Dry eye is a very common but no less annoying condition. Indeed, dry eye can cause considerable discomfort in those who suffer from it. An aid to counteract this ailment, if not even eliminate it completely, comes from a berry well known throughout the world, the goji! This emerges from a scientific research published in the Molecular Medicine Reports journal by a group of Taiwanese scientists (Chien et al, Mol Med Rep, 2018).
Dry eye, causes and symptoms
Dry eye is a disorder that leads to a reduction in tear production, an excess of tear evaporation or an alteration in the quality of tears. The result is a sensation of ocular discomfort, often accompanied by itching, burning, redness, blurred vision and photophobia. Dry eye syndrome is very common, with estimates indicating that up to 50% of the world's population may suffer from it. This condition can be temporary, caused for example by taking certain medicines, but also seasonal changes and environmental factors. Other times, however, the syndrome is chronic. Artificial tears are the remedy that is generally used, even if it is a palliative. Artificial tears, in fact, bring relief but do not solve the problem. The research we are talking about today offers a food-type approach to dry eye syndrome by indicating the benefits that can derive from the action of goji berries.
The properties of goji berries
Goji berries, scientific name Lycium barbarum, are generally found in dried form in all supermarkets. Goji berries are characterized by anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, anticancer and hepatoprotective properties, also capable of strengthening the immune system. Previous studies had been able to show that goji berries can also be beneficial for eyesight. In fact, goji berries are able to improve the function of the retina and the macula, which is the central part of the retina, counteract glaucoma and reduce the risk of cataracts and degenerative maculopathy. Today's research shows that goji berries are also a useful food to counteract dry eye syndrome.
Goji berries contrast dry eye, the study
The study took place in the laboratory on a population of mice, all with dry eyes. The rodents were given goji berry extracts for a week. Well, what emerged, after just 7 days, was that goji berries improved dry eye syndrome. In fact, tear production was increased, as was tear film breakup time. This last parameter indicates the time between an eye blink and the first dry areas in the tear film. The effect of goji berries on dry eye syndrome was directly proportional to the amount of extracts taken. In fact, a small group of mice were given goji extracts twice as much as the others. In this case, after three weeks of taking goji berries, the total disappearance of dry eye syndrome was reported in mice.
Goji berries can become precious allies against dry eye syndrome, being capable of increasing tear production and making the tear film more stable. It is believed that the beneficial action is due to the antioxidants contained in the berries but also to another substance, betaine, which improves the control of ocular moisture and inflammation. The study analyzed the effect of taking goji extracts for a short period of time. The extracts are easily found in herbalist's and chemist's shops but, before taking them, always consult your doctor to check if there are any interactions with drugs in use. Do not use it during pregnancy and lactation. Alternatively, you can also resort to whole berries and introduce them into your daily diet, perhaps adding them to yogurt or fruit salads, to take care of your eyesight.