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Açai Berry Pulp May Boost Antioxidant Activity in Healthy Women

Açai (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) is a tropical super fruit packed full of antioxidants. A recent study suggest that consuming açai pulp may help boost antioxidant enzyme activity and lower the production of reactive oxygen species.

Participants in the study included 35 healthy women who were given 200 grams of açai pulp daily for four weeks. The researchers collected blood samples at the beginning and end of the study.

The researchers found a more than 4,000% increase in catalase activity. Catalase enzymes turn hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen and are essential for protecting cells from oxidative damage. They also noted a 104% increase in total antioxidant activity as well as reductions in the concentration of protein carbonyl (a marker of protein oxidative damage) and an increase in concentration of sulfhydrul groups (a marker of antioxidant capacity).

The researchers did not note any significant changes in superoxide dismutase or glutathione peroxidase activities nor in any anthropometric, clinical, or biochemical characteristics.

Researchers from the Federal University of Ouro Preto conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on December 29, 2015, in Nutrition.

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. The researchers in this study expressed a need for further human studies to determine how much acai is needed to maintain health and help reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

Indigenous Amazonian tribes have been consuming açai berries for thousands of years. The berries look like grapes but taste like a tropical fruit. Previous studies have found that açai may

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