Populations with weakened immune systems may benefit from a milk beverage with goji berry, according to a recent Nestlé study.
Wolfberry, commonly known as goji berry, is rich in antioxidants and the carotenoid zeaxanthin. The ingredient is commonly used for conditions such as fever and sore throat, but clinical evidence of benefits is lacking.
So Nestlé researchers assigned 150 elderly Chinese to a milk formulation with goji berry (Lacto-Wolfberry) daily for three months. After one month, subjects were given a standard influenza vaccine to help assess immune responses through the end of the 90 days.
After vaccination, subjects who consumed the Lacto-Wolfberry beverage showed higher and faster production of specific antibodies following vaccination.
“The outcomes of the present study, as well as data from previous studies on Lacto-Wolfberry, suggest that dietary supplementation with Lacto-Wolfberry results in the strengthening of the immune system,” said Nestlé scientist Karine Vidal, PhD, who led the study. “We believe that this could translate into a clinical benefit, such as a reduced rate of respiratory infections.”
Nestlé said it believes this study to be the largest randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial on supplementation of goji berry in the elderly population.