermatogenic Injury Induced by Bisphenol A in Mice.

Wolfberry and cancer
Effect of lycium barbarum polysaccharide on human hepatoma QGY7703 cells: inhibition of proliferation and induction of apoptosis.
Life Sci. 2005.
In this study, the effect of wolfberry 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 wolfberry in human hepatoma QGY7703 cells.

Inhibition the growth of human leukemia cells by Lycium barbarum polysaccharide ( wolfberry )
Wei Sheng Yan Jiu. 2001.
The effect and the mechanism of Wolfberry polysaccharide on inhibiting the growth of human leukemia HL-60 cells were examined. Wolfberry could inhibit the growth of HL-60 cells in dose-dependent manner and decrease the membrane fluidity of the cell. Agarose gel electrophoresis of DNA from the cells treated with wolfberry revealed a "DNA ladder" and positive TUNEL test. The results showed that the apoptosis of HL-60 cells induced by wolberry maybe its important mechanism on anti-tumorgenesis.

Wolfberry zeaxanthin content
Fasting plasma zeaxanthin response to Fructus barbarum L. (wolfberry; Kei Tze) in a food-based human supplementation trial.
Br J Nutr. 2005.
Age-related macular degeneration 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. Wolfberry is rich in zeaxanthin dipalmitate, and is valued in Chinese culture for being good for vision. The aim of this study 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 wolfberry (estimated to contain almost 3 mg zeaxanthin) for 28 d. After supplementation, plasma zeaxanthin increased 2.5-fold. This human supplementation trial shows that zeaxanthin in whole wolfberries is bioavailable and that intake of a modest daily amount markedly increases fasting plasma zeaxanthin levels.

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

Wolfberry summary and review
There are quite a number of positive aspects to the wolfberry 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 wolfberry in their formula, however I have not seen any research yet in regards to its aphrodisiac benefits.

Wolfberry Research
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 wolfberry (lycium barbarum) or non-esterified 3R,3'R-zeaxanthin in equal amounts. Thus, the study indicates an enhanced bioavailability of 3R,3'R-zeaxanthin dipalmitate compared with the non-esterified form.

2-O-(beta-D-Glucopyranosyl)ascorbic acid, a novel ascorbic acid analogue isolated from Wolfberry 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 Wolfberry a plant of the Solanaceae family. The dried fruit of Wolfberry contained ca. 0.5% of it, which is comparable to the ascorbic acid content of fresh lemons.

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 Wolfberry polysaccharide-protein complex on the expression of interleukin-2 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells were investigated by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and bioassay. Administration of wolfberry 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 wolfberry may induce immune responses and possess potential therapeutic efficacy in cancer.

[Isolation and purification of Lycium barbarum polysaccharides and its antifatigue effect]
Wei Sheng Yan Jiu. 2000.
Wolfberry polysaccharide was tested on five different doses in mice. The results showed that it induced a remarkable adaptability to exercise load, enhanced resistance and accelerated elimination of fatigue. Wolfberry 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.

Emails
I found on a website this information, wanted to pass it on to you. "The Goji Berry is not the same as the Wolfberry. The Wolfberry, or Lycium Chinese, has a slight bitter taste. Wolfberries are grown and sold throughout China whereas the Goji Berry, Lycium barbarum, comes from the pristine valleys of Inner Mongolia. The Gojiberry is sweet. Most people who are familiar with Goji Berries and Wolfberries are familiar with this difference. What do you think?
   They may be right. We have heard different accounts on this issue, and for the time being we will assume they are slightly different species but we await more information. For practical, clinical, purposes, they may basically the same.

With respect to consuming Chinese Wolfberries, are the health benefits relatively the same for just eating the actual wolfberries versus taking a wolfberry supplement, drinking Goji Juice or NingXia Red? Or, is there something about these drinks that is more beneficial than just eating the whole berries? I take Joint Power Rx with glucosamine for healthy joints; 
   Since no comparisons have been done on humans regarding worfberry and the extract or juice, it is difficult to say.

My husband, for fun, took Phuk Proprietary Herbal Blend of Tongkat Ali, Oridium, Tribulas Terrestris Extract, Rhizoma Polygonati, Cyanotis Vaga, Wolf Berry Extract, Horny Goat Weed (Epimedium). seemed to enjoy with no problems, weeks later broke out in a itchy rash all over... this rash lasted for 5 weeks.. he went to dr. took all kinds of meds. still had a rash.. on week 7 took one of these pills again and the next morning his rash was much worse! so we assume this is the cause.

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