What You Should Know
Wolfberry is a fruit also known as the Goji berry. Diet and health companies use Goji berry as an ingredient in supplements, drinks and teas with the idea that Goji berry supports overall health and weight loss. There are no peer-reviewed studies supporting any health claims, so Goji berry is nothing more than a berry closely related to the tomato, potato, chili pepper and tobacco plants.
List of Ingredients
- Goji Berry
Just because peer-reviewed studies don’t support the wealth of health claims made by companies selling wolfberry products, that doesn’t mean the fruit is without benefit. Wolfberries are packed with trace minerals, amino acids, essential vitamins and carotenoids. The fruit supplies calcium, potassium, iron, zinc, selenium and riboflavin. There’s even a touch of vitamin C in the fruit. There are lots of nice things to say about the wolfberry fruit, but there is also a huge safety concern.
There are reports of excessive bleeding in two elderly women who drank wolfberry tea. It appears there may be an unidentified element in the fruit that interferes with warfarin. This interference could cause a life-threatening side effect in patients taking warfarin or other blood thinners. Wolfberry also contains atropine, a toxic alkaloid. The level of atropine in wolfberry is below toxic levels, but if consumed in excess there could be side effects and side effects.
Wolfberry has been at the center of class action lawsuits and misrepresentation claims. Companies using wolfberry or goji berry juices in supplements or as the sole ingredient in a supplement have claimed everything from reduced risk of breast cancer to weight loss. No support for these claims exists. Specific products named in one class action lawsuit included FreeLife products – Himalayan Goji Juice, TaiSlim and GoChi.
- Wolfberry is packed with vitamins and nutrients.
- The fruit can be consumed safely, by most people.
- There are no clinical trials support improved health claims.
- Some companies have faced class action lawsuits for making unlawful health claims.
- Wolfberry is not suitable for people taking blood thinners.
Wolfberry or goji berry is not the superfruit many companies claim it to be. There are no known weight loss benefits associated with the fruit and many of the health claims made by health companies can be considered a stretch of the truth. Before taking any supplement that contains wolfberry or goji berry it is best to talk with a physician about possible interactions, especially if you are currently taking prescription medications.