Fat Loss Biology
Acai Berry Reviews on PubMed

Acai berry reviews almost never provide any real science. However, such research is readily available to the public at PubMed. Here is the complete list.

Big Surprise of Acai Berry Reviews

Acai berry has become a huge source of marketing hype for weight loss. The biggest surprise in this medical database is that none of the 89 articles that come up from a search on ‘acai’ at PubMed entail weight loss. There are no published weight loss studies involving acai berry.

For the sake of being complete, if it is not too tedious, I have included below the entire list of results from this search between 1975 and the present (i.e., January 8, 2012). If you are not familiar with what a real scientific citation looks like, these are good examples. Each has a number, 1-89, followed by a list of all of the authors of the study, the title of the study, the journal citation (journal title plus date, volume, and page numbers) and/or electronic publication number if not yet in print, and the unique PubMed ID number.

By the way, I did not do an advanced search to eliminate non-acai berry results. For example, note that items 52, 62, 66, and 84-89 have an author named Acai. And that items 73-76, 78, and 80-81 are about the American College of Allergy and Immunology (ACAI). None of these items has anything to do with acai berry reviews. None of these is about acai berry.

List of Search Results

This is the entire list. The only article remotely to do with overweight in humans is item 11. Take a look at the title and see what I mean. It is not a study of the effects of acai berry on weight loss. As I said before, there aren’t any.

The abstract of the article number 11 is if sufficient interest, however, that I have reprinted it below the list of search results. See what the article is about and my comments on why it may or may not be important to you.

Meanwhile, take a look at the wide diversity of research articles that have been published on acai over the past few decades. It is an amazing list.

1: Feio CA, Izar MC, Ihara SS, Kasmas SH, Martins CM, Feio MN, Maués LA, Borges NC, Moreno RA, Póvoa RM, Fonseca FA. Euterpe Oleracea (Açai) Modifies Sterol Metabolism and Attenuates Experimentally-Induced Atherosclerosis. J Atheroscler Thromb. 2011 Dec 3. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 22139433.

2: de Moura RS, Ferreira TS, Lopes AA, Pires KM, Nesi RT, Resende AC, Souza PJ, da Silva AJ, Borges RM, Porto LC, Valenca SS. Effects of Euterpe oleracea Mart. (AÇAÍ) extract in acute lung inflammation induced by cigarette smoke in the mouse. Phytomedicine. 2011 Dec 2. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 22138278.

3: Xie C, Kang J, Li Z, Schauss AG, Badger TM, Nagarajan S, Wu T, Wu X. The açaí flavonoid velutin is a potent anti-inflammatory agent: blockade of LPS-mediated TNF-? and IL-6 production through inhibiting NF-?B activation and MAPK pathway. J Nutr Biochem. 2011 Nov 30. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 22137267.

4: Guerra JF, Magalhães CL, Costa DC, Silva ME, Pedrosa ML. Dietary açai modulates ROS production by neutrophils and gene expression of liver antioxidant enzymes in rats. J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2011 Nov;49(3):188-94. Epub 2011 Jun 17. PubMed PMID: 22128218; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3208015.

5: Sangronis E, Sanabria N. Impact of solar dehydration on composition and antioxidant properties of acai (Euterpe oleracea Mart.). Arch Latinoam Nutr. 2011 Mar;61(1):74-80. PubMed PMID: 22097293.

6: Ohya M, Otani H, Kimura K, Saika Y, Fujii R, Yukawa S, Shigematsu T. Vascular calcification estimated by aortic calcification area index is a significant predictive parameter of cardiovascular mortality in hemodialysis patients. Clin Exp Nephrol. 2011 Dec;15(6):877-83. Epub 2011 Aug 19. PubMed PMID: 21850576.

7: Elsayed RK, Glisson JK, Minor DS. Rhabdomyolysis associated with the use of a mislabeled “acai berry” dietary supplement. Am J Med Sci. 2011 Dec;342(6):535-8. PubMed PMID: 21825959.

8: Castellan CS, Bedran-Russo AK, Karol S, Pereira PN. Long-term stability of dentin matrix following treatment with various natural collagen cross-linkers. J Mech Behav Biomed Mater. 2011 Oct;4(7):1343-50. Epub 2011 May 8. PubMed PMID: 21783144; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3143368.

