The acai berry is the fruit of the acai palm and is traditionally consumed in Brazil but has gained popularity abroad as a food and functional ingredient, yet little information exists on its health effect in humans.
- J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Sep 10;56(17):7796-802. Epub 2008 Aug 12.
Pharmacokinetics of anthocyanins and antioxidant effects after the consumption of anthocyanin-rich acai juice and pulp (Euterpe oleracea Mart.) in human healthy volunteers.Mertens-Talcott SU, Rios J, Jilma-Stohlawetz P, Pacheco-Palencia LA, Meibohm B, Talcott ST, Derendorf H.
Acai (Euterpe oleracea Mart.) a fruit from the Amazon region, largely consumed in Brazil is rich in polyphenols. Experiments were undertaken to determine whether hydro-alcoholic extract obtained from acai induces a vasodilator effect in the rat mesenteric vascular bed precontracted with norepinephrine and, if so, to elucidate the underlying mechanism. The present study demonstrates that the vasodilator effect of acai extract is dependent on activation of nitric oxide -cGMP pathway and may also involve endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor release. The vasodilator effect suggest a possibility to use acai berry extract as a medicinal plant, in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases.
- Endothelium-dependent vasodilator effect of Euterpe oleracea Mart. (Acai) extracts in mesenteric vascular bed of the rat.
Vascul Pharmacol. 2006 Sep 1; Department of Pharmacology and Psychobiology, IBRAG, UERJ, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
If you have pollen allergies or have a known hypersensitivity to acai or similar berries, you may want to avoid this fruit. When eaten in moderate amounts, though, acai is likely safe.
In 2006, a total of 178 cases of acute Chagas disease were reported from the Amazonian state of Pará, Brazil. Eleven occurred in Barcarena and were confirmed by visualization of parasites on blood smears. Using cohort and case-control studies, we implicated oral transmission by consumption of acai palm fruit.
- Emerg Infect Dis. 2009 Apr;15(4):653-5. Oral transmission of Chagas disease by consumption of açaí palm fruit, Brazil.Nóbrega AA, Garcia MH, Tatto E, Obara MT, Costa E, Sobel J, Araujo WN.