According to the study, macular degeneration is the main cause of vision loss in the elderly, and it is estimated that it affects more than 11 million people in the United States and 170 million globally.
Glenn Yu, co-author of the study and associate professor of Ophthalmology Department and Vision Science: “Macular degeneration affects your central field of vision and can affect your ability to read or recognize faces.”
The researchers observed an increase in the density of protective pigments in the eyes of 13 participants, aged 45 to 65, who ate 28 grams (about one ounce or a handful) of goji berries five times a week for 90 days.
In contrast, 14 study participants showed no increase after they took a commercial eye health supplement during the same period.
The pigments lutein and zeaxanthin, which were increased in the goji berry group, filtered harmful blue light and provided antioxidant protection. Both help protect the eyes during aging.
“The pigments lutein and zeaxanthin are really good sunscreen for your eyes,” says Xiang Li, the study’s lead author and PhD student in the Food Microbiology Program.
“The higher the level of lutein and zeaxanthin in the retina, the greater the protection you have,” he adds. “Our study found that even in normal, healthy eyes, these visual pigments can be increased by eating a small daily serving of goji berries.”
It is noteworthy that the berries are used for eye health in China, the fruit of goji berries comes from two types of shrubs found in northwest China, and they are known as (Lycium chinense) and (Lycium barbarum).
Dried berries are also a common ingredient in Chinese soups and are popular as herbal teas, as the berries resemble a raisin and are eaten as a snack.
In Chinese medicine, it is said that goji berry fruit It has “eye-brightening” qualities, which was all that motivated the lead author, Xiang Li, to complete the study, having grown up in northern China, and became curious to see if there were any physiological properties that help protect eye health.