Is Acai Safe?

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First we find out from Dr. Oz Mahmet that there is arsenic in our apple juice and now questions are quietly popping up about the safety of the Acai Berry.  Acai berry pronounced (Ah-sigh-ee) is one of the super foods found in the Amazon rain forest of Brazil. It is thought to be a great antioxidant and have many other medicinal purposes. The clumps of acai berries grow in the flooded regions of the rain forests near waterways and have recently started to become over harvested due to high demand around the world. Medicinal purposes of the berries include but are not limed to fighting cardiovascular diseases, warding off cancer; eliminating eye diseases and making your skin look radiant. I purchase my acai from whole foods in a frozen form that is non sweetened and made specifically for smoothies. I find that it gives me extra energy and is a great way to absorb high antioxidants in a liquid form.  Now I drink my fare share of bottled red wine but acai berry has been said to be 30 times more potent than red wine.

Recently many companies have begun marketing the acai berry as a weight loss supplement. Claiming that you can lose 1 to 5 lbs of body fat per week by eliminating toxins from your body. This is where the research is sparse. No one knows the short or long term effect on the body with regard to weight loss or consuming too much of the acai berry. Acai berry is full of anthocyanins and flavonoids and according to WebMD “Anthocyanins and flavonoids are powerful antioxidants that help defend the body against life’s stressors. They also play a role in the body’s cell protection system. Free radicals are harmful byproducts produced by the body. Eating a diet rich in antioxidants may interfere with aging and the disease process by neutralizing free radicals.”

If you have allergies to pollen and trees the acai berry may exacerbate these issues in some people. If you are pregnant or being treated for cancer with chemotherapy acai has been known to interrupt the radiation treatments. You should always check with your doctor before you begin taking acai in supplement form. If you are taking acai berry as an antioxidant there is a ton of research talking about its great value. If you are taking it for weight loss unfortunately there is little proven research that it is effective.

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