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Goji Juice and Breast Cancer

By: Corinna Underwood - Updated: 2 Jul 2013 | comments*Discuss
Goji Goji Juice Wolfberries Cancer

There are a lot of stories circulating right now about the wonders of goji juice, and in particular some wonderful claims about its miraculous effects on breast cancer, but how much of this is hype and how much is based on actual fact?

What is goji juice?

Goji berries, also known as wolfberries come from a plant originating in the Himalayas. Wolfberries are highly prized in China and have been used in traditional Chinese folk medicine for over 5,000 years. Ancient Chinese medical texts celebrated the berry for their wide range of health benefits including strengthening the 'chi" or life force of the body.

They are said to be highly rich in a number of nutrients including 18 kinds of amino acids, and all 8 essential amino acids (leucine, valine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, isoleucine and tryptophan). Goji berries also contain several trace minerals including zinc, iron, copper, calcium, and phosphorus. They are also rich in iron and high in polysaccharides which boost the immune system.

There wondrous healing claims include anti-aging properties, a sexual tonic, AIDS cure, brain booster, immune stimulator and most recently hyped, cure for breast cancer.

Goji and Cancer

Though there are a number of websites declaring that in-depth studies are currently being undertaken, in China and other parts of the world, to explore goji's already know effects on cancer, this sees to be stretching the facts.

Only a couple of clinical trials involving human subjects have, to date, been conducted in relation to goji and cancer. These studies specifically focused on the Lycium barbarum variety of the berry and the results were inconclusive.

If you take the time to do you own research you will find that the web sites that mention numerous scientific studies that have supposedly been done on goji juice or berries, are all trying to sell it to you. None of them however, make reference to any relevant studies. If you dig deeper you will find that there are no such studies.

Goji and macular degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common disorder that causes irreversible loss of central vision. One valid Chinese study has shown that wolfberry (Lycium barbarum L.) is rich in zeaxanthin dipalmitate. This substance helps increase macular pigment density, so a modest daily amount of wolfberry may prevent AMD.

While goji juice may make a nutritious and flavourful drink, may the buyer beware of falling for false health claims such as anti aging elixir and breast cancer cure.

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