What is acai?
Acai (pronounced AH-sigh-EE) is a palm tree that is widely distributed in the northern area of South America and its berries are used to make medicine.
People use acai for osteoarthritis, high cholesterol, erectile dysfunction (ED), weight loss and obesity, “detoxification,” and for improving general health. Acai gained popularity in North America after being promoted by Dr. Nicholas Perricone as a "Superfood for Age-Defying Beauty" on the Oprah Winfrey show.
As a food, the acai berry is eaten raw and as a juice. The juice is also used commercially as a beverage and in ice cream, jelly, and liqueurs.
In manufacturing, acai berry is used as a natural purple food colorant.
How effective is acai?
According to the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, the effectiveness ratings for ACAI show insufficient evidence to rate effectiveness for...
- High cholesterol.
- Improving general health.
- Other conditions.
- More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of acai.
How does it work?
Acai contains chemicals that are antioxidants. Antioxidants are thought to protect body cells from the damaging effects of chemical reactions with oxygen (oxidation). According to some research, acai has more antioxidant content than cranberry, raspberry, blackberry, strawberry, or blueberry.
Are there safety concerns?
There is not enough information to know if acai is safe. If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, it’s best to stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Drinking raw acai juice has been linked to outbreaks of a disease called American trypanosomiasis or Chagas Disease.
Are there interactions with medications?
It is not known if this product interacts with any medicines.
Before taking this product, talk with your health professional if you take any medications.
Are there interactions with herbs and supplements, or food?
There are no known interactions with herbs and supplements or foods.
What dose is used?
The appropriate dose of acai depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time, there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for acai. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.