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Acai berry diet

Related Terms

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Background

  • The acai (pronounced "ah-sigh-EE") berry diet involves the consumption of acai supplements, most commonly for weight-loss purposes. The acai berry is the fruit of the acai palm tree (Euterpe oleracea), which is native to tropical Central and South America. Although it is possible to eat the soft interior stem (the palm heart), the acai plant is better known for its reddish-purple fruit.
  • Acai has been a traditional food of Amazon natives for hundreds of years. Acai beverages are prepared by extracting juice from the fruit's pulp and skin. Scientific research on acai fruit has focused on its antioxidant properties, which are reported to exceed those of other antioxidant-rich foods like blueberries and pomegranates.
  • Acai fruit has also shown anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory activity in laboratory studies. However, there is currently insufficient evidence available to support the use of acai for any health-related conditions in humans.
  • Acai berries are said to treat or prevent many health conditions. These conditions include aging, alcohol abuse, anemia, infections, inflammation, rotavirus infection, atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), fertility, blood toxicity, cancer, diabetes, diarrhea, indigestion, drowsiness, fever, hair loss, heart disease, hemorrhage (bleeding), hepatitis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, immune problems, jaundice, kidney problems, liver disease, malaria, menstrual pain, muscle pain, parasitic infection, sexual dysfunction, skin problems (including acne), ulcers, and wrinkles. Most of these claims are not supported by scientific research.
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Diet

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Theory/Evidence

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Safety

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.