Goji berries, sometimes also known as wolfberries, are the fruit of a plant native to China that has incredible antioxidant power.
Like other antioxidant-packed superfoods, goji berries have a broad range of applications. They can help you reduce inflammation, increase energy levels, improve your immune system, and control your blood sugar levels.
Need a goji berry supplement to help you achieve some of these things? We’ve uncovered the ten highest-quality goji berry supplements on the market.
1. Navitas Organics Goji Berries
If you want goji berries in the most raw form possible, Navitas Organics is the way to go. These dried whole goji berries have no sulfites added as a preservative and have no added sugar, either.
They are certified organic berries, meaning you don’t have to worry about pesticide residue. These are great for cooking, snacking, or adding to oatmeal or salad to up your daily antioxidant intake.
2. OMG! Superfoods Goji Berry Powder
OMG! Superfoods strikes a nice balance between ease of use and less processing with its goji berry powder. Organically grown goji berries are the only ingredient, though unlike whole dried berries, they are powdered and dried more thoroughly.
This makes the powder an excellent addition to a smoothie or shake to boost your antioxidant intake, and you’re still getting most of the benefits of the raw berry.
3. Viva Naturals Organic Goji Berries
Viva Naturals sells dried, organically-grown goji berries with no additives (neither preservatives nor sugar). They’re an excellent raw and shelf-stable way to add in the antioxidant power of goji berries to your daily diet.
These goji berries do have a tendency to be very tough when they’re dried, but soaking them in a little water rectifies this problem.
Viva Naturals makes these in a one or a two-pound bag, so if you go through a lot of goji berries, this is your best option.
4. Earth Circle Raw & Organic Goji Berries
This dried goji berry product uses organically sourced goji berries and has no additives or sweeteners.
The product is pretty solid, though it’d be better if there were more details on the region the berries were sourced from.
5. Solaray Goji Berry
Among the capsule-based goji berry supplements, Solaray makes the best.. It has 700 mg of goji berry extract per capsule, and the design is pretty clean.
There isn’t much in the way of binders, stabilizers, or other extra ingredients that you may not want in a supplement.
Solaray is also fairly well-reputed among supplement makers, so the odds are good you’re getting a product from a quality source.
6. Planetary Herbals Full Spectrum Goji Berry
Each capsule of Planetary Herbals Full Spectrum Goji Berry contains 700 mg of goji berry extract, alongside a few stabilizers to keep its capsule-based form shelf-stable.
It’s a solid product if you don’t want dried berries or even berry powder.
7. Doctor’s Best Goji Berry Extract
Doctor’s Best makes a solid supplement for getting the antioxidant power of goji berries in a concentrated, capsule-based form.
Each capsule has 600 mg of goji berry extract, though there are a number of preservatives and additives that make this supplement a little less clean than it could be.
8. Hawaii Pharm Liquid Goji
In a unique approach, Hawaii Pharm provides a liquid extract version of goji berries using a glycerin and water solvent base.
It’s alcohol-free, unlike similar liquid-based supplement extracts, and it’s a decent solution if you don’t want to go for dried goji fruit or powderized goji berries, but want more control over the dosage than you’d get with capsules.
9. Herbtheory Male Fertility
Herbtheory leverages the use of goji berries in Chinese traditional medicine to improve male sexual function, and it includes a few additional herbs with reputed benefits along the same lines.
In this supplement, you’ll also find Chinese dodder, palm-leaf raspberry, schisandra, and plantain, but the precise amounts are hidden in a proprietary blend, making it difficult to assess the quality of this goji berry supplement.
10. AmerMed Goji Berry
AmerMed makes a capsule-based goji berry supplement that has a higher dose (800 mg) than some other competitors, but given that it comes from a relatively obscure manufacturer, and that there aren’t any other perks like using organically sourced goji berries, it’s hard to rank this supplement any higher. The capsule uses gelatin, so it isn’t vegan-friendly.
Goji berry benefits and side effects
Goji berries have been used by traditional medicine practitioners for many years for its ability to reduce inflammation, boost your immune system, and fight oxidative damage.
Modern scientific research is uncovering more direct health applications of goji berries, which extend to treating risk factors for type two diabetes, reducing inflammation and oxidative damage, and perhaps even protecting your eyesight.
Goji berries can decrease blood sugar. Research in lab rats with type two diabetes has found that introduction of goji berries into the diet can reduce blood sugar and improve the symptoms of type two diabetes.
This is according to research published in 2015 in the journal Scientific Papers Animal Science and Biotechnologies (1).
The paper describes how an injection of goji berry extract into the bloodstream over the course of seven weeks led to an improvement in blood sugar compared to a control group.
