Goji, a tiny red berry known to Chinese herbalists for thousands of years, has become the newest craze in man’s quest for the mythical fountain of youth.
Nutritionist Earl Mindell, author of the book The New Vitamin Bible, says he learned of all the benefits of goji from an Asian healer he met on a visit to the Himalayan Mountains in 1996, ABC News says.
The berry is used in China, Tibet and India because residents believe it helps regulate blood pressure, prevent cancer, balance blood sugar levels and protect bodies from premature aging.
Thanks in part to Mindell’s book, hundreds of Internet Web sites are selling goji juice, dried goji berries and goji plants.
Several Chinese studies indicate the goji berry is a rich source of antioxidants and components of the berry have the ability to stop the growth of cancer cells and reduce blood glucose and cholesterol levels.
However, goji has only been tested on humans in one published study, ABC News says.
Dr. David L. Katz, director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale University’s school of Medicine and an ABC News medical contributor, says he wouldn’t spend his money on goji supplements until more scientific research has been done.