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Benefits and Usage of the Acai Palm Fruit

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Acai Berry Research: More Scientific Studies Needed

Brazilian acai berry is served as food, beverages and medicines by the native Amazonian for centuries before it gains popularity on the world market over recent years. It is marketed in various form as a tasty “superfood” that is rich in nutrients. It is always linked with words such as health, wellness, energy, and organic in advertisements. It is also promoted as athletic energy enhancer, weight-loss products and metabolism booster. However, there are very few scientific researches done on acai fruit as fresh acai berry is only available in deep Amazon where no laboratory facility is available. Its reputation is just based on the assumptions that dark color fruit would have lots of nutrients and have great antioxidant properties. Until the end of year 2006, there were only a few studies reports on acai published in PubMed, the U.S. National Library of Medicine online database. Most of the studies however, were performed on animals, such as rat.

An in-vitro study done by University of Florida in year 2006 showed that acai berry contains antioxidants that destroyed experimental human’s cancer cells. However, experts are yet to confirm that the antioxidants actually have any positive role in preventing cancer in real human body. This is because antioxidants’ chemical activity might be influenced by other factors, such as nutrient absorption, metabolism and other biochemical processes.

Another research done by Texas AgriLife Research scientists in year 2008 showed that the acai berry is able to be absorbed by human body in the form of acai juice and acai pulp as well. This is the first research done that involved people. This finding is important as products made from this fruit are heavily marketed over the world market as health improving dietary supplements as it is believed to have various antioxidants.

It is too early to make a conclusion whether acai is as good as what acai products marketers claimed. More researches and scientific studies are needed to determine if acai consumption really helps in disease-preventing and disease-fighting, and if yes, the proper dose that is beneficial for people.

 

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This page was last modified on: December 11, 2011

 

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