Acai berries are touted as a super berry with several purported health benefits, from weight loss to anti-aging properties. It is sold in capsule, juice, powder, pill and frozen pulp form and is heavily marketed to the susceptible category of people seeking weight-loss supplements. Some benefits of acai berries are well-documented, while others are still being studied.
Tests in healthy individuals were performed to see if the antioxidant properties in acai berry pulp and juice were any higher than other fruits. The results showed that the pulp was significantly higher in the bioavailabilty of antioxidants. Further results showed that the urine samples of the candidates signified higher antioxidant activity than most of the other fruits known to be high in antioxidants.
The bioactivity of acai berries inhibits the enzyme cyclooxygenase in two forms (Cox 1 and Cox 2), and on a lesser scale, lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced nitric oxide. This means that it is effective in reducing inflammation and pain, similar to the way that aspirin and ibuprofen work.
This is the term used for the natural process whereby the cells in the body die off. The acai berry induces this process in HL-60 leukemia cells through caspase 3 activation. The studies have yet to be done in human trials, and have generated excitement as a possible help in the fight against cancer.