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Acai Berry Provides Sustained Engery

The acai (ah-sigh-ee) is an all-natural energy fruit from Amazon palmberries. Wild-harvested in the rainforests of Brazil, acai tastes like a vibrant blend of berries and chocolate. Hidden within its royal purple pigment is the magic that makes it nature's perfect energy fruit. Acai is packed full of antioxidants, amino acids and essential omegas (the good-for-you fatty acids).

Analysis reveals that Acai pulp contains:

A remarkable concentration of antioxidants. A synergy of monounsaturated (healthy) fats, dietary fiber and phytosterols. An essential amino acid complex in conjunction with valuable trace minerals.

Acai is a dense source of a particular class of flavonoids called anthocyanins (red-blue phenols with potent antioxidant properties).

-Anthocyanins are a group of phytochemicals in red wine thought to contribute to the French paradox, i.e. France has one of the lowest incidences of heart disease of any westernized society despite a prevalence of smoking and a diet high in saturated fat and cholesterol (5). Acai pulp contains 10-30 times the anthocyanins of red wine per equal volume (1).

-The primary anthocyanin in acai is cyanidin-3 glucoside (1). Cyanidin-3-glucoside has been found to be 3.5 times stronger than Trolox (vitamin E analogue) and the predominate anthocyanin found in red wine (malvadin-3-glucoside) in an ORAC analysis (measure of antioxidant capacity) (11).

-Anthocyanins have been found to “exhibit numerous potential therapeutic effects including treatment of diabetic retinopathy and fibrocystic disease of the breast in humans” (11). “Other potential physiological effects of anthocyanins include radiation-protective, chemoprotective, vasoprotective and anti-inflammatory agents” (11).

-The fatty acid ratio of acai resembles that of olive oil, which is thought to be a contributing factor to the low incidence of heart disease in Mediterranean populations (1, 5).
-60 percent Oleic (Omega-9) a monounsaturated, essential fatty acid, helps lower LDL (harmful cholesterol) while maintaining HDL (beneficial cholesterol) levels (5).
-12 percent Linoleic (Omega-6) a polyunsaturated, essential fatty acid, has been found to lower both LDL and HDL levels (5).
-Fatty acids aid in the transport and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins i.e. Vitamins A, E, D, and K (3).
-Acai contains valuable phytosterols.
-Sterols are components of plant cell membranes providing numerous benefits to the human body, namely the reduction of blood plasma cholesterol (7).
-Sterols are currently being used to treat symptoms associated with BPH (benign prostate hyperplasia) (6).
-Preliminary evidence suggests that beta-sitosterol (the predominant sterol in acai) may help prevent immune weakness resulting from severe physical stress (7).
-Acai is a good source of fiber.
-3.5 grams of dietary fiber in one serving of acai.
-Fiber promotes a healthy digestive system. Low fiber in the American diet is thought to be a contributing factor to the high incidence of cancer and heart disease. Soluble fibers may help lower blood cholesterol; insoluble fibers are thought to help reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancers (5).

Works Cited

1. Rogez H. Acai: Preparo, Composicao, e Melhormento da Converacao. Belem:EDUFPA; 2000.
2. Seager S, Slabaugh M. Chemistry for Today: General Organic and Biochemistry-4th ed. California.
3. Wardlaw G, Insel P. Perspectives in Nutrition – 2nd ed. Saint Louis: Masby – Year Book, Inc; 1990.
4. Sillberberg S. Chemistry: The Molecular Nature of matter and Change – 2nd ed. USA: McGraw-Hill; 2000. 1086p.
5. Cook-Fuller C, editor. Annual Editions Nutrition 00/01 – 12th ed. Connecticut: Dushkin/McGraw Hill; 2000.
6. Berges B, et al. Randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinicaltrial of beta-sitosterol in patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia. Lancet 345: 1529–1532, 1995.
7. Pegel K. The importance of sitosterol and sitosterolin in human and animal nutrition. S African J Science. 93, 263–268, 1997.

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These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to treat, diagnose, or cure any diseases.