The Acai Berry Dietary Supplement is from the acai berry a small round berry (size of a grape) that is green when immature and that ripens to a dark purple color.
It is from the acai palm, which is indigenous to Central and South America and grows in the Amazon region as well as swamps and flood plains. As a food, acai is consumed raw and as juice.
The juice is used commercially in jelly, syrup, ice cream, liquors, energy drinks and a variety of other beverages, and also can be used as a natural food colorant.
Acai juice is viscous and contains about 2.4% protein and 5.9% lipids. The fruit pulp contains about 4% protein and 12% lipids. Nutrients include vitamins A, C, and E, calcium, phosphorus, iron, thiamine, and polyphenols and anthocyanins.
Many claims have been made about the acai berry dietary supplement. These include: helps fight heart disease, prevents aging, stops cancer, helps people loss weight, improves sexual performance, improves digestion, improves sleep, improves arthritis, and improves general health. There is limited scientific evidence to support these claims.
The acai berry dietary supplement gained in popularity after it was touted as a "Superfood for Age-Defying Beauty" on the Opray Winfrey show by Dr. Nicholas Perricone. It is believed to have a high antioxidants, more so than other berries. There are conflicting reports regarding the amount of antioxidants in the acai berries, ranging from medium to high levels of antioxidants. This warrants further investigation.
The acai berry dietary supplement was said to defy age and that is because antioxidants are believed to resolve changes in the body that cause oxidation and breaking down of the body; however, online marketers have twisted what Oprah and Dr. Perricone have said about the product, displaying their name next to the sale of the acai berry supplements online. The marketers have claimed that the product causes weight loss and also is like viagra, helping sexual dysfunction but Oprah and Dr. Perricone have never stated this publicly nor did they ever specifically endorse the product for the sale of these things.
When asked about the weight loss properties, Dr. Oz who also spoke about the manner stated he'd be "surprised if by itself acai could help" with weight loss.
Since this has happened, Dr. Oz and Oprah have filed suit against more than 40 scrupulous companies about the acai berry dietary supplement. After doing research into the primary literature, there is definitely not one study written about any sexual enhancing effects of the berry nor has even a single studied been done to prove any weight loss benefits of the supplement.
The online marketers are just disgusting in their approach to sell something out of their greed and dishonesty. Since Viagra and weight loss products are a huge part of the market, why not purport that acai causes these effects fraudulently to make money?
For these reasons, I give very little trust into the marketing profession unlike the honesty and trust that is given to the profession of pharmacy, the one I've studied about.
One study I found relates to the consumption of 300mL of acai pulp which is believed to be the mean daily consumption in several Brazilian regions where it grows.
It was discovered that the pulp is rich in essential minerals, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium and Zinc but the levels of copper and especially manganese are surprisingly higher than traditional sources of these elements.
An intake of 300mL of acai pulp from an acai berry dietary supplment leads to a manganese intake that is sixfold the recommended daily allowance for an adult. This could be a problem for children, vegetarians, and individuals with anemia, since iron absorption is impaired by manganese. It is believed that further studies are needed to evaluate potential adverse effects of the acai berry.
A study of acai berry dietary supplement study found that acai berry caused inhibition of beta-amyloid aggregation. Beta-amyloid aggregation is what Alzheimer's patients experience before their loss of memory. This means acai berry may have a neuroprotective effect and possibly be beneficial for those with alzheimer's, more research is needed.
In an uncontrolled pilot study, consumption of acai fruit pulp reduced levels of selected markers of metabolic disease risk in 10 overweight subjects. The subjects experienced reductions in fasting glucose and insulin, there was also a reduction in bad cholesterol (LDL) and reductions in the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL-cholesterol. There was a decrease in post-prandial rises in plasma glucose following the standardized meal. These are all good effects of the acai fruit pulp.
A study was done involving 14 study participants with limited ranges of motion associated with pain. Daily living was affected. A juice was consumed containing 120 ml of MonaVie Active fruit juice, containing primarily acai pulp. Juice was consumed for 12 daily for 12 weeks. It was discovered that antioxidants levels increased, there was an improve in range of motion and and decrease in pain. Further research is desired. After reading this study, I couldn't help but think that pain and associated range of motion is going to improve in 12 weeks regardless of what you've been ingesting. C-reactive protein levels (a marker for inflammation) also decreased at 12 weeks but it was not a significant finding.
Mice were exposed to cigarette smoke, one group of mice was exposed to the smoke while the other group was exposed to the smoke plus 100mg of hydroalcoholic extract of acai berry stone. The mice that were exposed to the acai berry extract plus smoke had less enlargement of their alveolar space and experienced less oxidative stress than those without. This suggests that acai berry extract may be neuroprotective against emphysema in mice most likely due to reducing oxidative and inflammatory reactions.
A study was conducted to find if whether or not the MonaVie Active fruit juice is toxic or not. It was found that the MonaVie Active juice enriched with acai pulp and berry juice was non-toxic.
Based on what I've found, I don't think acai berry is bad for you. In the right quantity it sounds healthy via its antioxidant abilities; however, there is no doubt in my mind that it doesn't help people lose weight nor does it improve sexual function. It sounds like it may have a possible implication in the use of cigarettes. By adding it to cigarettes possibility it could reduce the chances of developing emphysema. Perhaps it would, but what works in mice effectively does not always work in humans effectively, more research is needed.
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2. Wong DY, Musgrave IF, Harvey BS, et al. Acai berry extract exerts neuroprotective effects against beta-amyloid exposure in vitro. Neurosci Lett. 2013;556:221-6.
3. Udani JK, Singh BB, Singh VG, et al. Effects of Acai berry preparation on metabolic parameters in a healthy overweight population: a pilot study. Nutr J. 2011;10:45
4. Jensen GS, Ager DM, Redman KA, et al. Pain reduction and improvement in range of motion after daily consumption of an acai pulp-fortified polyphenolic-rich fruit and berry juice blend. J Med Food. 2011:14(7-8):702-11.
5. de Moura RS, Pires KM, Santos Ferrira T, et al. Addition of acai to cigarettes has a protective effect against emphysema in mice. Food Chem Toxicol. 2011;49(4):855-63.
6. Schauss AG, Clewell A, Balogh L, et al. Safety evaluation of an acai-fortified fruit and berry functional juice beverage (MonaVie Active). Toxicology. 2010;278(1):46-54.