Acai

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What other names is Acai known by?

Açaï, Acai Berry, Açaï d'Amazonie, Acai Extract, Acai Fruit, Acai Palm, Amazon Acai, Amazon Acai Berry, Assai, Assai Palm, Baie d'Açaï, Baie de Palmier Pinot, Cabbage Palm, Chou Palmiste, Euterpe badiocarpa, Euterpe oleracea, Extrait d'Açaï, Fruit d'Açaï, Palmier d'Açaï.

What is Acai?

Acai, pronounced AH-sigh-EE, is a palm tree that is widely distributed in the northern area of South America. 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.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of acai.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

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How does Acai 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.

Dosing considerations for Acai.

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.

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Reviewed on 3/29/2011 12:35:40 PM

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