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Does the Acai berry help you lose weight?

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  Tags: health   diet   nutrition   superfoods   weight loss

This little berry from the Amazon is being touted as the world's number one superfood. Superich in antioxidants with the promise to help you shed those unwanted pounds. But is this fact or fiction?

What is the Acai berry?


The Brazilian Acai (acai) berry (pronounced ah-sigh-EE) is considered to be nutrient-dense. With the symmetry of a grape and the size of a giant blueberry, the acai fruit tastes a bit like wild raspberry with a hint of grape. Acai berries grow on the Amazon Heart of Palm tree and have been prized for hundreds of years by indigenous Brazilian people for its health properties. Its pulp is used in wines, liqueurs, flavorings, colorants and on its own as a juice. Acai berries are high in essential fatty acids: 60% oleic acid (omega-9) and 12% linoleic acid (omega- 6).[1]

For more information about acai berry's chemical composition see sources[2]

Research has focused mostly on the possible antioxidant activity of the acai berry. Theoretically, that activity may help prevent diseases caused by oxidative stress such as heart disease and cancer. Some studies show that Acai fruit pulp has a very high antioxidant capacity with even more antioxidant content than cranberry, raspberry, blackberry, strawberry and/or blueberry. Studies are still ongoing, though, and the actual benefits are not completely known.[3]

What are the possible side effects?

If you have pollen allergies have a known hypersensitivity to acai or similar berries, you may want to avoid this fruit when eaten in moderate amounts, though, acai is likely safe.[3]
 

Arguments For

Yes, Acai berry helps you lose weight

What are the claimed benefits of the acai berry?

While the promise of the acai berry as a superfood is still in the research stages, people are mostly excited for its high level of antioxidants. Oxidation is a chemical reaction which can produce free radicals, which start chain reactions that damage cells. Antioxidants terminate these chain reactions by removing free radical intermediates and inhibit oxidation, hence the term antioxidant.

Note:It is important to note that much of the preliminary research appears to be more or less commercially driven to hype up the products popularity. It is also important to note that some of the companies promoting acai berry products have come under some investigation for less than scrupulous activities. For that reason the arguments for the benefit of using acai berries mostly originate from commercial and anecdotal sources.

Commercial claims

*Weight loss, increased energy,Fight heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other diseases, boost the immune system, improve the digestive system, reduce the effects of aging, improve vision, increased sex drive, suppress appetite, reduce the accumulation of body fat, boost metabolism.[4]

Arguments Against

No, Acai berry does not help you lose weight

Scientists are learning more about the functional power of super foods such as the acai berry. Although acai is touted in some weight loss products, few studies have tested the benefit of acai them promoting weight loss. [3]

There are no magical berries from the Brazilian rainforest that cure obesity, only painfully real credit card charges and empty weight loss promises [5]

Lack of scientific studies that support weight loss claims.

Sources


 1  Natural" ingredients in cosmetic dermatology Journal of drugs in Dermatology June, 2009 Baumann, L.
 2  Laboratorio Catarinense Fetched Sept 5, 2009 (www.labcat.com)
 3  Acai berries and Acai juice-What Are the Benefits? Healthy eating and diet Sep 5, 2009 Web M.D.
 4  AcaiBerry Benefits September 5, 2009 Acaiberry site.com
 5  Consumers Warned Of Web-Based Acai Scams September 5, 2009 Quackwatch.org

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User Comments & Opinion

 
25.0%
75.0%

3 Voted Yes

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Some of my friends tried it and said it works. - jennyhooah (twitter) 0
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i hafta say that this be some good shiznit and u otta try sum - mikeROD2020 (twitter) 0

9 Voted No

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I don't believe in this claim. Eating healthier definitely can help you, but this berry isn't special - just eat natural food and exercise often for results. - thorie (twitter) vote up image vote down image 0
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Definitely not! The açaí berry is highly caloric and in Brazil it is actually used in body mass gain by weight lifters! - konr (twitter) vote up image vote down image 0
 
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