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Thu, Oct 16th - 8:50PM

Brazilian Acai Berry Antioxidants Absorbed By Human Body, Research Shows

Brazilian Acai Berry Antioxidants Absorbed By Human Body, Research Shows

ScienceDaily (Oct. 17, 2008) — A Brazilian palm berry sweeping the globe as a popular health food - though little research has been done on it – now may have its purported benefits better understood.

In the first research involving people, the acai (ah-sigh-EE) berry has proven its ability to be absorbed in the human body when consumed both as juice and pulp. That finding, by a team of Texas AgriLife Research scientists, was published in a recent issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Showing the berry’s absorption in humans is important because it is known to contain numerous antioxidants. The berry is heavily marketed in the U.S. as a health food.

The study involved 12 healthy volunteers who consumed a single serving of acai juice or pulp. Researchers believe the results point to the need for continued research on the berry which is commonly used in juices, beverages, smoothies, frozen treats and dietary supplements.

"Acai is naturally low in sugar, and the flavor is described as a mixture of red wine and chocolate,” said lead investigator Dr. Susanne Talcott, “so what more would you want from a fruit?”

Talcott, who also is assistant professor with the Texas A&M University’s nutrition and food science department, said that previous studies have shown the ability of the human body to absorb target antioxidants (from other produce), but “no one had really tested to see if acai antioxidants are absorbed in humans."

Sales of acai products have increased dramatically in the U.S. where it has been touted as a metabolism booster, weight reducer and athletic enhancer. Advertisements use buzzwords such as health, wellness, energy, taste and organic.

About the only buzzword not used with acai is "local." The berries are harvested in the Brazilian rainforest from acai palms that may reach heights in excess of 60 feet - one of the same palms used to harvest edible hearts of palm.

The fruit is about the size of a large blueberry yet only the outermost layers of the fruit, the pulp surrounding a large internal seed, are edible, Talcott noted.

Talcott and her co-researcher and husband Dr. Steve Talcott began studying the palm- berry in 2001. His first scientific report on acai, apparently the first such study in English, was published in 2004.

Initially, their studies on the berry examined antioxidant and nutritional components in pulp and juice. Later studies showed the berry’s activity against cancer cells, Talcott noted.

With that background, the researchers then decided to find out whether those elements were actually being absorbed into the human body or being eliminated unused as waste.

"Like vitamin C, the body can only absorb so much at a time," Steve Talcott explained.

He said the researchers now “need to determine potential disease-fighting health benefits, so we can make intelligent recommendations on how much acai should be consumed.

For the clinical trial, people were given acai pulp and acai juice containing half the concentration of anthocyanins as the pulp and each compared to the control foods: applesauce and a non-antioxidant beverage.

Blood and urine samples at 12 and 24 hours after consumption showed significant increases in antioxidant activity in the blood after both the acai pulp and applesauce consumption, she said. Both acai pulp and acai juice showed significant absorption of antioxidant anthocyanins into the blood and antioxidant effects. The research couple said future studies hopefully will help determine whether the consumption of acai will result in any disease-preventing health benefit and the proper serving sizes for a beneficial dose for people.

"Our concern has been that it is sold as a super food – and it definitely has some good attributes – but it is not a solution to all diseases,” she said. “There are a great number of foods on the market, and this could just be part of a well-balanced diet."


Adapted from materials provided by Texas A&M University - Agricultural Communications. Original article written by Kathleen Phillips.

