Is Açaí the Next "Superfood"?

Açaí Palm (pronounced [asaˈi]) grows in tropical Central and South America. Its fruit is a small, round, black-purple drupe, similar in appearance and size to a grape and supposedly contains 10 times more antioxidants than red grapes and 10-30 times the anthocyanins of red wine.

Dr. Perricone's calls Açaí superfood No. 1 on Oprah Winfrey's website. There are few studies in the peer-reviewed literature which seem to confirm the high antioxidant content of the berries.

The anonymous author of the Happy Hospitalist blog have tried taking Acai-based juice for 4 weeks and seems very happy with the result (or may be he was happy to begin with it?).

A colleague of mine was intrigued and took "Standardized Açaí, 60 Vcaps" by Nature's Way for 2 weeks but he did not report any significant difference. For now, I will stick to my cup of green tea in the morning.

References:
Mona Vie Diary Week 4. The Happy Hospitalist.
Superfood No. 1: Açaí. Nature's Energy Fruit. Oprah.com.
Açaí Palm from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Image source: Wikipedia, public domain.

3 comments:

  1. Howdy. I thought I needed to comment. I am Happy.

    Before I ever started taking the stuff, I was happy. For me it was just an experiment. I suppose I didn't really have any complaints before I started taking it. Except my shoulder pains that I explain on my blog entries in the side bar

    I did a lit review on pub med myself and found that the acai berry likely carries cox-1 and cox-2 inhibitors, (antiflammatories). You can look it up yourself. pubmed.org. then query "acai, cox"

    It's amazing reading all the research that this berry has in terms of healthful benefits.

    I'm not a health nut by any means. But my response, in terms of my shoulder pains, my sleep cycle, my energy level, and my amazing reduction in caffeine consumption from many cups a day to just about two has amazed even the biggest skeptic.

    Me.

    Also, the fact that I have been able to exceed all expectations of myself in my work outs has stunned me more than I ever imagined. The acai, also may have some endothelial vasodilatory properties as well, if you query pubmed.org again with "acai, antioxidants"

    This may explain my ability to longer workouts with less muscle fatigue and burning/lactic acid.

    I went from major skeptic to believer in just a month.

    I don't know all the answers. I do know that why I've responded the way I have.

    The product I use, unfortunately, is only sold in a network marketing distribution, something, I have no experience in. The company is Mona Vie.

    The immediate response I had when I heard about it was. Wow, it sounds great, but why is it sold this way? Well, I don't know, other than that's what the company has decided to do. So getting past that, I have been able to really feel the difference after using it.

    I once thought it was just a scam. But not anymore. Some use it as a business, just trying to sell it to others. I'm actually using the product and feeling great with it, so my motivation is to tell others of my benefit.

    I have a great job and no need for a second business. So if others want to try it, great. If not, no loss on my end.

    Along with acai berry, Mona Vie contains 18 other fruits/berries in its' mix, all with their own benefits.

    I admit, it's expensive, but in relative terms, the same price as one Starbucks a day.

    I wouldn't ever recommend it for the treatment of any specific medical condition, because clearly, the studies aren't there. But from a health food, nutrition standpoint, I would certainly continue taking it, especially since my response has been positive.

    There is so much we don't know out there. As you know, many medicines are derived from plants in the amazon, and I wouldn't be surprised if someday a pharmaceutical company tried to create a medicine out of the fruit.

    I think I'll just eat/drink the fruit.

    Happy.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Happy,

    Thank you for your comment.

    As expected, it is longer and more thoughtful than the post itself.

    Actually, I have never heard of Acai before I read about it on your blog, which, by the way, is almost certainly the "best new medical blog" if one follows the Medgadget awards category description.

    Keep up the good work!

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  3. Dr. Passwater goes on to say the following about antioxidants in his book "The Antioxidants":

    “Combinations of antioxidants are like a balanced symphony working together. A symphony orchestra produces sounds so much more harmonious than merely having 20 drums playing. It is not the quantity, but the blend. The same is true with antioxidant nutrients: you get better results with moderate amounts of a full complement than you get with using very large amounts of just one nutrient… In general, the different reducing agents in the body “talk to one another” freely, and thus, it is probably important that all of our pools of reducing agents be maintained. For this reason, most of us in the field recommend that a person take a variety of antioxidants (a “cocktail”), not just a single substance.”

    Dr. Passwater concludes:

    “The importance of synergism is that the antioxidant nutrients each contribute to the total protection. They work together in the antioxidant cycle and reach all body compartments–fat and water-based, blood and internal cell. They protect against all types of free radicals and reactive oxygen species. No one antioxidant can do all of this.”

    If you're interested in trying a full-complement, synergistic, whole food, "balanced symphony" antioxidant blend, then Greens First is for you.
    "Mac"
    www.greensfirst.com/5039

    ReplyDelete

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