Background: This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial is the first study reported from outside China that has examined the general effects of the orally consumed goji berry, Lycium barbarum, as a standardized juice (GoChi; FreeLife International LLC, Phoenix, AZ) to healthy adults for 14 days.
Methods: Based upon the medicinal properties of Lycium barbarum in traditional Asian medicine, we examined by questionnaire subjective ratings (0-5) of general feelings of well-being, neurologic/psychologic traits, gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal, and cardiovascular complaints as well as any adverse effects. Also, measures of body weight, body-mass index, blood pressure, pulse rate, and visual acuity were assessed before and after consuming 120 mL of GoChi/day or placebo control solution. Data were statistically analyzed for changes between day 1 and day 15.
Results: Significant differences between day 1 and day 15 were found in the GoChi group (N = 16) in increased ratings for energy level, athletic performance, quality of sleep, ease of awakening, ability to focus on activities, mental acuity, calmness, and feelings of health, contentment, and happiness. GoChi also significantly reduced fatigue and stress, and improved regularity of gastrointestinal function. In contrast, the placebo group (N = 18) showed only two significant changes (heartburn and happiness). No significant changes in musculoskeletal or cardiovascular complaints were observed in either group. All parametric data (body weight, etc.) were not significantly different between groups or between day 1 and day 15 for either group.
Conclusions: These results clearly indicate that daily consumption of GoChi for 14 days increases subjective feelings of general well-being, and improves neurologic/psychologic performance and gastrointestinal functions. The data strongly suggest that further research is indicated to confirm and extend knowledge of the potential effects of Lycium barbarum upon human health.