Other research cited in a review article by researchers at Poznan University of Life Sciences in Poland found that active compounds in goji berries seem to have blood sugar lowering effects in animal models or cellular models as well, though the precise mechanism behind this effect remains unknown (2). In either case, goji berries could be useful for managing or treating type two diabetes.
Goji berries could help preserve your vision. One of the interesting findings of research into the use of goji berries to treat diabetes was the fact that some of its ingredients appear to be biologically active in the eyes. One of the effects of type two diabetes is degradation in the retina, a key part of your eye.
Research published in the scientific journal Biochemical Pharmacology by researchers at the University of Sydney in Australia found that an ingredient in goji berries appears to have a protective effect on some of the cells of the human retina, which could have implications for goji berries use for other vision conditions (3).
The researchers noted a dose-dependent relationship, meaning that the greater your goji berry intake, the greater the protective effects on your retina.
Goji berries can protect you from oxidative damage. While goji berries are known to contain a lot of antioxidants, it’s usually hard to measure or quantify how well these can protect your body from oxidative damage and aging.
Fortunately, a clever experiment published in the journal Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences by researchers in Australia was able to demonstrate the protective effects of goji berries in an animal model (4). In their experiment, a group of mice were given either a goji berry juice drink, or a placebo drink carrying many of the same ingredients, but no goji berry compounds.
The mice were exposed to a high dose of ultraviolet light, which causes oxidative damage to DNA and releases free radicals into the body. The researchers measured the degree of damage that occurred inside the mice’s body, and found that the goji berry extract significantly reduced the degree of oxidative damage.
While this is a long ways from research in humans exposed to natural amounts of oxidative damage, it is nevertheless promising—oxidative damage, and the concomitant inflammation and DNA damage—is one of the major biological pathways that causes aging. If goji berries can prevent this damage, it could keep you feeling younger, healthier, and more energized.
Goji berries can reduce inflammation. According to a review article in Food Research International, several studies have demonstrated specific cellular effects on reducing inflammation thanks to goji berries or their active compounds (5).
Usually, these experiments involve exposing animal models or tissue cultures to a compound that causes oxidative damage, which in turn causes inflammation. Goji berries contain compounds which have been found to prevent or reduce this oxidative damage, or the inflammation that follows.
Again, this is a long ways off from clinical trials in humans, or treatments for specific health conditions, but given the importance of inflammation in many chronic health issues, goji berries look like a promising avenue for reducing or even preventing some of this inflammation.
There have been a few documented cases of goji berries and their extracts having negative drug interactions with warfarin, a common blood thinner prescribed to people with a history of stroke or blood clots.
A case study published by a team of doctors in the journal Pharmacology in 2012 described one of these instances (6). A woman who had recently had knee surgery and was subsequently prescribed warfarin was consuming a goji juice product, and reported to the emergency room with bruising and bleeding from her nose.
The doctors established that there was a likely connection between the goji juice and the warfarin, as once she stopped taking the goji juice, her symptoms improved rapidly.
Warfarin is known to interact with many biologically active compounds, so its adverse interactions with goji are perhaps not surprising given its wide, systematic effects.
Aside from this, the only other known adverse effects associated with goji berries are related to allergic reactions, which are a rare but potential side effect with almost any plant-based material.
In the small number of clinical trials conducted thus far, no negative adverse effects were reported.
In the clinical literature established thus far (which, admittedly, is fairly limited) the dose of goji berries which is biologically active appears to be in the range of six to 18 grams of dried berry material (or 25 to 120 grams of fresh berries, though access to those is a rarity outside China).
This is according to a review article on the traditional and clinical uses of goji berries published in Food Research International (7).
The authors, one of which is a researcher at the University of Illinois Chicago and the other of which is a researcher for FreeLife, which makes a goji berry product, report that goji berries can either be taken in one dosage or split up into several doses throughout the day.
Dosing details beyond this require further research, and the amount of goji extract that is equivalent to the six to 18 gram dosage level from raw dried fruit material isn’t clear either. More advanced chemical analysis is needed to establish the concentration of the active ingredients in goji berry extract.
Goji berries have a long history of traditional use, but clinical research into its uses is still in the early stages.
There is some promising evidence that goji berries could be useful for lowering blood sugar, protecting your eyes as you get older, stopping oxidative damage from ultraviolet radiation or other sources of free radicals, and decreasing levels of certain risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
Goji berries do appear to have the potential to have an adverse interaction with warfarin, but aside from this, it appears to be quite safe.
The optimal dosage appears to be around six to 18 grams of dried goji berries per day, though further research is required to establish best practices for dosage.
Despite these drawbacks, the antioxidant power of this supplement is impressive, and plenty of research is underway to uncover more about how it could keep you younger, healthier, and more energized.