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(originally published to Bubblews writing site, now gone)

Goji berries or wolfberries are grown mainly in south-east Europe and Asia across to China and have been claimed to have special health benefits.

They contain a lot of nutrients, such as 11 essential and 22 trace dietary minerals, as well as 18 amino acids and six essential vitamins. Also, they are rich in calcium, iron, potassium, riboflavin, selenium, vitamin C and zinc.

Goji berries have been used in traditional medicine for centuries and have even been called a superfruit. This had led to marketing strategies that claim various health benefits, although these haven’t been proven scientifically.

A study on aged mice in 2007 found their antioxidant, immune and other levels were restored to satisfactory levels with polysaccharides from goji berries, but that the effects would have been similar using vitamin C.

Studies in 2001 and 2008 on older women found an increase in bleeding after drinking wolfberry tea, wolfberries being another name for goji berries.

Also, vitamin C levels in goji berries are often claimed to be very high, but are actually similar to a lot of citrus and other fruits as well as strawberries and other berries.

While goji berries do have health benefits, these are sometimes exaggerated. I eat a teaspoon or two of dried goji berries several times a week as part of a meal with other dried fruit, nuts, fresh fruit, cheese and bread. My wife hates them!