Are Goji Berries Protective of Mood Disorders?

Goji berries (Lycium barbarum) are the fruits of a plant belonging to the Solanaceae family of plants. Goji berries have been extensively researched for their health benefits which may include protection from a number of Western lifestyle diseases. Goji berries possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties and this makes them a possible useful treatment for anxiety and depression. The mood enhancing effects of goji berries have been investigated in animal models of behaviour using rats. In one study, researchers administered goji berries to male and female rats and observed their reactions to stressful situations. The results of the study showed that goji berry extracts were significantly beneficial at reducing the anxious and depressive behaviour of the rats and that there were learning effects from the berries conferred on the rats. However, some of these effects were greater in female rats compared to male rats, indicating there may be sex differences between the brain effects of goji berry.

goji berries mood anxiety depression

Goji berries are a rich source of nutrients that includes flavonoids, phenolic acids, carotenoids, essential oils, vitamins A, B vitamins, vitamin C, amino acids, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, iron, as well as betaine. These nutrients may explain the beneficial health effects of the berries that include neuroprotective antidepressive and anxiolytic effects.

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Karakas, F. P., Coskun, H., Saglam, K., amd Bozat, B. G. 2016. Lycium barbarum L. (goji berry) fruits improve anxiety, depression-like behaviors, and learning performance: the moderating role of sex. Turkish Journal of Biology. 40(4): 762-771

About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
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