Goji berries (Lycium barbarum, wolfberry) grow on an evergreen shrub found in temperate and subtropical regions in China, Mongolia and in the Himalayas in Tibet. They are in the nightshade (Solonaceae) family. Goji berries are usually found dried. They are shriveled red berries that look like red raisins. Goji berries are rich in antioxidants, particularly carotenoids such as Beta-carotene and zeaxanthin. One of zeaxanthin's key roles is to protect the retina of the eye by absorbing blue light and acting as an antioxidant. Goji berries have been used for 6,000 years by herbalists in China, Tibet and India to: protect the liver, help eyesight, improve sexual function and fertility, strengthen the legs, boost immune function, improve circulation, and to promote longevity.
Lin CL, Wang CC, Chang SC, Inbaraj BS, Chen BH. Antioxidative activity of polysaccharide fractions isolated from Lycium barbarum Linnaeus. 1. Int J Biol Macromol. 2009 Aug 1;45(2):146-51. Epub 2009 May 3.
Antioxidant activity of polysaccharide fractions isolated from Lycium barbarum Linnaeus was evaluated. Polysaccharides were extracted with boiling water, followed by precipitating with ethanol, protein hydrolysis, dialysis, and fractionation with a DEAE-Sepharose CL-6B column. A total of 4 fractions, including 1 neutral polysaccharide (LBPN) and 3 acidic polysaccharides were obtained, and compared with crude polysaccharide (CP), crude extract of polysaccharide (CE), deproteinated polysaccharide (DP), and deproteinated and dialyzed polysaccharide (DDP) for antioxidative activity. With the exception of CE and DDP, most polysaccharides were effective in scavenging DPPH and ABTS(.)+ free radicals, superoxide anion and hydroxyl radical at 1000 microg/mL.