We make no claims regarding the medicinal, preventive or curative properties of wolfberries (lycium barbarum). This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. The wolfberry fruit has been used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for more than 2000 years. Modern scientists have been researching the potential of wolfberries (lycium barbarum) over the past 20 years. Scroll down to see these research articles posted on the National Institutes of Health (NIH.GOV) website.


Neuroprotective Mechanism of Lycium Barbarum Polysaccharides Against Hippocampal-Dependent Spatial Memory Deficits in a Rat Model of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

 2015 Feb 25 Abstract

Chronic intermittent hypoxia (CIH) is a hallmark of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which induces hippocampal injuries mediated by oxidative stress. This study aims to examine the neuroprotective mechanism of Lycium barbarum polysaccharides (LBP) against CIH-induced spatial memory deficits. Adult Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to hypoxic treatment resembling a severe OSA condition for a week. The animals were orally fed with LBP solution (1 mg/kg) daily 2 hours prior to hypoxia or in air for the control. The effect of LBP on the spatial memory and levels of oxidative stress, inflammation, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, apoptosis and neurogenesis in the hippocampus was examined. There was a significant deficit in the spatial memory and an elevated level of malondialdehyde with a decreased expression of antioxidant enzymes (SOD, GPx-1) in the hypoxic group when compared with the normoxic control. In addition, redox-sensitive nuclear factor kappa B (NFКB) canonical pathway was activated with a translocation of NFКB members (p65, p50) and increased expression levels of NFКB-dependent inflammatory cytokines and mediator (TNFα, IL-1β, COX-2); also, a significantly elevated level of ER stress (GRP78/Bip, PERK, CHOP) and autophagic flux in the hypoxic group, leading to neuronal apoptosis in hippocampal subfields (DG, CA1, CA3). Remarkably, LBP administration normalized the elevated level of oxidative stress, neuroinflammation, ER stress, autophagic flux and apoptosis induced by hypoxia. Moreover, LBP significantly mitigated both the caspase-dependent intrinsic (Bax, Bcl2, cytochrome C, cleaved caspase-3) and extrinsic (FADD, cleaved caspase-8, Bid) signaling apoptotic cascades. Furthermore, LBP administration prevented the spatial memory deficit and enhanced the hippocampal neurogenesis induced by hypoxia. Our results suggest that LBP is neuroprotective against CIH-induced hippocampal-dependent spatial memory deficits by promoting hippocampal neurogenesis and negatively modulating the apoptotic signaling cascades activated by oxidative stress and inflammation.


Neuro-protective Mechanisms of Lycium Barbarum

2016 Mar 31 Abstract

Neuronal diseases, including retinal disorders, stroke, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and spinal cord injury, affect a large number of people worldwide and cause heavy social and economic burdens. Although many efforts have been made by scientists and clinicians to develop novel drug and healthcare strategies, few of them received satisfactory outcomes to date. Lycium barbarum is a traditional homology of medicine and food in Chinese medicine, with the capability to nourish the eyes, liver and kidneys. Recent studies have also explored its powerful neuro-protective effects on a number of neuronal diseases. In the current review, we collected key recent findings regarding the neuro-protective effects and mechanisms of L. barbarum derivatives, primarily its polysaccharide (LBP) , in some common diseases of the nervous system. A comprehensive comparison with currently available drugs has also been discussed. In general, LBP is a promising neuronal protector with potent ameliorative effects on key pathological events, such as oxidative stress, inflammation, apoptosis and cell death with minimal side effects.


Lycium Barbarum Extracts Protect the Brain From Blood-Brain Barrier Disruption and Cerebral Edema in Experimental Stroke

2012 Mar 16 Abstract

Background and purpose: Ischemic stroke is a destructive cerebrovascular disease and a leading cause of death. Yet, no ideal neuroprotective agents are available, leaving prevention an attractive alternative. The extracts from the fruits of Lycium barbarum (LBP), a Chinese anti-aging medicine and food supplement, showed neuroprotective function in the retina when given prophylactically. We aim to evaluate the protective effects of LBP pre-treatment in an experimental stroke model.

Methods: C57BL/6N male mice were first fed with either vehicle (PBS) or LBP (1 or 10 mg/kg) daily for 7 days. Mice were then subjected to 2-hour transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) by the intraluminal method followed by 22-hour reperfusion upon filament removal. Mice were evaluated for neurological deficits just before sacrifice. Brains were harvested for infarct size estimation, water content measurement, immunohistochemical analysis, and Western blot experiments. Evans blue (EB) extravasation was determined to assess blood-brain barrier (BBB) disruption after MCAO.

Results: LBP pre-treatment significantly improved neurological deficits as well as decreased infarct size, hemispheric swelling, and water content. Fewer apoptotic cells were identified in LBP-treated brains by TUNEL assay. Reduced EB extravasation, fewer IgG-leaky vessels, and up-regulation of occludin expression were also observed in LBP-treated brains. Moreover, immunoreactivity for aquaporin-4 and glial fibrillary acidic protein were significantly decreased in LBP-treated brains.

Conclusions: Seven-day oral LBP pre-treatment effectively improved neurological deficits, decreased infarct size and cerebral edema as well as protected the brain from BBB disruption, aquaporin-4 up-regulation, and glial activation. The present study suggests that LBP may be used as a prophylactic neuroprotectant in patients at high risk for ischemic stroke.


*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.

This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.