ACAI

OTHER NAME(S):

Aça&iuml;, Acai Berry, Aça&iuml; d'Amazonie, Acai Extract, Acai Fruit, Acai Palm, Amazon Acai, Amazon Acai Berry, Assai, Assai Palm, Baie d'Aça&iuml;, Baie de Palmier Pinot, Cabbage Palm, Chou Palmiste, Euterpe badiocarpa, Euterpe oleracea, Extrait d'Aça&iuml;, Fruit d'Aça&iuml;, Palmier d'Aça&iuml;.<br/><br/>

Overview

Overview Information

Acai, pronounced AH-sigh-EE, is a palm tree that is widely distributed in the northern area of South America. Its berries are used to make medicine.

Acai is most commonly used for arthritis, high cholesterol, erectile dysfunction (ED), weight loss and obesity, “detoxification,” aging skin, metabolic syndrome, and for improving general health. But there is limited scientific evidence to support these uses.

Acai gained popularity in North America after being promoted by Dr. Nicholas Perricone as a “Superfood for Age-Defying Beauty” on the Oprah Winfrey show.

As a food, the acai berry is eaten raw and as a juice. The juice is also used commercially as a beverage and in ice cream, jelly, and liqueurs.

In manufacturing, acai berry is used as a natural purple food colorant.

How does it work?

Acai contains chemicals that are antioxidants. Antioxidants are thought to protect body cells from the damaging effects of chemical reactions with oxygen (oxidation). According to some research, acai has more antioxidant content than cranberry, raspberry, blackberry, strawberry, or blueberry. Chemicals in acai might also reduce swelling, lower blood sugar levels, and stimulate the immune system.

Uses

Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Metabolic syndrome. Early research shows that eating 100 mg of acai pulp two times per day for one month reduces fasting blood sugar and total cholesterol in overweight people. But acai pulp doesn’t appear to lower triglycerides or "bad" low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, increase “good” high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, or improve blood pressure and markers of swelling.
  • Arthritis.
  • High cholesterol.
  • Erectile dysfunction.
  • Weight loss.
  • Aging skin.
  • Improving general health.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of acai.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

Acai is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth and appropriately, short-term. Side effects of using acai have not been reported. But drinking raw acai juice has been linked to outbreaks of a disease called American trypanosomiasis or Chagas Disease.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy or breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking acai if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. It’s best to stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Interactions

Interactions?

We currently have no information for ACAI Interactions.

Dosing

Dosing

The appropriate dose of acai depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time, there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for acai. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

View References

REFERENCES:

  • Jensen, G. S., Wu, X., Patterson, K. M., Barnes, J., Carter, S. G., Scherwitz, L., Beaman, R., Endres, J. R., and Schauss, A. G. 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. 9-24-2008;56(18):8326-8333. View abstract.
  • Mertens-Talcott, S. U., Rios, J., Jilma-Stohlawetz, P., Pacheco-Palencia, L. A., Meibohm, B., Talcott, S. T., and 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. 9-10-2008;56(17):7796-7802. View abstract.
  • Pereira, K. S., Schmidt, F. L., Guaraldo, A. M., Franco, R. M., Dias, V. L., and Passos, L. A. Chagas' disease as a foodborne illness. J.Food Prot. 2009;72(2):441-446. View abstract.
  • Pozo-Insfran, D., Percival, S. S., and Talcott, S. T. Acai (Euterpe oleracea Mart.) polyphenolics in their glycoside and aglycone forms induce apoptosis of HL-60 leukemia cells. J Agric.Food Chem 2-22-2006;54(4):1222-1229. View abstract.
  • Rodrigues, R. B., Lichtenthaler, R., Zimmermann, B. F., Papagiannopoulos, M., Fabricius, H., Marx, F., Maia, J. G., and Almeida, O. Total oxidant scavenging capacity of Euterpe oleracea Mart. (acai) seeds and identification of their polyphenolic compounds. J.Agric.Food Chem. 6-14-2006;54(12):4162-4167. View abstract.
  • Stoner, G. D., Wang, L. S., Seguin, C., Rocha, C., Stoner, K., Chiu, S., and Kinghorn, A. D. Multiple berry types prevent N-nitrosomethylbenzylamine-induced esophageal cancer in rats. Pharm.Res 2010;27(6):1138-1145. View abstract.
  • Cordova-Fraga T, de Araujo DB, Sanchez TA, et al. Euterpe Oleracea (Acai) as an alternative oral contrast agent in MRI of the gastrointestinal system: preliminary results. Magn Reson Imaging 2004;22:389-93. View abstract.
  • Del Pozo-Insfran D, Brenes CH, Talcott ST. Phytochemical composition and pigment stability of Acai (Euterpe oleracea Mart.). J Agric Food Chem 2004;52:1539-45. View abstract.
  • Nóbrega AA, Garcia MH, Tatto E, et al. Oral transmission of Chagas disease by consumption of açaí palm fruit, Brazil. Emerg Infect Dis 2009;15(4):653-5. View abstract.
  • 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;54:8604-10. View abstract.
  • Schauss AG, Wu X, Prior RL, et al. Phytochemical and nutrient composition of the freeze-dried Amazonian palm berry, Euterpe oleraceae mart. (acai). J Agric Food Chem 2006;54:8598-603. View abstract.
  • Udani JK, Singh BB, Singh VJ, Barrett ML. Effects of acai (Euterpe oleracea Mart.) berry preparation on metabolic parameters in a healthy overweight population: a pilot study. Nutr J 2011;10:45. View abstract.
  • Yamaguchi KK, Pereira LF, Lamarão CV, Lima ES, da Veiga-Junior VF. Amazon acai: chemistry and biological activities: a review. Food Chem 2015;179:137-51. View abstract.

More Resources for ACAI

CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2018.