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Fri, Oct 10th - 11:40PM

The world’s leading Acai Berry researcher

The world’s leading Acai Berry researcher

Dr. Alex Schauss: The world’s leading Acai Berry researcher
For additional information, refer to the book Açai (Euterpe oleracea): The Nutritional and Antioxidant-Rich Amazonian Palm Tree Fruit by Dr. Alex Schauss .
Alexander G. Schauss, Ph.D, FACN has studied nutrition and botanical medicine for over 30 years. He has taught at Oxford and lectured in more than 40 countries. Dr. Schauss has published over 125 papers and 12 books. Currently, he serves as the Director of Natural and Medicinal Products Research at the American Institute for Biosocial and Medical Research.
The Acai fruit is remarkably rich in a very large range of macronutrients, micronutrients and trace elements. It has a broad range of essential amino acids, carbohydrates, fatty acids and a complement of vitamins and minerals.
The Acai fruit has a very broad nutritional value to humans. It has remarkably high antioxidant activity.
Based on new data about the antioxidant levels of American foods that was published in early 2005 by US government, data shows that Acai has significantly greater antioxidant activity on a gram to gram comparative basis than any of the common fruits or vegetables Americans consume.
Thus, any juice blend rich in Acai fruit would help people meet their daily antioxidant requirements from food.
AS A LEADING RESEARCHER ON ACAI BERRY
I research products that might explain why the incidence of certain diseases and conditions is lower in some parts of the world than in the United States. Nutrients in our diet can have an impact on social, psychological, and physiological behavior, so this is a logical place to look for explanations for differences in the incidence and prevalence of health disorder.
Hundreds of years ago when the Europeans made contact with the New World, certain groups of indigenous populations became extinct within a very short period of time because of the lack of resistance to diseases brought over from Europe. Some populations did survive, and for that reason, their tribes exist to this day. Quite a number of these groups are found in and around the tributaries and estuaries of the Amazon River. This is an area rich in a palm that bears a fruit called “acai”.
The acai fruit grows biannually in only three species of palm trees. This fruit is remarkably rich in a very large range of macronutrients, micronutrients, and trace elements. It has a broad range of essential amino acids, carbohydrates, fatty acids, and vitamins and minerals. So rich in nutrients is the acai fruit that it is possible someone could survive on it alone for quite a period of time without showing signs of malnutrition.
A few years ago I had the opportunity to go to Portugal and visit the anthropology department of a prominent university. I wanted to find certain watercolors that were drawn by naturalists and botanists who went to the Amazon in the 18th century. The drawings were in impeccable condition and showed natives holding small, berry-sized fruit in their hands and baskets against a backdrop of local fauna, including the acai palm tree. This provided hard evidence of its traditional use as a food source by natives over 200 years ago.
Some years ago I was the first scientist to determine the antioxidant activity of acai fruit using the oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) assay. This assay and others allowed me to discover that acai had unusually high antioxidant and scavenging activity in vitro against hydroxyl, peroxyl, peroxynitrite, and superoxide anion free radicals, compared to all of the common fruits and vegetables consumed in the United States.
The results were so striking in comparison to other food sources of antioxidants that we ultimately determined how to preserve this antioxidant activity so that the fruit could be exported in a form that would retain its benefits.
The Acai fruit has a very broad nutritional value to humans. It has remarkably high antioxidant activity. Based on new data about the antioxidant levels of American foods that was published in early 2005 by US government, data shows that Acai has significantly greater antioxidant activity on a gram to gram comparative basis than any of the common fruits or vegetables Americans consume. Thus, any juice blend rich in Acai fruit would help people meet their daily antioxidant requirements from food.
For additional information, refer to the book
Açai (Euterpe oleracea): The Nutritional and Antioxidant-Rich Amazonian Palm Tree Fruit By Dr. Alex Schauss.

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Fri, Oct 10th - 11:39PM

Brazilian Acai berry destroys cancer cells in Lab

University of Florida… Brazilian Acai berry destroys cancer cells in Lab

University of Florida… Brazilian berry destroys cancer cells in Lab
Filed under Research, Health, Sciences, Agriculture on Thursday, January 12, 2006.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A Brazilian berry popular in health food contains antioxidants that destroyed cultured human cancer cells in a recent University of Florida study, one of the first to investigate the fruit’s purported benefits.
Published today in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the study showed extracts from acai (ah-SAH’-ee) berries triggered a self-destruct response in up to 86 percent of leukemia cells tested, said Stephen Talcott, an assistant professor with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
“Acai berries are already considered one of the richest fruit sources of antioxidants,” Talcott said. “This study was an important step toward learning what people may gain from using beverages, dietary supplements or other products made with the berries.”
 
