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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.

 

Effects of Polysaccharides in Lycium Barbarum Berries From Different Regions of China on Macrophages Function and Their Correlation to the Glycosidic Linkages

2017 Oct 8 Abstract

Berries of Lycium barbarum L. are not only used for traditional Chinese medicine, but also for raw materials in many health foods. Polysaccharides are major components of L. barbarum berries, which possess a variety of biological activities. In this study, effects of water-soluble polysaccharides, in 8 typical batches of L. barbarum berries collected from different producing areas of China, on macrophage function were evaluated in vitro. Furthermore, to better understand the structure-activity relationship of the polysaccharides in L. barbarum berries, the activity of typical polysaccharides and their partial acid and enzymatic hydrolysates were also investigated and compared. The results showed that the effects of polysaccharides of different regions are similar, which should be correlated to their similar chemical properties. However, their promotion effects on macrophage function are different in degree, this might be caused by their different content of active polysaccharides. Moreover, the α-1,4-d-galactosiduronic and α-1,5-arabinosidic linkages, especially the former one was discovered to significantly affect the promotion effect on macrophage function induced by the polysaccharides in L. barbarum berries. These results were beneficial to improve the pharmacological activity-based quality control of polysaccharides in L. barbarum berries and their products.

 

Practical application: The results showed that immunomodulation effects of polysaccharides in L. barbarum berries (LBPs) from different regions are similar, but different in degree, this might be caused by their different content of bioactive polysaccharides. Moreover, an enzymatic digestion method was used to investigate the structure-bioactivity relationship of polysaccharides from LBPs. The result indicated that α-1,4-d-galactosiduronic and α-1,5-arabinosidic linkages, especially the former one was significantly affect the immunomodulation effects of LBPs. The results were beneficial to the improvement of pharmacological activity-based quality control of LBPs and future development of related unique functional and health products.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28833151/

 

What Is a Macrophage?

The world in which we live can be a messy place. Since everything in nature tends toward chaos, our lives tend to do the same. Houses become cluttered. Litter gathers along the side of the road. It's a constant job just to keep things picked up and tidy.

Interestingly enough, a similar situation is happening inside our bodies all the time. Cells are dying, bacteria are wandering in, and viruses are attempting mass takeovers. Our immune system is constantly hard at work destroying these intruders and cleaning up the mess. One cell in particular, the macrophage, is an integral part of this cleanup process. In this lesson, we'll take a closer look at the work of a macrophage and learn about its importance within the body.

A macrophage is a large white blood cell that is an important part of our immune system. The word 'macrophage' literally means 'big eater.' It's an amoeba-like organism, and its job is to clean our body of microscopic debris and invaders. A macrophage has the ability to locate and 'eat' particles, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites.

Macrophages are born from white blood cells called monocytes, which are produced by stem cells in our bone marrow. Monocytes move through the bloodstream and when they leave the blood, they mature into macrophages. They live for months, patrolling our cells and organs and keeping them clean.

What Is a immunomodulation?

From a therapeutic point of view, immunomodulation refers to any process in which an immune response is altered to a desired level. 

 

 

Immunomodulatory Effects of a Standardized Lycium Barbarum Fruit Juice in Chinese Older Healthy Human Subjects

2009 Oct Abstract

Lycium barbarum has been traditionally used in combination with several herbs for medicinal properties, but systematic modern clinical evaluation as a single herb has not been reported. To examine the systematic effects of L. barbarum on immune function, general well-being, and safety, we tested the effects of a standardized L. barbarum fruit juice (GoChi, FreeLife International, Phoenix, AZ, USA) at 120 mL/day, equivalent to at least 150 g of fresh fruit, the amount traditionally used, or placebo for 30 days in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study in 60 older healthy adults (55-72 years old). The GoChi group showed a statistically significant increase in the number of lymphocytes and levels of interleukin-2 and immunoglobulin G compared to pre-intervention and the placebo group, whereas the number of CD4, CD8, and natural killer cells or levels of interleukin-4 and immunoglobulin A were not significantly altered. The placebo group showed no significant changes in any immune measures. Whereas the GoChi (Goji juice) group showed a significant increase in general feelings of well-being, such as fatigue and sleep, and showed a tendency for increased short-term memory and focus between pre- and post-intervention, the placebo group showed no significant positive changes in these measures. No adverse reactions, abnormal symptoms, or changes in body weight, blood pressure, pulse, visual acuity, urine, stool, or blood biochemistry were seen in either group. In conclusion, daily consumption of GoChi (Goji juice) significantly increased several immunological responses and subjective feelings of general well-being without any adverse reactions.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19857084/

 

Lycium Barbarum (Goji) Juice Improves in Vivo Antioxidant Biomarkers in Serum of Healthy Adults

