Doctor's Note

Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. And check out the other videos on goji berries. Also, there are 1,686 other subjects covered in the rest of my videos--please feel free to explore them as well!

Also, please check out my associated blog posts: Indian Gooseberries versus Cancer, Diabetes, and CholesterolThe Best DetoxSoymilk: shake it up!, NutritionFacts.org: the first month, and Best Nutrition Bang for Your Buck

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  • jada135

    where can i find them for cheap i cant find it any cheaper than goji berries.Thanks

    • Michael Greger M.D.

      Where do you live? I’ve found that most major cities have an Asian grocery store–that’s where I’ve had the most luck finding them at a reasonable price.

      • GeorgeI

        It works the same way with shitake mushrooms too. In health food stores and co-ops you can pay several dollars for just 2-3 shitake mushrooms. Several dollars in an Asian grocery store will get you a huge sack of shitake mushrooms.

  • VeganMaven

    While they are cheaper in Asian Markets, they contain preservatives. I buy them in the bulk section at Whole Foods and I believe they are the Sunfood brand if I remember correctly. Whatever brand it is, I checked their website and it said they’re preservative-free.

    • Michael Greger M.D.

      I’m surprised you found some with preservatives (which I believe by law have to be listed on the package). The “lycium” (goji) berries one finds so inexpensively in Asian markets may not be organic, though, but I haven’t found any studies that have looked at goji pesticide levels. If anyone finds any such studies please send them my way. My direct email address is mhg1@cornell.edu. You know, I wish I liked the taste of goji berries better. I know they’re so good for me but I’ve grown addicted to these monukka raisins (they have seeds!) that I discovered at a co-op in Charlottesville, VA last weekend that my poor gojis have recently lain fallow.

      • Thrivalista

         Love all the info, thanks! We’ve found that soaking goji berries mellows their somewhat funky flavor, and makes them easier to chew and to digest. We use the soaking water, too, so no nutrients are lost.

  • LXB

    it seems that at least the cheap gojis will be really full of pesticides. And many of those sellers saying they are organic or from wild harvesting will contain so many pesticides that they can only be grown industrially. so i guess it is not a good tip to recommend buying them in the asian shops for cheap. i did not find real studies but some result of examinations in German language.

    try these links with google translator :

    http://www.food-monitor.de/2010/03/erhoehte-rueckstaende-von-pflanzenschutzmitteln-in-goji-beeren/lebensmittel/tests/

    Baden Württemberg/Germany authorities with 4 entries to the topic “goji”:

    http://www.ua-bw.de/pub/search_results.asp?allebegriffe=AND&subid=0&lang=DE&suchbegriff=goji+beere

    last year the food and drug authorities of Baden Württemberg (a German province) tested 14 different goji packs and in 13 of them they found irregularities. Especially the remnants of a pesticide called ‘Acetamiprid’ were higher than allowed but not yet doubtful for the health. Now in 2010 the European Community has changed the limit value from 0,01 to 0,1 mg/kg for acetamiprid and that is the only reason why all gojis now are under the limit value :-(

    In one single sample they found up to 19 different pesticides. the authorities recommend now that you let the seller show you the laboratory examination valuesfor their imports…

  • dwoodrufff

    Michael
    Is it possible that Goji caused me to have rather severe abdominal cramps and pain along with diarrhea? It started a couple of days after I started eating them and seemed to get better when I stopped. I am fine now.

    • Sam

      I get the same abdominal ‘cramping’ type pain after consuming goji berries. For me, it began about a month after consuming them regularly. It’s been almost a year since it first happened, at which point I stopped consuming them (after trying from different retailers). But I can no longer eat them without that severe pain. I’ve been very curious of the cause. Any science out there?

      • antonio.ribeiro

        I have the same symptoms – severe abdominal pain after consuming small portion of goji berries. Pain may last for 24h.

      • Miguel

        I had similar issues. At the end of my first packet of goji berries, I started to feel cramps, but at first I didn’t realize what it was about. I bought another packet from the same brand, and the stomach aches, sometimes followed by diarrhea, started to get progressively worse, even with very small amounts.
        Both were from the same brand, which is a fairly reputable brand of dietetic products and I never had problems with any other products from them.

    • gojihater

      I also have this exact problem. The first couple weeks of eating them were fine then even just a handful on a random day causes a day of stomach pain and camping out on the toilet

  • Michael Greger M.D.
  • Michelle

    After learning
    about the health benefits of Goji berries, I recently purchased some
    from a local Asian food store. When I looked more closely at the
    package, I saw that they contained sulfur dioxide and the label
    “contains chemicals known by the state of CA to cause caner.” It also
    had directions to wash them before eating. I’m now worried that I
    shouldn’t eat them. Can you explain this labeling?

  • Leslie Stanick

    I wouldn’t eat anything grown in China with their toxic rivers, air pollution coming down as acid rain, and toxic soil, unless the food is grown on high hills/mountains, so no toxic river water, and industrial pollution, and is certified organic.

  • Swengen

    I have extreme sleep apnea. My CPAP machine is very helpful and I do drink tart cherry juice. I also have goji berries on hand but didn’t know they had melatonin. How many do you suggest I eat before bedtime? Thanks, Wayne Halford

  • Laurie Masters

    I’m seeing references online to lycium fruit being synonymous with lychee/litchi. Here’s just one:

    http://supplement-geek.com/nv-clinical-review-ingredients-side-effects/
    Litchi – Also called Litchi chinensis and Lycium chinense.
    Litchi also goes by the names Lycium, lychee and Chinese wolfberry,
    among many others.

    Can anyone confirm this? I wonder if eating fresh lychee (one of my favorite exotics) would have the same benefits, or if dehydrating and concentrating them is required to get “enough” … ??

  • Betseyb

    Every morning I have a smoothies in which I alway make sure to include berries. I used to use fresh berries but because my household is large (there are 6 of us) it became quite expensive. Now I buy frozen berries from Costco because it is much less expensive, and ensures I am able to include them in my diet daily. However, now i read there is a concern that most berries have lots of pesticides and one should only buy. Should I only buy organic, meaning I will have to cut down on how often I include berries in my diet? Might be rather silly question, but I would appreciate any advice. Thanks.