He cautioned that the study, funded by UF sources, was not intended to show whether compounds found in acai berries could prevent leukemia in people.
“This was only a cell-culture model and we don’t want to give anyone false hope,” Talcott said. “We are encouraged by the findings, however. Compounds that show good activity against cancer cells in a model system are most likely to have beneficial effects in our bodies.”
Other fruits, including grapes, guavas and mangoes, contain antioxidants shown to kill cancer cells in similar studies, he said. Experts are uncertain how much effect antioxidants have on cancer cells in the human body, because factors such as nutrient absorption, metabolism and the influence of other biochemical processes may influence the antioxidants’ chemical activity.
Another UF study, slated to conclude in 2006, will investigate the effects of acai’s antioxidants on healthy human subjects, Talcott said. The study will determine how well the compounds are absorbed into the blood, and how they may affect blood pressure, cholesterol levels and related health indicators. So far, only fundamental research has been done on acai berries, which contain at least 50 to 75 as-yet unidentified compounds.
“One reason so little is known about acai berries is that they’re perishable and are traditionally used immediately after picking,” he said. “Products made with processed acai berries have only been available for about five years, so researchers in many parts of the world have had little or no opportunity to study them.”
Talcott said UF is one of the first institutions outside Brazil with personnel studying acai berries. Besides Talcott, UF’s acai research team includes Susan Percival, a professor with the food science and human nutrition department, David Del Pozo-Insfran, a doctoral student with the department and Susanne Mertens-Talcott, a postdoctoral associate with the pharmaceutics department of UF’s College of Pharmacy.
Acai berries are produced by a palm tree known scientifically as Euterpe oleracea, common in floodplain areas of the Amazon River, Talcott said. When ripe, the berries are dark purple and about the size of a blueberry. They contain a thin layer of edible pulp surrounding a large seed.
Historically, Brazilians have used acai berries to treat digestive disorders and skin conditions, he said. Current marketing efforts by retail merchants and Internet businesses suggest acai products can help consumers lose weight, lower cholesterol and gain energy.
“A lot of claims are being made, but most of them haven’t been tested scientifically,” Talcott said. “We are just beginning to understand the complexity of the acai berry and its health-promoting effects.”
In the current UF study, six different chemical extracts were made from acai fruit pulp, and each extract was prepared in seven concentrations.
Four of the extracts were shown to kill significant numbers of leukemia cells when applied for 24 hours. Depending on the extract and concentration, anywhere from about 35 percent to 86 percent of the cells died.
The UF study demonstrates that research on foods not commonly consumed in the United States is important, because it may lead to unexpected discoveries, said Joshua Bomser, an assistant professor of molecular nutrition and functional foods at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.
But familiar produce items have plenty of health-giving qualities, he said.
“Increased consumption of fruits and vegetables is associated with decreased risk for many diseases, including heart disease and cancer,” said Bomser, who researches the effects of diet on chronic diseases. “Getting at least five servings a day of these items is still a good recommendation for promoting optimal health.”

Credits: Writer Tom Nordlie, tnordlie@ifas.ufl.edu, (352) 392-0400, ext. 276
Source: Stephen Talcott, sttalcott@ifas.ufl.edu, (352) 392-1991, ext. 218
Source: Joshua Bomser, jbomser@hec.ohio-state.edu, (614) 247-6622 http://news.ufl.edu/2006/01/12/berries/

