INTRODUCTION

The acai berry is the fruit of the acai palm (Euterpe oleracea) and is traditionally consumed in Brazil.
Acai frozen pulps were found to have high antioxidant activities, [7] it is generally described as a health
food. The berry is purple in color. And, Açaí fruit is a good source of vitamin C and good source of
natural antioxidants particularly, anthocyanins and carotenoids. [3] Acai fruit has a high percentage of
lipids, and oleic acid is the key fatty acid. It also has descent amounts of dietary fiber and protein, a
fractional amount of iron, polyphenols, amino acid and sterols. [10, 11, 13]

Consumption of an acai juice showed an increase in serum antioxidant, and inhibition of lipid
peroxidation. We’ll discuss this topic in details in the section of clinical reports.  In a study, Acai showed
a strong inhibition of the reactive oxygen species formation in polymorphonuclear cells, indicating the
anti-inflammatory properties of Acai. [5] However, the antioxidant capacities of Açaí samples are
excellent against peroxyl radicals, good against peroxynitrite but poor against hydroxyl radicals,
compared with common European fruit and vegetable juices. [14] But, some other popular health foods
such as pomegranate juice, red wine, Concord grape juice, blueberry juice, black cherry juice are also
good sources of antioxidants. [15] And here, I would like to remind us that the manufacturing process
may have a strong impact to the antioxidant content of the supplements.

Health Benefits

Cancer

In earlier cell/animal studies, Acai supplements were shown to have effects on HL-60 human leukemia
cells human colon adenocarcinoma cells, colon tumors, bladder carcinogenesis and so on. [9, 12, 18,
19] in the last 3-4 years, a few more studies illustrated acai supplement’s effects on different cancer
cells. [2018-1 to 2018-4] However, no clinical study has been conducted for evaluating its beneficial
effects on subjects suffered from cancers.

Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)

In a rat study of 2007, it was found that Acai stone extract had vasodilator activities, probably via a
release of endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor. [8] Later, there is a report that seeds of Acai are
rich in polyphenols with antihypertensive and antioxidant properties. A study shows that Acai seed
extract substantially reduced renal injury probably through its antihypertensive and antioxidant effects.
[2018-5]

Overweight

In an uncontrolled pilot study (reported in 2011), consumption of açai fruit pulp reduced levels of selected
markers of metabolic disease risk in overweight adults. The study was an open label pilot study
conducted with 10 overweight adults (BMI ≥ 25 kg/m² and ≤ 30 kg/m²) who took 100 g açai pulp twice
daily for 1 month. [17] Acai juice or supplements may have benefits on the subjects in study, but it is not
sure how it helps weight loss. In 2016, there is a report of 23 heathy overweight men that açai
consumption was associated with improvements in vascular function, which may lower the risk of a
cardiovascular event. For details, please review the section of recent clinical studies.

Diabetes and Hight Cholesterol

The markers in the 2011 study mentioned in the section of overweight [17] are fasting plasma glucose
insulin, cholesterol, triglycerides. At the end of the study, there were reductions in fasting glucose and
insulin levels, a reduction in total cholesterol as well as reductions in LDL-cholesterol and the ratio of total
cholesterol to HDL- cholesterol. Thus, intake of acai fruit pulp may benefit people at risk of high
cholesterol and diabetes.

In a recent study, reported in 2018, a study of 40 healthy women aged 21-24 consumed 200 g of acai
pulp/day for 4 weeks. Researchers found: Açai pulp consumption did not alter anthropometric
parameters, systemic arterial pressure, glucose, insulin and total, LDL and HDL cholesterol, triglycerides
and apolipoprotein (apo) B, but it increased the concentration of apo A-I. Apo A-I is a protein that has a
specific role in the metabolism of lipids and is the main protein component in HDL, the "good
cholesterol"). HDL removes excess cholesterol from cells and takes it to the liver for recycling or
disposal. [2018-06]

Acai berry cleanse, Acai detox?

There are many herbal products on the market that claim to have "colon cleanse" properties. There is NO
report to suggest acai extract supplement has this property.

ACAI BERRY SIDE EFFECTS

Acai berry side effects
Though small websites claim there are no major acai berry side effects reported in the medical literature.
Acai (Euterpe oleracea Mart.) juice has actually been reported to be a transmission route for Chagas'
disease many years ago. [1] Just in 2006, 178 cases of acute Chagas disease were reported in Brazil;
11 cases occurred in Barcarena  and were confirmed by visualization of parasites on blood smears. [2]

Is it safe for people with high blood pressure or kidney disease to take acai berry supplement product?
There are no scientific study related to this issue. Some websites suggest that there are no problems
associated with them, but acai berry may have blood-pressure modulating activities.

SELECTED CLINICAL STUDY DATA

Condition Keywords: Vascular Function, Heart Disease, Insulin, Glucose
Year of Publication: 2016
Research Group: University of Reading

Study Objective: To investigate the effect of açai consumption on acute changes in vascular function and
on other disease risk markers, including postprandial plasma insulin, glucose, and oxidative stress. The
subjects are healthy overweight men.

