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Acai Berries Boost Lifespan of Fruit Flies

Acai berries have the potential to boost lifespan, at least for fruit flies, according to a study published in the January 2010 issue of the journal Experimental Gerontology.

The acai (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) berry has been used medicinally for thousands of years by indigenous tribes in the Amazon rainforest to boost the immune system, fight infection, protect the heart and control prostate enlargement.

The berries look very similar to grapes but taste like a tropical fruit. They were introduced to the western world during the last few decades and their benefits are just now being verified by the scientific community.

This recent study by researchers from the US National Institutes of Health adds to that growing body of science.

For the study, the researchers fed fruit flies a high fat diet and gave half of them acai berry pulp.

The researchers observed lower levels of oxidative stress and longer life spans among the flies given the acai pulp.

The researchers note that further studies with humans are necessary but it seems acai berries may have the ability to offset some of the detrimental effects of a high fat diet. They also appear to lower oxidative stress associated with aging, resulting in a longer lifespan.

Although the scientific investigation of acai berries is still in an early stage, the high antioxidant content of this "super fruit" may help reduce oxidative stress, cholesterol and chronic inflammation.

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