9: Noratto GD, Angel-Morales G, Talcott ST, Mertens-Talcott SU. Polyphenolics from ac?ai? ( Euterpe oleracea Mart.) and red muscadine grape (Vitis rotundifolia) protect human umbilical vascular Endothelial cells (HUVEC) from glucose- and lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced inflammation and target microRNA-126. J Agric Food Chem. 2011 Jul 27;59(14):7999-8012. Epub 2011 Jun 30. PubMed PMID: 21682256.

10: Clifton IJ, Ge W, Adlington RM, Baldwin JE, Rutledge PJ. Isopenicillin N synthase binds ?-(L-?-aminoadipoyl)-L-cysteinyl-D-thia-allo-isoleucine through both sulfur atoms. Chembiochem. 2011 Aug 16;12(12):1881-5. doi: 10.1002/cbic.201100149. Epub 2011 Jun 15. PubMed PMID: 21678539.

11: Udani JK, Singh BB, Singh VJ, Barrett ML. Effects of Açai (Euterpe oleraceaMart.) berry preparation on metabolic parameters in a healthy overweight population: a pilot study. Nutr J. 2011 May 12;10:45. PubMed PMID: 21569436; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3118329.

12: Piperata BA, Spence JE, Da-Gloria P, Hubbe M. The nutrition transition in amazonia: rapid economic change and its impact on growth and development in Ribeirinhos. Am J Phys Anthropol. 2011 Sep;146(1):1-13. doi:0.1002/ajpa.21459. PubMed PMID: 21541919.

13: Shimizu MM, Melo GA, Brombini Dos Santos A, Bottcher A, Cesarino I, Araújo P, Magalhães Silva Moura JC, Mazzafera P. Enzyme characterisation, isolation and cDNA cloning of polyphenol oxidase in the hearts of palm of three commercially important species. Plant Physiol Biochem. 2011 Sep;49(9):970-7. Epub 2011 Apr 14. PubMed PMID: 21530289.

14: Horiguchi T, Ishiguro N, Chihara K, Ogi K, Nakashima K, Sada K, Hori-Tamura N. Inhibitory effect of ac?ai? (Euterpe oleracea Mart.) pulp on IgE-mediated mast cell activation. J Agric Food Chem. 2011 May 25;59(10):5595-601. Epub 2011 May 4. PubMed PMID: 21486000.

15: Jensen GS, Ager DM, Redman KA, Mitzner MA, Benson KF, Schauss AG. Pain reduction and improvement in range of motion after daily consumption of an açai (Euterpe oleracea Mart.) pulp-fortified polyphenolic-rich fruit and berry juice blend. J Med Food. 2011 Jul-Aug;14(7-8):702-11. Epub 2011 Apr 6. PubMed PMID: 21470042; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3133683.

16: Xie C, Kang J, Burris R, Ferguson ME, Schauss AG, Nagarajan S, Wu X. Açaí juice attenuates atherosclerosis in ApoE deficient mice through antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. Atherosclerosis. 2011 Jun;216(2):327-33. Epub 2011 Feb 24. PubMed PMID: 21411096.

17: Holderness J, Schepetkin IA, Freedman B, Kirpotina LN, Quinn MT, Hedges JF, Jutila MA. Polysaccharides isolated from Açaí fruit induce innate immune responses. PLoS One. 2011 Feb 28;6(2):e17301. PubMed PMID: 21386979; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3046208.

18: Are some of the more exotic berry types, such as goji and açaí berries, better for health than the more common berries such as strawberries, blueberries and raspberries? Mayo Clin Health Lett. 2010 Nov;28(11):8. PubMed PMID: 21166067.

19: de Moura RS, Pires KM, Santos Ferreira T, Lopes AA, Nesi RT, Resende AC, Sousa PJ, da Silva AJ, Porto LC, Valenca SS. Addition of açaí (Euterpe oleracea) to cigarettes has a protective effect against emphysema in mice. Food Chem Toxicol. 2011 Apr;49(4):855-63. Epub 2010 Dec 13. PubMed PMID: 21147193.

20: Ohya M, Otani H, Kimura K, Saika Y, Fujii R, Yukawa S, Shigematsu T. Improved assessment of aortic calcification in Japanese patients undergoing maintenance hemodialysis. Intern Med. 2010;49(19):2071-5. Epub 2010 Oct 1. PubMed PMID: 20930432.

