goji berry a ‘liver healer’


 Research on animal models indicates goji berries can help with managing liver health and preventing the progression of alcohol-induced fatty liver disease.

Considering the economic burden of liver diseases such as chronic hepatitis B virus, liver cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma which “remain incurable”, development of more effective pharmacological drugs is warranted. Studies have shown the hepatoprotective, antifibrotic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiapoptotic, antitumor, and chemopreventive properties of zeaxanthin dipalmitate (ZD), a xanthophyll carotenoid shown to benefit the liver. Goji berries are a “major source of ZD,” she said.

What role does the liver play?

“The liver is responsible for manufacturing blood proteins. It also recycles iron from red blood cells and detoxifies chemicals in the body for removing waste. If an excessive amount of toxins tend to build up in the liver, it can affect its functioning,” Dr Jinal Patel, dietitian, Apollo Spectra Hospital, Mumbai said.

How can goji berries help?

Goji berries (also called wolfberries) have many health benefits — from stabilising blood sugar levels to promoting healthy skin to improving anxiety and depression. They can also help one to combat liver problems, said Dr Patel.

“According to studies, goji berries are loaded with antioxidants that support cells that enable the liver to perform detoxification. These berries can help cleanse the liver. If you are having any liver problems, try to include goji berries in your diet. But, consume as per your doctor’s recommendation only. Anything in excess can do more harm than good,” Dr Patel said.

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