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Fri, Oct 10th - 11:37PM

Why Choose Acai Juice

Why Choose Acai Juice

Why Choose
Acai Juice
Every day, we spend $5 - 10 on coffee, energy drinks, fast food, etc… We don’t eat enough fruits or vegetables anymore, most of our meals are processed or micro waved.
Fruits are an essential part of our daily diet and yet only 10% consume the recommended daily intake. This is because today, people are too busy and simply forget. We get tired of eating the same old fruits and some fruits are becoming more and more expensive to buy. Fruit even decay’s faster than it did 50yrs ago due to modern agricultural practices, transportation time and the chemicals sprayed over them to last the trip! Watch ‘Foodmatters’ video.
Why the Premier Acai Blend
Acai juice is packed with powerful anti-oxidants to boost your immune system and fight free-radicals to support your body’s natural ability to heal itself and to prevent long-term disease. Acai is the best antioxidant known to man and the Premier Acai Blend is made from the highest grade of acai available.
When compared to other acai products on the market, the maximum concentration of SOLIDS (skin and pulp) that can be made is 14% but most acai blends being sold today contain only 3-5% solids — with the rest of the content being primarily water.
The Premier Acai Blend uses not only the highest possible percentage of solids, but ALSO include a substantial amount of powerful, freeze dried acai powder (Opti Acai).
This powder is exclusively available to the Premier Acai Blend and NO other company. It comes from the Brazilian processing plant owned by Dr. Schauss and his partners, the entire freeze drying process being patent protected.
Aside from the exclusivity significance of this, one of the core reasons why the Premier Acai Blend is delivering such sensational results, is that a maximum amount of the tremendously beneficial phytonutrients in Acai fruit are captured and preserved by the proprietary methods of processing.
When compared on the basis of ONE gram of powder, the “past champion” cranberry’s ORAC value stands at 94. ONE gram of Opti Acai delivers a thunderous ORAC value of 1027!! Learn more about ORAC, antioxidants and free radicals
The Acai Berry has a high level of anthocyanins, which are responsible for the red, purple and blue hues of many fruits. Anthocyanins have been the focus of many studies which have concluded that anthocyanins benefit the cardiovascular system. Specifically, they can improve blood circulation, prevent blood clots, relax blood vessels and prevent arteriosclerosis. Furthermore, scientists have also found that anthocyanins have anti-viral and anti-allergenic properties.
The Acai Berry also contains essential fatty acids Omega 3, 6 and 9. Oleic acid, a monounsaturated omega-9 acid, and linoleic acid, a polyunsaturated omega-6 acid, help lower unhealthy cholesterol (LDL) levels and maintain healthy cholesterol (HDL) levels. They also increase the absorption vitamins like vitamin A, E, D, and K, which are important to good health.
The benefits of Acai, as you can see, are numerous. However, the list doesn’t end here. The Acai Berry contains nutrients like phytosterols, fibre and vitamin C. It’s no wonder the Brazilians call the Acai Palm ‘the tree of life’.
Conclusion
The Premier Acai Blend is a great tasting premium nutritional 19-fruit juice. It is loaded with anti-oxidants, Omega 3’s, 6’s, and 9’s fatty acids, natures anti-inflammatory’s and phytonutrients. The Premier Acai blend delivers a simple and convenient way to ensure you are getting the required nutrition and antioxidants your body needs on a daily basis. The best antioxidants the world has to offer!

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Fri, Oct 10th - 11:36PM

Acai Berry Health Benefits

Acai Berry Health Benefits

Discover the amazing health benefits of the fruit from the Amazon’s “tree of life” the Acai - By Judy Douglas

If you get your health guidance from the mainstream media, you’d think the healthiest way to live is to guzzle red wine and drown everything in olive oil.

That’s basically what they’ve told us in recent years. First, it was the “French paradox”–the fact that the French, who generally eat lots of cheese, cream, and butter; drink lots of wine; and smoke like chimneys, are healthier than Americans. Scientists told us it was all in the wine—specifically, in the anthocyanins—the antioxidant flavinoids that gives red grapes their deep color.

Then it was the “Mediterranean diet,” the traditional way of eating in the regions of Italy and Spain, where olive oil is a staple. We learned that olive oil is a good source of essential fatty acids that are processed right out of many Americanized foods.

I’m not discounting the benefits of either of these phyto-chemicals. In fact, in a minute I’ll explain exactly why both are so important to good health. I just question the sources recommended in the headlines. There’s got to be a better way to get these valuable nutrients than guzzling wine and drowning in oil.