2009 Jan Abstract

Although Lycium barbarum (goji) and active compounds, Lycium barbarum polysaccharides (LBP), have a high in vitro antioxidant score as determined by simple chemical reaction methods, their in vivo antioxidant effects in humans have not been extensively examined. After our earlier report that an LBP-standardized Lycium barbarum preparation (GoChi) helps prevent oxidant stress-related conditions in humans, our present study examined the hypothesis that the antioxidant effects of GoChi result from its ability to enhance endogenous antioxidant factors. We investigated the effects of GoChi in a 30-day randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study. The study population included 50 Chinese healthy adults aged 55 to 72 years. In vivo antioxidant markers, consisting of serum levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), and lipid peroxidation (indicated by decreased levels of malondialdehyde, MDA) were examined preintervention and postintervention with GoChi or placebo (120 mL/d). In the GoChi group, antioxidant markers significantly increased by 8.4% for SOD and 9.9% for GSH-Px between the preintervention and postintervention measurements, whereas MDA were significantly decreased by 8.7%. In addition, the SOD, GSH-Px, and MDA levels in the GoChi group were significantly different from those in the placebo group at the postintervention time point, with increases of 8.1% and 9.0% and a decrease of 6.0%, respectively. No significant differences were detected between the preintervention and postintervention time points in the placebo group. These results indicate that GoChi (Goji juice) increased antioxidant efficacies in humans by stimulating endogenous factors and suggest that continued use beyond 30 days might help prevent or reduce free radical-related conditions.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22189914/

 

 

Effect of the Lycium Barbarum Polysaccharides on Age-Related Oxidative Stress in Aged Mice

2006 Dec 28 Abstract

Oxidative damage of biomolecules increases with age and is postulated to be a major causal factor of various physiological function disorders. Consequently, the concept of anti-age by antioxidants has been developed. Lycium barbarum fruits have been used as a traditional Chinese herbal medicine and the data obtained in in vitro models have clearly established the antioxidant potency of the polysaccharides isolated from the fruits. In the present study, the age-dependent changes in the antioxidant enzyme activity, immune function and lipid peroxidation product were investigated and effect of Lycium barbarum polysaccharides on age-induced oxidative stress in different organs of aged mice was checked. Lycium barbarum polysaccharides (200, 350 and 500 mg/kg b.w. in physiological saline) were orally administrated to aged mice over a period of 30 days. Aged mice receiving vitamin C served as positive control. Enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants, lipid peroxides in serum and tested organs, and immune function were measured. Result showed that increased endogenous lipid peroxidation, and decreased antioxidant activities, as assessed by superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) and total antioxidant capacity (TAOC), and immune function were observed in aged mice and restored to normal levels in the polysaccharides-treated groups. Antioxidant activities of Lycium barbarum polysaccharides can be compable with normal antioxidant, vitamin C. Moreover, addition of vitamin C to the polysaccharides further increased the in vivo antioxidant activity of the latter. It is concluded that the Lycium barbarum polysaccharides can be used in compensating the decline in TAOC, immune function and the activities of antioxidant enzymes and thereby reduces the risks of lipid peroxidation accelerated by age-induced free radical.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17224253/

 

An evidence-based update on the pharmacological activities and possible molecular targets of Lycium barbarum polysaccharides

2014 Dec 17 Abstract

Lycium barbarum berries, also named wolfberry, Fructus lycii, and Goji berries, have been used in the People's Republic of China and other Asian countries for more than 2,000 years as a traditional medicinal herb and food supplement. L. barbarum polysaccharides (LBPs) are the primary active components of L. barbarum berries and have been reported to possess a wide array of pharmacological activities. Herein, we update our knowledge on the main pharmacological activities and possible molecular targets of LBPs.

 

  • Several clinical studies in healthy subjects show that consumption of wolfberry juice improves general wellbeing and immune functions.
  • LBPs are reported to have antioxidative and antiaging properties in different models. LBPs show antitumor activities against various types of cancer cells and inhibit tumor growth in nude mice through induction of apoptosis and cell cycle arrest.
  • LBPs may potentiate the efficacy of lymphokine activated killer/interleukin-2 combination therapy in cancer patients.
  • LBPs exhibit significant hypoglycemic effects and insulin-sensitizing activity by increasing glucose metabolism and insulin secretion and promoting pancreatic β-cell proliferation.
  • They protect retinal ganglion cells in experimental models of glaucoma.
  • LBPs protect the liver from injuries due to exposure to toxic chemicals or other insults.
  • They also show potent immunoenhancing activities in vitro and in vivo.
  • Furthermore, LBPs protect against neuronal injury and loss induced by β-amyloid peptide, glutamate excitotoxicity, ischemic/reperfusion, and other neurotoxic insults.
  • LBPs ameliorate the symptoms of mice with Alzheimer's disease and enhance neurogenesis in the hippocampus and subventricular zone, improving learning and memory abilities.
  • They reduce irradiation- or chemotherapy-induced organ toxicities.
  • LBPs are beneficial to male reproduction by increasing the quality, quantity, and motility of sperm, improving sexual performance, and protecting the testis against toxic insults.
  • Moreover, LBPs exhibit hypolipidemic, cardioprotective, antiviral, and antiinflammatory activities.

 

There is increasing evidence from preclinical and clinical studies supporting the therapeutic and health-promoting effects of LBPs, but further mechanistic and clinical studies are warranted to establish the dose-response relationships and safety profiles of LBPs.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25552899/

 

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

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