Monday, 23 March 2015

Acai berry

The acai (ah-sigh-ee) berry {amazonian palm berry, cabbage palm, palm berry} has been around for thousands of years and not until the 1990's was it introduced to the western world. The acai berry was found to possess tremendous health properties. The acai berry was first used by the tribes of the Amazon jungle as a cure for various ailments. It is estimated that the indigenous tribes people routinely use up to 2,000 of the 3,000 known rainforest fruits for medicinal purposes.
The Amazon borders eight different countries and has the world's largest river basin. Not only does the Amazon supply one fifth of the worlds freshwater, it has the highest diversity of birds and freshwater fish. The Amazon is the largest rainforest in the world where one third of all animal and plant species live.
The acai berry is just one of these fruits that has been discovered in this vast region. The Shuar tribes are one of these Amazonian tribes that have for centuries, through tradition, kept the use of plants (acai berry) for medicinal purposes.
Shuar medicine men or women are called uwishin (oo-wee- sheen') a healer that works with medicinal plants, somebody who knows all the secrets of the rainforests. Uwishin, have a great deal of knowledge of medicinal plants and their cures, they learn from others, and through experiments from the plants themselves. One plant removes snakes venom from the body. It is the work of the uwishin to research and find solutions to illness.
The acai berry was discovered to have natural antioxidant properties, as well as being a natural cholesterol controller. When eaten it helps reduce the bad cholesterol in our blood and increases the good cholesterol. The tribes of the Amazon knew of these properties and found out that it helped build the immune system, fight infection, protect the heart, and control prostate enlargement (nature's viagra). It was a great energy food for the tribes-people.
The acai berry, was traditionally pulped to make wine that was rich in minerals. The acai berry was also discovered to fight schistosomosis, which is transmitted by snails. Schistosomosis affecting more than 10 million Brazilians. The acai berry is also used to produce an antibiotic that helps to fight against 'Staphylococcus aureus,' a common infection contracted mainly in hospitals. A berry so useful but only known to the traditional tribes men and woman of the Amazon, a lost secret.
The acai berry comes from a palm that has a long thin trunk up to 25m high with a group of branches at the top from which hangs ribbon-like leaves. Acai berries hang from these branches in clusters that look like groups of bluebottles. Traditionally the acai berries would be picked by hand and the tribe's men would shimmy up the tree and cut the branches from the top of the palm tree rich in acai berries. Now that the acai berry has been discovered as a highly sort after crop by the population of Brazil it is mass produced, as it only has a 24 hour life span in which the properties of the berry are still active. The acai berries must be loaded into baskets and onto boats soon after picking. To get it to the markets in Belem's they would have to transport the acai berries over night.
Each acai palm tree produces round about 20 kg of fruit per year and the wine produced by this fruit has become the most important product in terms of finance after wood forest products. Belem in Brazil now employs over 30,000 people on a daily basis to keep up with its enormous demand..
Acai juice is marketed as a dietary supplement for lowering cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, allergies, and for cancer. In vitro studies have shown that acai has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and apoptotic effects. However, Acai (pronounced AH-sci-EE) has not been proven to be effective for cancer in humans.

Proported Uses

  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Diarrhea
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Allergies

Mechanism of Action

Acai fruit has been shown to have antioxidant effects in vitro by scavenging reactive oxygen species. Some studies have demonstrated the potential effects of acai in inflammatory diseases, such as autoimmune disorders and allergies. Acai was shown to inhibit nitric oxide production and cyclooxygenases (COX) 1 and 2. Acai also induced apoptosis in HL-60 leukemia cells through caspase 3 activation, but its effects in humans are unknown.

Adverse Reactions

Reported: Fishy after taste, loose stools and nausea after large doses.


Acai may interfere with the actions of certain chemotherapy drugs due to its antioxidant effects. Glucosamine should be used with caution in patients with renal impairment or those taking nephrotoxic medication.

Clinical Summary

Acai is the fruit of a palm tree native to South America. It is consumed as food and used in traditional medicine. The pulp and skin of acai fruit are rich in anthocyanins (ACNs), proanthocyanidins (PACs), and other fatty acids. It is marketed as a dietary supplement for lowering cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, allergies, and for cancer. In vitro studies have shown that acai has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and apoptotic effects. However, Acai has not been proven to be effective for cancer in humans. Due to its antioxidant effects, acai may interfere with the actions of certain chemotherapy drugs.

