A small, randomized trial by the University of California, Davis, found that people who regularly eat a small serving of dried goji berries might see prevention or delay of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in healthy, middle-aged people.

Affecting over 170 people globally and roughly 11 million throughout the United States, AMD is the leading cause of vision loss in elderly people.

Glenn Yiu, a co-author of the study and associate professor in the Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences, said, “AMD affects your central field of vision and can affect your ability to read or recognize faces.”

Research concluded that 13 study participants ages 45 to 65 increased the density of protective eye pigments after eating 28 grams (a handful) of goji berries five times per week for 90 days. Eating goji berries increased eye pigments lutein and zeaxanthin, which filter out harmful blue light, provide support through antioxidant protection, and protect aging eyes.

Lead author Xiang Li, a doctoral candidate in the Nutritional Biology Program, said, “Lutein and zeaxanthin are like sunscreen for your eyes. The higher the lutein and zeaxanthin in your retina, the more protection you have. Our study found that even in normal healthy eyes, these optical pigments can be increased with a small daily serving of goji berries.”

Goji berries are commonly used in Chinese medicine to “brighten” eyes through lutein and zeaxanthin. Dietary supplements containing Vitamin C, Vitamin E, zinc, copper, lutein, and zeaxanthin are used to treat intermediate stages of AMD.

“Our study shows goji berries, which are a natural food source, can improve macular pigments of healthy participants beyond taking high-dose nutritional supplements,” said Yiu. “The next step for our research will be to examine goji berries in patients with early-stage AMD.”

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Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.