Acai Berry Extract supplement benefit, side effects, review
Avoid the scams, honest information and the latest studies and research trials published in medical journals
February 1 2017
The acai palm tree is native to tropical Central and South America, from Belize south to Brazil growing primarily in floodplains and swamps. The berry is the fruit of the acai palm and is traditionally consumed in Brazil but has gained popularity in the United States as a food and functional ingredient.
Weight loss claims, scam
Perhaps you are one of those people who has been inundated with emails of promoters marketing acai berry extracts for weight loss. Any type of spam email is suspect to begin with in terms of their credibility. There is no evidence that the use of these pills will help you lose weight.
See Diet Rx for an effective natural product that helps you control appetite. You can also subscribe to a Free newsletter regarding natural ways to lose weight and stay healthy.
Also consider additional health improving fruit, herbal, and berry supplements such as amla, curcumin, Goji Berry, pomegranate, graviola, and mangosteen. Goji berry ingestion can improve vision. Also consider a vision improving supplement called Eyesight Rx.
What is the recommended dosage and how often should one take this supplement?
There is no single answer that applies to everyone. Much depends on your medical condition, medications you are using, other supplements you are taking, your diet and food intake, etc. As a general rule, one to four capsules of acai berry supplement a few times a week is a reasonable amount.
Benefits of acai as a berry or supplement
Even though ingestion does not help with weight loss, ingestion has a number of health benefits. Acai is rich in phytochemicals that possesses high anti-oxidant activities, and have anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and heart disease prevention properties. Let’s review some of the studies.
Brain cell protection potential
J Agric Food Chem. 2012. Anthocyanin-rich acai (Euterpe oleracea) fruit pulp fractions attenuate inflammatory stress signaling in mouse brain BV-2 microglial cells.
Benefit for longevity, study done in flies
Acai palm fruit (Euterpe oleracea) pulp improves survival of flies on a high fat diet.
Exp Gerontol. 2010.
We evaluated the effect of the pulp on modulating lifespan in Drosophila melanogaster. Acai has the potential to antagonize the detrimental effect of fat in the diet and alleviate oxidative stress in aging.
Exp Gerontol. 2012. The interplay among dietary fat, sugar, protein and acai pulp in modulating lifespan and reproduction in a Tephritid fruit fly. Departamento de Entomología, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico.
DNA protection from damage
Evaluation of the genotoxic and antigenotoxic effects after acute and subacute treatments with açai pulp (Euterpe oleracea) on mice using the erythrocytes micronucleus test and the comet assay.
Mutat Res. 2010.
The present study was undertaken to investigate the in vivo genotoxicity of acai and its possible antigenotoxicity on doxorubicin (DXR)-induced DNA damage. The results of chemical analysis suggested the presence of carotenoids, anthocyanins, phenolic, and flavonoids in acai pulp. The endpoints analyzed were micronucleus induction in bone marrow and peripheral blood cells polychromatic erythrocytes, and DNA damage in peripheral blood, liver and kidney cells assessed using the alkaline comet assay. There were no statistically significant differences between the negative control and the groups treated with the three doses of acai pulp alone in all endpoints analyzed, demonstrating the absence of genotoxic effects.
The acai fruit is a small, round, black-purple berry about 1 inch in diameter, similar in appearance and size to a grape. The fruit has a single large seed. The outermost layer of the fruit wall of the ripe fruit is a deep purple color, or green, depending on the kind of acaí and its maturity.
Chemicals and substances in the berry
The major chemicals in the acai berry are polyphenols, flavonoids such as velutin, mostly of the anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins categories. This berry also has carotenoids, vitamin C, and lignans. Some of these lignans include dihydroconiferyl alcohol, lariciresinol, pinoresinol, syringaresinol, and protocatechuic. Lignans are representative of the aryltetrahydronaphthalene, dihydrobenzofuran, furofuran, neolignan, and tetrahydrofuran structural types.