21: de Oliveira PR, da Costa CA, de Bem GF, de Cavalho LC, de Souza MA, de Lemos Neto M, da Cunha Sousa PJ, de Moura RS, Resende AC. Effects of an extract obtained from fruits of Euterpe oleracea Mart. in the components of metabolic syndrome induced in C57BL/6J mice fed a high-fat diet. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 2010 Dec;56(6):619-26. PubMed PMID: 20838232.

22: Kinghorn AD, Chai HB, Sung CK, Keller WJ. The classical drug discovery approach to defining bioactive constituents of botanicals. Fitoterapia. 2011 Jan;82(1):71-9. Epub 2010 Sep 6. Review. PubMed PMID: 20804827.

23: Fowler JF Jr, Woolery-Lloyd H, Waldorf H, Saini R. Innovations in natural ingredients and their use in skin care. J Drugs Dermatol. 2010 Jun;9(6 Suppl):S72-81; quiz s82-3. PubMed PMID: 20626172.

24: Schauss AG, Clewell A, Balogh L, Szakonyi IP, Financsek I, Horváth J, Thuroczy J, Béres E, Vértesi A, Hirka G. Safety evaluation of an açai-fortified fruit and berry functional juice beverage (MonaVie Active(®)). Toxicology. 2010 Nov 28;278(1):46-54. Epub 2010 May 7. PubMed PMID: 20452390.

25: Stoner GD, Wang LS, Seguin C, Rocha C, Stoner K, Chiu S, Kinghorn AD. Multiple berry types prevent N-nitrosomethylbenzylamine-induced esophageal cancer in rats. Pharm Res. 2010 Jun;27(6):1138-45. Epub 2010 Mar 16. Erratum in: Pharm Res. 2010 Sep;27(9):2031. PubMed PMID: 20232121; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3016717.

26: Sun X, Seeberger J, Alberico T, Wang C, Wheeler CT, Schauss AG, Zou S. Açai palm fruit (Euterpe oleracea Mart.) pulp improves survival of flies on a high fat diet. Exp Gerontol. 2010 Mar;45(3):243-51. Epub 2010 Jan 18. PubMed PMID: 20080168; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2826513.

27: de Souza MO, Silva M, Silva ME, Oliveira Rde P, Pedrosa ML. Diet supplementation with acai (Euterpe oleracea Mart.) pulp improves biomarkers of oxidative stress and the serum lipid profile in rats. Nutrition. 2010 Jul-Aug;26(7-8):804-10. Epub 2009 Dec 22. PubMed PMID: 20022468.

28: Ribeiro JC, Antunes LM, Aissa AF, Darin JD, De Rosso VV, Mercadante AZ, Bianchi Mde L. Evaluation of the genotoxic and antigenotoxic effects after acute and subacute treatments with açai pulp (Euterpe oleracea Mart.) on mice using the erythrocytes micronucleus test and the comet assay. Mutat Res. 2010 Jan;695(1-2):22-8. Epub 2009 Nov 3. PubMed PMID: 19892033.

29: Marcason W. What is the açaí berry and are there health benefits? J Am DietAssoc. 2009 Nov;109(11):1968. PubMed PMID: 19857637.

30: Spada PD, Dani C, Bortolini GV, Funchal C, Henriques JA, Salvador M. Frozen fruit pulp of Euterpe oleraceae Mart. (Acai) prevents hydrogen peroxide-induced damage in the cerebral cortex, cerebellum, and hippocampus of rats. J Med Food.2009 Oct;12(5):1084-8. PubMed PMID: 19857073.

31: Sanchez TA, Elias J Jr, Colnago LA, de Almeida Troncon LE, de Oliveira RB, Baffa O, de Araujo DB. Clinical feasibility of Açai (Euterpe olerácea) pulp as an oral contrast agent for magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography. J Comput Assist Tomogr. 2009 Sep-Oct;33(5):666-71. PubMed PMID: 19820489.

32: Krupka I, Knauer J, Lorentzen L, O’Connor TP, Saucier J, Straubinger RK. Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato species in Europe induce diverse immune responses against C6 peptides in infected mice. Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2009 Nov;16(11):1546-62. Epub 2009 Sep 2. PubMed PMID: 19726618; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2772371.

33: Sabbe S, Verbeke W, Deliza R, Matta VM, Van Damme P. Consumer liking of fruit juices with different açaí (Euterpe oleracea Mart.) concentrations. J Food Sci. 2009 Jun;74(5):S171-6. PubMed PMID: 19646053.

