Article By Michelle Honda PhD
The Acai berry (pronounced ah-sah-ee) appears to be the crown jewel among fruits and vegetables. This prized commodity is native to the rainforests of Brazil and the Amazon basin. Its claim to fame is primarily due to its extremely high ORAC score (oxygen radical absorption capacity), which measures the antioxidant capacity of a food. (Acai’s ORAC value is more than 6,000). Also, impressive by anyone’s standards are the copious amounts of phytonutrients found in the Acai fruit, keeping scientists busy identifying and cataloguing the numerous new compounds being discovered.
But it doesn’t stop there! Scientists and other doctors such as Dr. Nicolas Perricone as seen on the Oprah Winfry show, rank the Acai berry as the most nutritious and powerful food in the world. This small dark purple berry containing a single large seed also has 19 amino acids and fatty acids, putting it in the category of a superfood.
Acai is a leading source of Anthocyanins
Anthocyanins are a class of flavonoids found in red wine, hailed to have a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system. The Acai berry contains 33 times the levels of Anthocyanins than does red wine without the calories and associated consequences of drinking red wine.
How Does the Acai Berry Fight Cancer
According to the National Cancer Institute (www.cancer.gov) there is considerable laboratory evidence that indicates that antioxidants may slow or possibly prevent the development of cancer.
The abnormally high levels of antioxidants in Acai destroy cancer cells. A main benefit of antioxidants is their ability to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Proliferation of free radicals may lead to cancer and the type of antioxidants found in the Acai fruit help to stabilize free radicals. Acai berries were found by far to significantly exceed the superoxide scavenging (SOD) of any fruit or vegetable. (OptiAcai, K2ALLC, Provo,UT)
Breast Cancer and the Oncogene
In addition to the high levels of Anthocyanins, Acai has two essential fatty acids known as Omega 6 (Linoleic acid) and Omega 9 (Oleic acid). Research has found that Oleic acid keeps the cancer causing Oncogene, which is found in many breast cancer patients, from being induced into action. Also Anthocyanins have exhibited a therapeutic effect in the treatment of Fibrocystic disease. Other potential effects of Anthocyanins include radiation protection, chemoprotective, vasoprotective and anti-inflammatory properties.
Other Cancer Studies
Studies conducted at the University of Florida and published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry in January 2006, showed extracts from the Acai berry triggered a self-destruct response in up to 86 percent of leukemia cells tested, stated by assistant professor Stephen Talcott with UF.
Another study at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine on Anthocyanins showed that Acai killed human cancer cells while not affecting healthy cells, even with leukemia and lymphoma within 18 hours.
Nutrients of the Acai berry
The Acai contains a number of nutrients that our bodies need in good supply like calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, copper, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, plus the vitamins thiamin B1, riboflavin B2, and niacin B3. It also has monounsaturated linoleic acid known as omega 6 and linoleic acid which is polyunsaturated. This superfood also boasts an amino acid complex, an excellent source of plant sterols, trace minerals, fibre and the protein equivalent to an egg.
Other Benefits of Acai
Research on the Acai berry has uncovered many valuable health benefits such as the following; prevents and destroys cancer cells, lowers blood sugar, benefits retinopathy, reduces cholesterol, Cox 1 and Cox 2 inhibitor, anti-aging, energy, heart health, improves mental health, aids digestion, better sleep and a powerful food source to pick up deficiencies.
Besides all the nutritional applause the Acai is being recommended by beauty experts for diminishing cellulite dimples due to the berries high antioxidant levels. In addition, properties in the Acai neutralize enzymes that destroy connective tissue. Important to note, that collagen, joints and ligaments are all connective tissue. Protecting the loss of collagen and other joint material will prevent the loss of these substances that keeps us youthful, young and pliable.
For such a tiny fruit the Acai berry has captured attention from around the world where only a few years ago it was for the most part a hidden secret that has been known only to the cultures of the Amazon.
This article is copyrighted and the property of Michelle Honda PhD All rights reserved. It may be reprinted or used on your own website or blog – as long as this entire author resource paragraph and link below are included. Michelle Honda PhD is a holistic doctor in private practice at Renew You Holistic Health located in Ontario Canada. In addition to her doctorate, she holds an advanced degree in nutrition (RNCP), is a Master Herbalist and a n IIPA Certified Iridologist. Visit her website at: http://www.renewyou.ca