What are some of acai health benefits in treating medical conditions?
Acai has many antioxidants and can be helpful in medical conditions where antioxidants are useful. Beyond this, we have not seen any studies that indicate acai juice or a supplement is helpful in treating a specific medical condition.
Acai pulp and clarified juice, when ingested by humans, raise the antioxidant capacity in the blood stream. Anthocyanins in acai berry are absorbed quite well from the intestinal tract into the bloodstream.
Which fruit juice is best in terms of overall health benefit and it’s antioxidant level?
Q. I don’t know whether to drink acai juice, mangosteen, noni, pomegranate, cranberry or another juice.
A. All of these juices are healthy and deserve a space in your refrigerator. One option is to have a little amount of each one on separate days, or you can find a fruit juice mix that includes acai, noni, and others.
Will acai extract flush unwanted toxins from your system?
Acai and toxins: There are many berries in grocery stores or sold as extracts in the form of supplements that have a wide range of health benefits. We are not aware of any studies that have evaluated the role of acai berries and toxin flushing. Be skeptical when hearing the words “toxin flush.” This term is used by marketers and promoters, and not by honest health experts.
Does taking an acai berry extract supplement help with losing weight?
We have not seen any human studies with acai berry extract and weight loss and we doubt that this berry is an effective fat burner.
Are there any dangers in drinking the juice?
As long as the acai berry juice is drank in reasonable amounts, we don’t see why a drink would not be safe. However, if you sweeten the acai berry juice with sugar, the sugar itself can be harmful to your body.
What are acai side affects or safety concerns, any danger?
We are not aware of any specific acai berry extract side effects or any potential danger. It appears to be a safe supplement with no allergies noted in the medical literature.
Can a person take an acai supplement if pregnant?
There have not been human studies regarding pregnancy, but people in Brazil eat the berries while pregnant without problems.
Interactions with nutritional supplements
Passion Rx herbal libido booster – no known interactions are expected.
One capsule of acai product can be safely used with many other popular fruit and berry supplements such as amla, mangosteen, maqui berry, pomegranate, goji, and others. Diversity in intake is important for optimal health.
Interactions with medications
SSRI antidepressants – no known untoward interactions are suspected.
Introduction to the United States
Brothers Jeremy and Ryan Black introduced acai berries to the US in the year 2000 after Ryan and a friend learned about the berries and their purported health benefits while visiting Brazil. Sambazon, a company owned by the Black brothers, makes only reasonable claims for its products, simply saying that it is rich in antioxidants. But there are countless herbs, fruits, berries and vegetables that have antioxidants.
The marketing of products
These products have been promoted as super foods on the TV shows of Oprah Winfrey and Rachael Ray. Many ads for acai products bear their images but the TV stars do not endorse those products. Mehmet Oz, in an “Oprah” appearance, mentioned acai berries at the top of his list of 10 most healthful foods. Later he retracted and said they belonged on that list, but perhaps not on the top.
Products sold over the counter, availability of supplements to purchase
There are hundreds of acai product sold in health food stores and on the web that you can purchase.
Acai Extract 1,000 mg (1 g) (Euterpe oleracea) (fruit)
Organic freeze dried acai 350 mg
Euterpe Oleracea extract 4:1 (fruit) 500 mg
Do not be fooled by acai liquid bottles since some of them are a scam. They may only have a tiny amount of acai while the rest of the bottle is filled with other fruit juices
Acai Puree (Euterpe Oleracea) (fruit) 2,000 mg (2 g) per bottle. This is only 2 grams of acai per bottle which, to us, appears to be a scam. The other ingredients in this product include: Purified Water, Pear Juice Concentrate, White Grape Juice Concentrate, Chokeberry Juice Concentrate, Pomegranate Juice Concentrate, Citric Acid, Potassium Benzoate (preservative) Potassium Sorbate (preservative), Xanthan Gum, stevia.