34: Baumann L, Woolery-Lloyd H, Friedman A. “Natural” ingredients in cosmetic dermatology. J Drugs Dermatol. 2009 Jun;8(6 Suppl):s5-9. PubMed PMID: 19562883.

35: Sabbe S, Verbeke W, Deliza R, Matta V, Van Damme P. Effect of a health claim and personal characteristics on consumer acceptance of fruit juices with different concentrations of açaí (Euterpe oleracea Mart.). Appetite. 2009 Aug;53(1):84-92. Epub 2009 May 23. PubMed PMID: 19467277.

36: Teixeira-Neto AA, Shiguihara AL, Izumi CM, Bizeto MA, Leroux F, Temperini ML, Constantino VR. A hybrid material assembled by anthocyanins from açaí fruit intercalated between niobium lamellar oxide. Dalton Trans. 2009 Jun 7;(21):4136-45. Epub 2009 Apr 2. PubMed PMID: 19452062.

37: Pereira KS, Schmidt FL, Guaraldo AM, Franco RM, Dias VL, Passos LA. Chagas’ disease as a foodborne illness. J Food Prot. 2009 Feb;72(2):441-6. Review. PubMed PMID: 19350996.

38: Nóbrega AA, Garcia MH, Tatto E, Obara MT, Costa E, Sobel J, Araujo WN. Oral transmission of Chagas disease by consumption of açaí palm fruit, Brazil. Emerg Infect Dis. 2009 Apr;15(4):653-5. PubMed PMID: 19331764; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2671433.

39: Santos GM, Maia GA, Sousa PH, Costa JM, Figueiredo RW, Prado GM. [Correlation between antioxidant activity and bioactive compounds of açaí (Euterpe oleracea Mart) comercial pulps]. Arch Latinoam Nutr. 2008 Jun;58(2):187-92. Portuguese. PubMed PMID: 18833997.

40: Caccavo D, Afeltra A, Rigon A, Vadacca M, Zobel BB, Zennaro D, Arcarese L, Buzzulini F, Pellegrino NM, Amoroso A. Antibodies to carbonic anhydrase in patients with connective tissue diseases: relationship with lung involvement. Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2008 Jul-Sep;21(3):659-67. PubMed PMID: 18831934.

41: Zhou L, Dupont P, Baete K, Van Paesschen W, Van Laere K, Nuyts J. Detection of inter-hemispheric metabolic asymmetries in FDG-PET images using prior anatomical information. Neuroimage. 2009 Jan 1;44(1):35-42. Epub 2008 Aug 3. PubMed PMID: 18722536.

42: Jensen GS, Wu X, Patterson KM, Barnes J, Carter SG, Scherwitz L, Beaman R, Endres JR, Schauss AG. In vitro and in vivo antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capacities of an antioxidant-rich fruit and berry juice blend. Results of a pilot and randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, crossover study. J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Sep 24;56(18):8326-33. Epub 2008 Aug 22. PubMed PMID: 18717569.

43: Honzel D, Carter SG, Redman KA, Schauss AG, Endres JR, Jensen GS. Comparison of chemical and cell-based antioxidant methods for evaluation of foods and natural products: generating multifaceted data by parallel testing using erythrocytes and polymorphonuclear cells. J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Sep 24;56(18):8319-25. Epub 2008 Aug 22. PubMed PMID: 18717566.

44: Mertens-Talcott SU, Rios J, Jilma-Stohlawetz P, Pacheco-Palencia LA, Meibohm B, Talcott ST, Derendorf H. Pharmacokinetics of anthocyanins and antioxidant effects after the consumption of anthocyanin-rich acai juice and pulp (Euterpe oleracea Mart.) in human healthy volunteers. J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Sep10;56(17):7796-802. Epub 2008 Aug 12. PubMed PMID: 18693743.

45: Chin YW, Chai HB, Keller WJ, Kinghorn AD. Lignans and other constituents of the fruits of Euterpe oleracea (Acai) with antioxidant and cytoprotective activities. J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Sep 10;56(17):7759-64. Epub 2008 Jul 26. PubMed PMID: 18656934.

46: Pacheco-Palencia LA, Mertens-Talcott S, Talcott ST. Chemical composition, antioxidant properties, and thermal stability of a phytochemical enriched oil from Acai (Euterpe oleracea Mart.). J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Jun 25;56(12):4631-6. Epub 2008 Jun 4. PubMed PMID: 18522407.

