Acai Associated With Reductions in Oxidative Stress
Acai berries look like grapes but taste like a tropical fruit. A recent study suggests that consuming acai pulp may help improve antioxidant defenses, decreases markers of oxidative stress, and protect against formation of plaques in the arteries.
Participants in the study included 40 healthy women who added 200 grams of acai pulp to their daily diet for 4 weeks. Blood samples and clinical variables were obtained at the beginning and end of the study period.
At the conclusion of the study, the researchers noted no changes in triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, or HDL cholesterol. They did, however, note significant improvements in levels of apolipoprotein A1, the main apolipoprotein of HDL cholesterol. They also noted a 28% increase in the enzyme antoxidant paraoxonase 1, and increased levels of reactive oxygen species ox-LDL and MDA.
Researchers from the Federal University of Ouro Preto in Brazil conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on February 7, 2017, in Clinical Nutrition.
Indigenous Amazonian tribes have been consuming açai berries for thousands of years. Açai berries were introduced to the western world during the last few decades and their benefits are just beginning to be verified by the scientific community. Preliminary studies suggest that they may help boost antioxidant activity in women, lower heart disease risk, and combat symptoms of metabolic syndrome.