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Acai Berries Show Heart Health Benefits

Acai juice may help protect against hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) according to a recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Their findings were published in the April 2011 issue of the journal Atherosclerosis.

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.

For this most recent study, the researchers fed mice an acai juice blend containing freeze dried and frozen acai pulp.

The researchers found significantly lower levels of oxidative stress, inflammation and arterial hardening among animals given the acai pulp.

Although the scientific investigation of acai berries is still in an early stage, the high antioxidant content of this “super fruit” means its benefits may be far ranging. Preliminary findings are showing that acai may help reduce cholesterol, chronic inflammation and overall mortality.

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