The Goji Berry’s impact on diabetic blindness
Sydney researchers have investigated the potential power of this berry which is now a popular natural remedy.
According to studies undertaken by University of Sydney, the goji berry may help fight imminent blindness caused by chronic diabetes.
Researchers from the Faculty of Pharmacy conducted in vitro (isolated cell culture) studies to investigate the potential of the berry. Previously the goji berry has been associated with health-oriented claims.
University of Sydney Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry Basil Roufogalis, the lead researcher, said the goji berry is rich in taurine, an ingredient credited with anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative and immuno-modulating properties which has the potential to protect the retina.
Professor Roufogalis stated that “Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of blindness for people with diabetes,” adding that “”Typically what happens is proteins in the eye become oxidated and high glucose levels force retinal cells to die. Blood vessels build up in the retina and grow over the vision spot, which can result in vision loss.”
Initially the pharmacy researchers work showed the goji berry and its taurine component activated a nuclear receptor protein called PPAR-gamma. This protein plays a crucial role in regulating the retinal cells. This led to further investigation of Lycium barbarum (goji berries) and its potential to activate the PPAR-gamma receptor.
It was discovered that the goji berry offered protection against the death of cells caused by high concentrations of glucose in the retina.
Professor Roufogalis says that. “We are hopeful that these promising results for treating or preventing diabetic retinopathy will lead to human clinical trials.”
Professor Alan Bensoussan, director of NICM, hailed the novel research. “This is pioneering scientific research in the field of herbal medicine, and is to be applauded for investigating novel ways to address the debilitating effects of diabetes, which is such a pressing global health problem,” he said.
We all know goji berries are a super food that’s super good for you but now its gaining momentum and evidence to validate its super food status. A handful a day keeps the doctor away!