In recent years the Acai Berry has been a hot topic within the supplement industry, with many heralding its health and weight loss benefits. But does science support these claims?
‘The Evidenced Based Systematic Review of Acai’ was recently sanctioned by the Natural Standards Research Collaboration, an impartial scientific body. Let’s take a look at the science behind all the hype.
The studies aimed to assess the berries usefulness as an antioxidant supplement and its ability to protect immune function by pitting the acai against common health issues.
Also, its fat fighting power was investigated to judge whether it is a positive manipulator of metabolic parameters.
10 subjects consumed acai every day for a month. The researchers found that the ‘sugar spike’ (a key player in fat tissue build up) was significantly blunted after a regular meals. Fasting blood sugars, insulin levels, and cholesterol were also lowered.
In fact the only theoretical concern was that it may work too well. If you take diabetic blood sugar lowering medication, it could potentially lower your blood sugar too much. If you have an autoimmune disease or are on immunosuppressant drugs, it could stimulate your immune system too much.
Cancer cells taken from a woman with leukaemia were put into contact with a concentration of acai berry phytonutrients typically seen in the bloodstream after supplement consumption.
A large rise in cancer cell destruction was witnessed, around double that experienced using other ‘superfoods’.
Acai was found to boost the immune function of white blood cells. It increased the number of invading yeast cells they could destroy from 140 to 200.
A study in 2011 used human subjects with painful joint conditions like osteoarthritis. After consuming acai for just 3 months antioxidant levels rocketed and pain levels reduced significantly.
We believe that acai berry supplements have antioxidant benefits. The research currently available supports this claim.
If used in conjunction with a structured diet plan, acai also appears to boost weight loss, due to the positive role it plays in the manipulation of blood sugar and insulin.