Dried Goji Berries May Provide Protection Against Age-Related Vision Loss


Regularly eating a small serving of dried goji berries may help prevent or delay the development of age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, in healthy middle-aged people, according to a small, randomized trial conducted at the University of California, Davis.

AMD is the leading cause of vision loss in older people, and is estimated to affect more than 11 million in the United States and 170 million globally. 

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

The researchers found that 13 healthy participants aged 45 to 65 who consumed 28 grams (about one ounce, or a handful) of goji berries five times a week for 90 days increased the density of protective pigments in their eyes. In contrast, 14 study participants who consumed a commercial supplement for eye health over the same period did not show an increase.

The pigments that increased in the group that ate goji berries, lutein and zeaxanthin, filter out harmful blue light and provide antioxidant protection. Both help to protect the eyes during aging. 

Xiang Li, doctoral candidate in nutritional biology, holds a small serving of dried goji berries. (Prae Charoenwoodhipong) 

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