Study Design: 23 healthy male volunteers, aged 30-65 y and with a BMI of 25-30, completed a
randomized controlled, high-fat challenge, double-blind, crossover, acute dietary intervention trial. The
volunteers consumed either an açai-based smoothie or a macronutrient-matched control smoothie
together with a high-fat breakfast meal challenge.

Study Conclusion: açai consumption was associated with improvements in vascular function, which may
lower the risk of a cardiovascular event.

Source of Information: Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Nov;104(5):1227-1235

Condition Keywords: Muscle Stress
Year of Publication: 2015
Research Group: Institutes from Brazil

Study Objective: To analyze the effect of an açai (Euterpe oleracea Mart.) functional beverage (AB) on
muscle and oxidative stress markers, cardiorespiratory responses, perceived exertion, and time-to-
exhaustion during maximal treadmill running.

Study Design: The beverage was developed as an ergogenic aid for athletes and contained 27.6 mg of
anthocyanins per dose. Fourteen athletes performed 3 exercise tests: a ramp-incremental maximal
exercise test and 2 maximal exercise bouts performed in 2 conditions (AB and without AB (control)) at
90 maximal oxygen uptake. Blood was collected at baseline and after maximal exercise in both
conditions to determine biomarkers.

Study Results / Conclusion: AB increased time to exhaustion during short-term high-intensity exercise.
AB also reduced perceived exertion and enhanced cardiorespiratory responses. The AB may be a
useful and practical ergogenic aid to enhance performance during high-intensity training.

Source of Information: Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2015 Jul;40(7):725-33.

Condition Keywords: Antioxidant Status
Year of Publication: 2015
Research Group: An Institute from Poland

Study Objective: To examine whether regular consumption of an acai berry-based juice blend would
affect sprint performance and improve blood antioxidant status and lipid profile in junior athletes.

Study Design: Seven junior hurdlers (17.5±1.2 years) taking part in a pre-season conditioning camp
were supplemented once a day, for six weeks, with 100 ml of the juice blend. At the start and the end of
the camp the athletes performed a 300-m sprint running test on an outdoor track. Blood samples were
taken before and immediately after the test and after 1 h of recovery.

Study Results / Conclusion: Six weeks' consumption of acai berry-based juice blend had no effect on
sprint performance, but it led to a marked increase in the total antioxidant capacity of plasma, attenuation
of the exercise-induced muscle damage, and a substantial improvement of serum lipid profile.

Condition Keywords: Inflammatory Process
Year of Publication: 2015
Research Group: Institutes from Brazil

Study Objective: To evaluate the effect of acai pulp consumption on the inflammatory markers,
anthropometric measurements, body composition, biochemical and dietary parameters in healthy
women.

Study Design: forty women, were divided in 25 eutrophic and 15 with overweight. They took 200 g of
acai pulp during 4 weeks. Anthropometric measurements, body composition, inflammatory markers,
biochemical data, dietary intake and dietary antioxidants capacity were evaluated before and after the
intervention.

Study Results / Conclusion: The intake of 200g acai pulp, modulated the EGF and PAI-1 expression,
possibly by modulation of acai on the parameters of body composition, dietary, clinical, biochemical and
inflammatory, led to a redistribution and resizing of body fat of the trunk area, and presumably increased
visceral fat.

Source of Information: Nutr Hosp. 2015 Aug 1;32(2):931-45.

Condition Keywords: antioxidant level
Year of Publication: 2008
Research Institute: Texas A&M University

Study Objective: To study acai berry’s health effect in humans.

Study Design: This study was performed as an acute four-way crossover clinical trial with acai pulp and
clarified acai juice compared to applesauce and a non-antioxidant beverage as controls. Healthy
volunteers (12) were dosed at 7 mL/kg of body weight after a washout phase and overnight fast, and
plasma was repeatedly sampled over 12 h and urine over 24 h after consumption.

Study Results / Conclusion: Plasma antioxidant capacity was significantly increased by the acai pulp and
applesauce. Individual increases in plasma antioxidant capacity of up to 2.3- and 3-fold for acai juice and
pulp, respectively were observed.

Source of Information:  J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Sep 10;56(17):7796-802
acai benefits review, acai berry juice benefit and side effects
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May 26, 2018


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Reference:
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2018-1 BMC Complement Altern Med. 2018 Apr 2;18(1):116.
2018-2 J Pharm Pharmacol. 2017 Jun;69(6):714-721.
2018-3 J Photochem Photobiol B. 2017 Jan;166:301-310.
2018-4 Gut Liver. 2017 Mar 15;11(2):243-252.
2018-5 J Med Food. 2017 Oct;20(10):1002-1010
2018-6 Clin Nutr. 2018 Apr;37(2):618-623.

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