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Does Acai Berry Juice Work?

The acai berry is native to Brazil's swampy Amazon region.
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  • Written By: Michael Pollick
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 29 November 2014
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Acai berry juice is said to be extremely high in antioxidant compounds, carbohydrates, fiber, omega fat and healthy acids such as linoleic and palmitic acid. In addition, it is also believed to contain vitamins A, B1 and E, along with plant proteins and amino acids. All of these individual ingredients do have proven health benefits, from lowering LDL cholesterol levels to improving insulin resistance in diabetics. Many claims made by proponents of this juice, however, have not been scientifically verified.

Many athletes who live in the regions where acai berry juice is readily available do consume large quantities of the processed pulp and juice before athletic events. Whether or not this practice is any more beneficial than other athletes carbo-loading on pasta and other complex carbohydrates is difficult to state with certainty. Consuming foods with significant amounts of sugars and stamina-boosting antioxidants is rarely a bad idea before physical exercise or competition, and acai berry juice does contain substantial levels of both.

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Some proponents also claim that acai berries improve mental clarity, sexual function and blood circulation. While some of these benefits can be measured and studied scientifically, many of the more dubious claims defy verification. Acai berry juice has been touted as a cure for certain types of cancer, as well as a miraculous weight-loss supplement and diabetic aid. When used as part of a healthy diet, this juice certainly can do little harm to the consumer, since it is essentially as healthy as blueberry, dark cherry, pomegranate or ascerola cherry juice products.

As with many other so-called miracle foods, acai berry juice has its true believers and its confirmed skeptics. Some people who decide to incorporate the juice into their diets may experience a number of health benefits, but it would be difficult to determine if the sole cause of such benefits was the juice itself or a greater personal dedication to healthier living. Clinical tests suggest that acai juice contains no more antioxidants and other healthy ingredients than blueberry, pomegranate or ascerola cherry juices, but it is generally contains higher levels than traditional citrus juices such as orange or pineapple juice.

Acai berry juice does contain significant amounts of compounds essential for good health. Many of the claims made by its proponents should not be taken at face value until the science has fully caught up with the hyperbole, however.

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Discuss this Article

anon164975
Post 5

Sure sounds like the old snake oil claims, doesn't it?

anon164696
Post 3

Excellent post full of common sense. It leaves the question: Is this stuff being tested on a scientific basis and, if so, when results might be forthcoming.

anon164690
Post 2

A complete discussion on the benefits of acai cannot ignore the effects that processing has on the berry. Unfortunately, the berry loses about 95 percent of its nutritional benefits within 48 hours of being picked. As a result, great care must be taken in choosing a supplement that claims to have acai content.

Only producers who use very specific methods of processing right near the source will secure its full benefits. Any tests on the anti-oxidant levels of the acai should also disclosed how it was obtained, or else the results cannot be evaluated properly.

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