As it turns out, there is. I learned about it from HSI panelist Jon Barron. He told me about a single SuperFood from the Amazon, Acai, that, fresh from the tree, can provide over 30 times the amount of anthocyanins as red wine and all the beneficial fatty acids of olive oil in one delicious, all-natural package. And this is just the beginning of Acai’s health benefits. It’s virtually impossible to over-do this food—which is certainly not the case with red wine or olive oil.

With Acai you get the healing power of many phytonutrients in one delicious package. There’s no disputing the health benefits of anthocyanins and essential fatty acids. Both have proven to be powerful nutritional tools in the quest for good health.

Research has shown that plant pigments like anthocyanins are potent antioxidants.

The cardiovascular benefits are the most well known; studies show that anthocyanins can help prevent blood clots, improve blood circulation, relax blood vessels, and prevent arthrosclerosis. But scientists have also uncovered a whole host of other powerful effects from anthocyanins, including antiviral and antiallergenic properties. Some research even suggests that anthocyanins can prevent cancer, by blocking carcinogenesis on a molecular level and encouraging tumor cell death.

Essential fatty acids have proven just as powerful. Oleic acid, a monounsaturated omega-9 acid, and linoleic acid, a polyunsaturated omega-6 acid, help lower LDL, and maintain healthy HDL levels. They also increase the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A, E, D, and K, which are essential to good health. Research has even suggested that oleic acid may prevent against cancer and hypertension.

Olive oil may be the best known sources of these nutrients, but it is certainly not the only one. It’s the pigment in red grapes that gives wine its anthocyanins—and that same pigment can also be found in other red and purple fruits and vegetables, such as blueberries, red cabbage, and purple sweet potatoes. Oleic acid is also present in pecans and seed oils, and linoleic acid is found in peanuts.

However, Acai is one food that delivers it all—plus other healthy nutrients like fiber, phytosterols, and vitamins C and E. For centuries, it’s been a staple for people in Brazil, yet virtually unknown to anyone outside the region—until now.

Discover the health secret of generations of Amazonian Indians.

Acai (pronounced ah-sigh-ee), and is the fruit of a palm tree that grows in the rainforests of the Amazon—a tree Brazilians call “The Tree of Life.” About 90 percent of the small, round fruit is its hard, inedible pit—but that’s OK, because it’s the outside skin that holds the treasure. That dark purple skin of the Acai Berry is what contains the anthocyanins.

The natives puree the acai skins, creating a treat that can be served warm as a sauce over fruit or grains or frozen like a sorbet. They’ve been eating acai for centuries, passing down recipes from generation to generation. (The native people have also passed down the story of how acai was discovered.) Because acai fruit itself is perishable, its popularity never spread beyond the region.

SuperFood fights heart disease, cancer, prostate enlargement, and more.

Since then, the news about acai has been steadily spreading—and the evidence of nutritional and health benefits just keep piling up. Consider this: a 100-gram serving of acai contains only 90 calories, just two grams of fat and no cholesterol. Plus, it delivers 3.5 grams of dietary fiber, something we could all use more of in our diets. Improved processing of the fresh fruit is making it possible to preserve more of the fruit’s healthful attributes. Currently, the acai puree provides more anthocyanins than red wine and acai has antioxidant concentrations that well outweigh blueberries.

Subsequent research has shown that in addition to the anthocyanins and essential fatty acids, acai also contains a healthy dose of plant sterols, another class of phyto-chemicals that have been shown to reduce cholesterol, protect the immune system, and relieve prostate enlargement. In fact, it turns out acai is in the same family as saw palmetto, a common herbal treatment for prostate enlargement. And researchers at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro have discovered that acai extract can be used to fight infection, like the parasitic infection schistosomosis which affects 10 million Brazilians each year and the common bacterial infection staphylococcus aureus.

It seems there’s no end to the Acai miracle fruit’s health benefits.

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