Inclusion of goji berry in diet may help reduce long-term CVD risk: Study
Regularly incorporating goji berry (wolfberry) into the diet may be beneficial in lowering long-term vulnerability for cardiovascular diseases, suggests a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Goji berries also called wolfberries are tiny red fruits filled with antioxidants and have great medicinal significance. They do not only add a pop of color to the plate but are also delicious and full of flavor. These berries are usually available in powdered or dried form. Also, they're added to many nutritional supplements and juice blends. Additionally, consumption of goji berry scientifically knows as Lycium barbarum, provide carotenoids and bioactive polysaccharides, which may act as a possible dietary strategy for cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk management. However, the data examining the effects of the whole fruits are limited.
A study was conducted by a group of researchers from Singapore, to examine the influence of eating goji berries as part of a healthy dietary pattern on vascular health-related outcomes and conventional CVD risk factors in middle-aged and older adults in Singapore.
The researchers conducted a 16-week, parallel design, randomized controlled trial on a total of 40 participants. All of them were given dietary counseling to follow healthy dietary pattern recommendations with the wolfberry/ goji berry group given extra instructions to cook and consume 15 g/d whole, dried wolfberry/goji berry along with their main meals. Biomarkers of vascular function, vascular structure, and vascular regeneration, were evaluated at baseline and postintervention. Serum lipid-lipoproteins and blood pressure were also checked every 4 weeks.
The results of the study are as follows:
Ø All participants demonstrated an improved adherence towards the healthy dietary pattern.
Ø Also, there were marked rises in total nitrate/nitrite concentrations and reductions in endothelin-1 concentrations.
Ø Compared with the control group which depicted no changes from baseline, the goji berry group had a significantly higher HDL cholesterol, as well as lower Framingham, predicted long-term CVD risk and vascular age postintervention.
Ø All other vascular health-related outcomes were similar in both groups.
Thus, the researchers concluded that in middle and old age people, compliance to a healthy dietary pattern improves their vascular tone. And Including wolfberry in the diet further ameliorates serum lipid-lipoprotein profile and may reduce long-term CVD risk.
A study titled, "Enhancing the cardiovascular protective effects of a healthy dietary pattern with wolfberry (Lycium barbarum): A randomized controlled trial" by Toh D et. al published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.