47: Pacheco-Palencia LA, Talcott ST, Safe S, Mertens-Talcott S. Absorption and biological activity of phytochemical-rich extracts from açai (Euterpe oleracea Mart.) pulp and oil in vitro. J Agric Food Chem. 2008 May 28;56(10):3593-600. Epub 2008 Apr 29. PubMed PMID: 18442253.

48: Spada PD, de Souza GG, Bortolini GV, Henriques JA, Salvador M. Antioxidant, mutagenic, and antimutagenic activity of frozen fruits. J Med Food. 2008 Mar;11(1):144-51. PubMed PMID: 18361750.

49: Seeram NP, Aviram M, Zhang Y, Henning SM, Feng L, Dreher M, Heber D. Comparison of antioxidant potency of commonly consumed polyphenol-rich beverages in the United States. J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Feb 27;56(4):1415-22. Epub 2008 Jan 26. PubMed PMID: 18220345.

50: Seeram NP. Berry fruits: compositional elements, biochemical activities, and the impact of their intake on human health, performance, and disease. J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Feb 13;56(3):627-9. Epub 2008 Jan 23. PubMed PMID: 18211023.

51: Neida S, Elba S. [Characterization of the acai or manaca (Euterpe oleracea Mart.): a fruit of the Amazon]. Arch Latinoam Nutr. 2007 Mar;57(1):94-8. Spanish. PubMed PMID: 17824205.

52: Acai P, Polakovic M. Design of a large-scale surface-aerated bioreactor for biomass production using a VOC substrate. J Biotechnol. 2007 Oct 31;132(2):149-55. Epub 2007 May 4. PubMed PMID: 17548122.

53: Schauss AG, Wu X, Prior RL, Ou B, Huang D, Owens J, Agarwal A, Jensen GS, Hart AN, Shanbrom E. Antioxidant capacity and other bioactivities of the freeze-dried Amazonian palm berry, Euterpe oleraceae mart. (acai). J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Nov 1;54(22):8604-10. PubMed PMID: 17061840.

54: Schauss AG, Wu X, Prior RL, Ou B, Patel D, Huang D, Kababick JP. Phytochemical and nutrient composition of the freeze-dried amazonian palm berry, Euterpe oleraceae mart. (acai). J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Nov 1;54(22):8598-603. PubMed PMID: 17061839.

55: Rocha AP, Carvalho LC, Sousa MA, Madeira SV, Sousa PJ, Tano T, Schini-Kerth VB, Resende AC, Soares de Moura R. Endothelium-dependent vasodilator effect of Euterpe oleracea Mart. (Açaí) extracts in mesenteric vascular bed of the rat. Vascul Pharmacol. 2007 Feb;46(2):97-104. Epub 2006 Sep 1. PubMed PMID: 17049314.

56: Sangronis E, Teixeira P, Otero M, Guerra M, Hidalgo G. [Manaca, sweet potato and yam: possible substitutes of wheat in foods for two ethnic population in Venezuelan Amazon]. Arch Latinoam Nutr. 2006 Mar;56(1):77-82. Spanish. PubMed PMID: 16786737.

57: Rodrigues RB, Lichtenthäler R, Zimmermann BF, Papagiannopoulos M, Fabricius H, Marx F, Maia JG, Almeida O. Total oxidant scavenging capacity of Euterpe oleracea Mart. (açaí) seeds and identification of their polyphenolic compounds. J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Jun 14;54(12):4162-7. PubMed PMID: 16756342.

58: Le LC, Blum RW, Magnani R, Hewett PC, Do HM. A pilot of audio computer-assisted self-interview for youth reproductive health research in Vietnam. J Adolesc Health. 2006 Jun;38(6):740-7. PubMed PMID: 16730604.

59: Del Pozo-Insfran D, Percival SS, Talcott ST. Açai (Euterpe oleracea Mart.) polyphenolics in their glycoside and aglycone forms induce apoptosis of HL-60 leukemia cells. J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Feb 22;54(4):1222-9. PubMed PMID: 16478240.

60: Lichtenthäler R, Rodrigues RB, Maia JG, Papagiannopoulos M, Fabricius H, Marx F. Total oxidant scavenging capacities of Euterpe oleracea Mart. (Açaí) fruits. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2005 Feb;56(1):53-64. PubMed PMID: 16019315.

61: Hassimotto NM, Genovese MI, Lajolo FM. Antioxidant activity of dietary fruits, vegetables, and commercial frozen fruit pulps. J Agric Food Chem. 2005 Apr 20;53(8):2928-35. PubMed PMID: 15826041.

