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Goji berries for blood glucose and lipid metabolism

Background

Limited evidence from animal and human research suggests that Lycium barbarum polysaccharides (LBP), the main bioactive compounds in goji berries, may improve blood glucose and lipid metabolism. What do the available randomized controlled trials say?

The study

This was a meta-analysis of 6 randomized controlled trials examining the effects of LBP or goji berry juice consumption on total cholesterol (6 trials), LDL cholesterol (4 trials), HDL cholesterol (4 trials), triglycerides (6 trials), and fasting blood glucose (5 trials) in 459 Asian adults aged 20–73 years.

Four trials were conducted in healthy participants, and 2 trials were conducted in people with diabetes. The comparator groups received a placebo in 5 trials and no intervention in 1 trial.

The results

Compared to the control, treatment with LBP/goji berry juice improved LDL cholesterol and triglycerides (moderate effect size), fasting blood glucose (moderate to large effect size), and HDL cholesterol (large effect size). There was considerable heterogeneity in these analyses.

Four trials were assessed as being of high quality, 1 of moderate quality, and 1 of low quality.

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