Acai Berry - the new miracle fruit

The Acai berry is the latest miracle food to make a surge onto the market boasting weight loss as its main incentive. Firstly, what is it? The acai berry is a reddish purple fruit which originates from Central and South America- related closely to the blueberry and cranberry. The berry itself contains; minerals, amino acids, vitamins, omega 3, fatty acids and antioxidants. The claim is that this super food raises metabolic rate and supresses appetite but it can also enhance energy levels and improve your skin condition.

Antioxidants help combat free radicals; these are potentially dangerous cells if left free to roam about the body. Free radicals are odd-number electrons which attempt to become ‘even’ by binding to other already even-numbered electrons. By binding to these already-even electrons they cause them to become unstable and free- thus free radicals. Acai berry’s supress the activity of these free radicals which can potentially become cancerous.

Research is limited, but the most convincing piece comes from the National institute of aging which looked at the pulp from the acai berry. The study found it did have the ability to reduce the negative effects of a high-fat diet in flies. Firstly, this research was conducted on flies- we cannot generalise these findings to humans. Secondly, the study
looked at an already high-fat diet not a normal diet; therefore the research cannot be applied to the latter either.

Acai does contribute to a balanced diet which ultimately is what will lead to weight loss and a healthier lifestyle. To drink copious amounts of acai berry juice and pop several acai pills daily will not cause sustained weight loss.  

The most standout product currently on the market is called ‘Ketone Ultra’ which combines acai berries and raspberry ketones. Raspberry ketones have been known to shrink fat cells in the body as well as increasing the production of adiponectin, a protein which speeds up the metabolism of fat. Ketone Ultra boasts‘30 pounds in 30 days’ tagline and with these two berries packed in, it is easy to see why. However, once again it is important to remember there is no scientific evidence to back up this magic pill’s claim.

The world we live in today is so driven by money that a price tag can actually be a more powerful agent than scientific research. Acai berry and raspberry ketone tablets sound exotic and often come with a high price tag. Now, there is something about exotic fruits and weight loss that sounds appealing- perhaps the unknown aspect leads us to believe it is one of the best kept secrets of all time. Speaking on behalf of the world here, we like the idea of these new products that claim to promote fat metabolism and supplement websites know this. As well as this, berry is made up of 90% seed with the remaining fleshy pulp and skin where you find all these nutrients. This means only 10% of the berry can actually be used for juices, tablets, powders etc. This would also explain the high price- it’s foreign and is hard to extract any sellable product from. Next week we will undoubtedly have yet another exotic fruit put into tablet form that claims miracle effects.  Is the acai berry a miracle fruit? Highly unlikely although it contains many good things so does a lot of fruit.
Yours in sport,
- thesportscience


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