The discovery is brought to market

In early 2005, Dr. Ralph Carson PhD led a team of researchers who formulated and released a unique blend of fruit juices under the brand name of MonaVieTM. It merged the freeze-dried Acai Berry powder with 18 other fruits chosen from a broad color spectrum and containing catalogued, complementary phytonutrients and anti-inflammatory components. The product is sold directly to the customer through independent distributors using the network marketing business model.
The Acai berry contains the protein profile similar to that of an egg {which can be adversely affected by temperature} and a phytochemical content greater than red grapes.
The functional version of the juice formula {MonaVie Active} contains glucosamine {crystalline glucosamine sulfate} and Celadrin® for added anti-inflammatory support, joint flexibility, countering heart disease and improving the immune response.
There are now several knock off competitors juice products featuring the acai berry, but none contain Celadrin® nor glucosamine therefore their ability to be effective as a functional health beverage is greatly diminished. These two additives already have a proven track record of effectiveness in the health and wellness arena.
  • Celadrin®: Is a proprietary blend of necessary essential fatty acids that lubricate your body’s cells and revitalize the membranes that cushion the bones and joints. The essential fatty acids have also been shown to be useful in countering heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis, as well as assisting in the regulation of your immune response. Studies show that Celadrin® has been used safely and effectively as a topical cream to help improve joint function and relieve joint/muscle pain and discomforts resulting from arthritis.
  • Glucosamine: Is a supplement for regenerating cartilage, reducing pain, and improving function in people who struggle with joint pain. Glucosamine has demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties and is reported to regenerate the cartilage that is lost through the normal wear and tear of the body.
    Glucosamine comes from shells of lobsters, crabs, and shrimp. The non-synthetic preparations of Glucosamine are derived from the shell and not the flesh of shellfish. Some sources recommend cautious use or avoidance of glucosamine in patients who may be at risk with shellfish allergies.

Product Warnings

Monavie's proprietary juice blend includes Chinese Wolfberry (or Himalayan Goji). Included in the chemical composition found to be native to the wolfberry; it contains .44ppm Arsenic, 8ppm Mercury; which can accumulate in the body. This may pose some concern for long term consumption of this product. (As indicated in Dr. James Duke's Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases)
Monavie recommends that children under the age of 12 and pregnant or lactating women should not consume Monavie (Original) Gel or juice. The FDA has determined that glucosamine is a drug and Monavie no longer adds this ingredient to its juice blend.
Monavie now sells glucosamine separately and markets it as Monavie Active Gel. Judging by the marketing material found on Monavie's website, the most significant benefits that the product offers can be attributed to the added ingredients (Celadrin® and glucosamine) in Monavie Active (Gel). Both Celadrin® and glucosamine can be purchased independently at most health food stores and online retail stores.
Studies show that the acai berries antioxidant properties degrade rapidly over a few days from the time it's picked, leading researchers to conclude that the acai berry may not show enough promise to move forward with human studies until the active molecule can be stabalized. More research is required.


1. Schauss AG, Wu X, Prior L, et al. Phytochemical and nutrient composition of the freeze-dried amazonian palm berry, Euterpe oleraceae mart. (acai). J Agric Food Chem 2006;54(22): 8598-603.
2. Del Pozo-Insfran D, Percival SS, Talcott ST. Acai (Euterpe oleracea Mart.) polyphenolics in their glycoside and aglycone forms induce apoptosis of HL-60 leukemia cells. J Agric Food Chem 2006;54(4):1222-9.
3. Wang H, Cao G, Prior RL. Total Antioxidant Capacity of Fruits. J Agric Food Chem 1996;44(3):701-705.
4. Plotkin MJ, Balick MJ. Medicinal uses of South American palms. J Ethnopharmacol 1984;10(2):157-79.
5. Schauss AG, Wu X, Prior RL, et al. Antioxidant capacity and other bioactivities of the freeze-dried Amazonian palm berry, Euterpe oleraceae mart. (acai). J Agric Food Chem 2006;54(22): 8604-10.
6. Rodrigues RB, Lichtenthaler R,Zimmermann BF, et al. Total oxidant scavenging capacity of Euterpe oleracea Mart. (acai) seeds and identification of their polyphenolic compounds. J Agric Food Chem 2006; 54(12):4162-7.
7. Hassimotto NM, Genovese MI, Lajolo FM. Antioxidant activity of dietary fruits, vegetables, and commercial frozen fruit pulps. J Agric Food Chem 2005;53(8):2928-35.
8. Matheus ME, de Oliveira Fernandes SB, Silvera CS, et al. Inhibitory effects of Euterpe oleracea Mart. on nitric oxide production and iNOS expression. J Ethnopharmacol 2006;107(2):291-6.

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Any product mentioned is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Credit: Source

No comments:

Post a Comment