62: Grznárová G, Polakovic M, Acai P, Görner T. Extra-column dispersion of macromolecular solutes in aqueous-phase size-exclusion chromatography. J Chromatogr A. 2004 Jun 18;1040(1):33-43. PubMed PMID: 15248423.

63: Córdova-Fraga T, de Araujo DB, Sanchez TA, Elias J Jr, Carneiro AA, Brandt-Oliveira R, Sosa M, Baffa O. Euterpe Olerácea (Açaí) as an alternative oral contrast agent in MRI of the gastrointestinal system: preliminary results. Magn Reson Imaging. 2004 Apr;22(3):389-93. PubMed PMID: 15062934.

64: Cozanitis DA. The importance of interrupting angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor treatment before spinal anaesthesia–a controlled case report. Anaesthesiol Reanim. 2004;29(1):16-8. PubMed PMID: 15032499.

65: Del Pozo-Insfran D, Brenes CH, Talcott ST. Phytochemical composition and pigment stability of Açai (Euterpe oleracea Mart.). J Agric Food Chem. 2004 Mar 24;52(6):1539-45. PubMed PMID: 15030208.

66: Illeová V, Polakovic M, Stefuca V, Acai P, Juma M. Experimental modelling of thermal inactivation of urease. J Biotechnol. 2003 Nov 6;105(3):235-43. PubMed PMID: 14580795.

67: Wang D, Botkin DJ, Norris SJ. Characterization of the vls antigenic variation loci of the Lyme disease spirochaetes Borrelia garinii Ip90 and Borrelia afzelii ACAI. Mol Microbiol. 2003 Mar;47(5):1407-17. PubMed PMID: 12603744.

68: Shaw LJ, Redberg RF. From clinical trials to public health policy: the path from imaging to screening. Am J Cardiol. 2001 Jul 19;88(2A):62E-65E. Review. PubMed PMID: 11473751.

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Acai vs. Metabolic Syndrome

This may be the best overall research on acai berry that has potential for showing a human health benefit:

Nutr J. 2011 May 12;10:45.

Effects of Açai (Euterpe oleracea Mart.) berry preparation on metabolic parameters in a healthy overweight population: a pilot study.

Udani JK, Singh BB, Singh VJ, Barrett ML.

Medicus Research LLC, Northridge, CA 91325, USA. jay.udani@medicusresearch.com

BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of açai fruit pulp on risk factors for metabolic disorders in overweight subjects. The açaí palm (Euterpe oleracea Mart.), which is native to South America, produces a small, black-purple fruit which is edible. The fruit has recently become popular as a functional food due to its antioxidant potential. Although several studies have been conducted in vitro and with animals, little is known about the potential health benefits in humans aside from an increase in plasma anti-oxidant capacity. Metabolic syndrome is a condition which is defined by a cluster of risk factors for cardiovascular disease and/or type-2 diabetes. Preliminary studies indicate that a reduction in reactive oxygen species can assist in the normalization of the metabolic pathways involved in this syndrome.

METHODS: This 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. The study endpoints included levels of fasting plasma glucose, insulin, cholesterol, triglycerides, exhaled (breath) nitric oxide metabolites (eNO) and plasma levels of high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP). The response of blood glucose, blood pressure and eNO to a standardized meal was determined at baseline and following the 30 day treatment.

RESULTS: Compared to baseline, there were reductions in fasting glucose and insulin levels following the 30 day treatment (both p < 0.02). There was also a reduction in total cholesterol (p = 0.03), as well as borderline significant reductions in LDL-cholesterol and the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL-cholesterol (both p = 0.051). Compared to baseline, treatment with açai ameliorated the post-prandial increase in plasma glucose following the standardized meal, measured as the area under the curve (p = 0.047). There was no effect on blood pressure, hs-CRP or eNO.

CONCLUSION: In this uncontrolled pilot study, consumption of açai fruit pulp reduced levels of selected markers of metabolic disease risk in overweight adults, indicating that further studies are warranted.

PMCID: PMC3118329

PMID: 21569436 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

The most common component of most conclusions of scientific studies is, “…further studies are warranted.” Or something like that. Of course, this is a pilot study in the first place, so that is to be expected.

What the results do show, however, is what I call biochemical changes. Changes in total cholesterol, etc., are assumed to be indicators of health. The cause and effect between these indicators and human health, however, are not certain.

Updating acai berry reviews, 

Dr. D

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