Acai Berry May Reduce Metabolic Syndrome Risk Factors
A small, preliminary study has found that acai (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) berries may help overweight people reduce risk factors of metabolic syndrome.
The findings were conducted by researchers with Medicus Research and published in the May 2011 edition of Nutrition Journal.
Metabolic syndrome refers to a group of risk factors that include obesity, hypertension, high levels of blood lipids and high blood sugar. People suffering from metabolic syndrome are at a much higher risk for diabetes, heart disease, and suffering a heart attack.
10 overweight adults were recruited for the study. They were given 3.5 ounces of acai pulp twice daily. At the beginning of the study, the participants’ glucose, insulin and cholesterol levels were measured. All of these are risk factors for metabolic syndrome.
After one month, the levels were tested again, and notable reductions were found in all three levels.
Indigenous Amazonian tribes have been consuming acai berries for thousands of years, most likely to boost the immune system, fight infection, protect the heart and control prostate enlargement. The berries look like grapes but taste like a tropical fruit.
Acai berries were introduced to the western world during the last few decades and their benefits are just now being verified by the scientific community. The researchers in this study were careful to state that their sample group was small and that they did not have a placebo group to compare results to. However this study is just one of a growing number of studies pointing to the health benefits of acai berries.