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Açaí (Euterpe oleracea)
While some complementary and alternative techniques have been studied scientifically, high-quality data regarding safety, effectiveness, and mechanism of action are limited or controversial for most therapies. Whenever possible, it is recommended that practitioners be licensed by a recognized professional organization that adheres to clearly published standards. In addition, before starting a new technique or engaging a practitioner, it is recommended that patients speak with their primary healthcare provider(s). Potential benefits, risks (including financial costs), and alternatives should be carefully considered. The below monograph is designed to provide historical background and an overview of clinically-oriented research, and neither advocates for or against the use of a particular therapy.

Related Terms

  • Açaí, açaí flour, açaí palm, açaí preto (Portuguese), acaí-do-Pará (Portuguese), açaizeiro (Portuguese), Amazonian palm, Amazonian palm berry, anthocyanins, antioxidant, asai, ashaí, assaí, beta-sitosterol, cabbage palm, calcium, cansin, (+)-catechin, chonta, cyanidin, cyanidin 3-diglycoside, cyanidin 3-glucoside, cyanidin 3-rutoside, ellagic acid, ellagitannins, epicatechin, Euterpe badiocarpa, Euterpe oleracea Mart., fat, fatty acids, ferulic acid, fiber, flavonoids, gallic acid, guasai, hasabis, hausai, heart of palm, homoorientin, huai, isovitexin, iron, jicara, juçara, linoleic acid, manac, manaka, manicole, MonaVie®, MonaVie Active®, monounsaturated oleic acid, morroke, naidí, oleic acid, omega-6 fatty acids, omega-9 fatty acids, OptiAçai™, orientin, palisade pine, palm heart, palmitic acid, palmiteiro, palmito, panan, p-coumaric acid, pelargonidin 3-glucoside, phenolic acid, phosphorus, p-hydroxy-benzoic acid, phytonutrients, phytosterols, pina, pinau, pinot, piriá, polyphenols, potassium, prasara, proanthocyanidins, procyanidins, protein, protocatechuic acid, saké, scoparin, sugar, sulfur, taxifolin deoxyhexose, uassi, ungurahua, vanillic acid, vinho de açaí (Portuguese), vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin C, vitamin E, wasei, wapoe, yisara, yuyu chonta.

Background

  • Açaí (acai) is a berry grown on the açaí palm tree of tropical Central and South America.
  • Açaí is well-known for its reddish-purple fruit, which tastes like a blend of berry and chocolate. The açaí berry is a relative of the blueberry, cranberry, and other dark purple fruits. A variety of açaí berry products are available for consumers, including juices, powders, tablets, and capsules.
  • Research on açaí fruit has centered on its potential antioxidant properties. Açaí fruit has also shown anticancer and anti-inflammatory activity. Early research suggests açaí fruit pulp may be an alternative contrast agent for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
  • In overweight people, an açaí product reduced the levels of markers for metabolic disease risk. Additional research is warranted.

Evidence

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Dosing

The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.

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Safety

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

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Interactions

Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

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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.