It’s unfortunate to have witnessed the flurry of questionable acai berry products that have come to market recently. When this website was first launched there was a half dozen companies selling acai berry extracts and other products that included the acai berry amongst other ingredients. Over the past 2 years the market has been flooded with hundreds of acai berry products that claim to help with weight loss, protect from illnesses, etc etc. While the benefits of antioxidants are numerous, the majority of acai berry products you find online today have no science supporting their claims.
Considering the majority of comments I receive on this website are from people complaining about unexpected charges being applied to their credits cards, I figured it would be a good idea to cover just the basics of what to watch out for to avoid being the victim of the latest acai berry scam.
Check with the BBB. Those who have already purchased a product or started a ‘free trial’ are likely to visit the Better Business Bureau website to post their complaints.
Take the product name, add the word “scam” to it, and perform a Google search. Chances are if the company uses questionable tactics, there will be hundreds of websites warning against the scam.
Better judgment – many of the acai berry scam websites use pressure tactics to lure you into a quick decision – pay no attention to countdown timers or pop-up messages that say there are benefits to buying now as opposed to tomorrow. Make sure you read the fine print carefully. One of the easiest ways to save yourself some drama is to look for a contact number, sitting on hold for a long time or being forwarded to a call center that has to ask you which product you’re inquiring about is a bad sign.
Visit your local health food store – products are often cheaper online than in a health store, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take note of some brands your local health store carries. These stores generally do their due diligence when selecting products to carry. It’s just one more filtration system you can use to save yourself the hassle of sifting through hundreds of acai berry products that all claim to do similar things.
Every time I login to this blog I approve more comments from people that have become victims of acai berry scams, which is really unfortunate as I believe the health benefits of the acai berry in a proper extract or quality product can be very real. The age old adage holds true, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
What’s so special about yet another 190 calorie nutrition bar? Well, it’s the first nutrition bar to contain significant amounts of resveratrol, which is an antioxidant contained in red wine that is reported to delay the affects of aging. DSM Nutritional Products provides a highly purified resveratrol compound for this bar, called resVida. The WineTime bar also incorporates a secondary source of resveratrol extract from red grapes. This bar also includes dates, almonds and a variety of super fruits, such as cranberry, pomegranate, goji berry, mangosteen and of course, the acai berry.
The purpose of the bar can be summed up with the French paradox of food. The French tend to have diets high in fat, yet they’re known for cardiovascular health. This is then tied to the concept that the French drink more quality red wine than a typical nation, and as a result many conclude that it must be something in the red wine that makes this possible.
There’s more and more science building up behind resveratrol and the above statement, some of which you can read on at www.winetimebar.com. You can also order online from their website.
I came across this video on YouTube recently. Their products look promising, specifically their antioxidant supplements. They seem to focus in on the idea that a multitude of antioxidants is a smart way to go, which I agree with based off of everything I have read about how antioxidants work. Watch this video, and take a look at their antioxidant supplement – pHion Indigo, Antioxidant Complex – Capsules
Chances are as you browse the web you’ve been exposed to acai berry ads. Those ads have appeared on this website, and as I’ve witnessed, thousands upon thousands of other websites. There’s no argument that the acai berry seems to have some astonishing health benefits, and that good reputation can go a long way. That reputation definitely received a strong boost from Oprah and Doctor Oz when they featured the acai berry as a super food. This act led to a number of acai berry products to use their image and message within their marketing materials without the proper permission. This has led to Oprah and friends suing a number of acai berry product companies, and specifically, some of the marketing companies that promote their products. See Oprah.com for the official statement.
Oprah has every right to defend her corporate image. No company should claim or suggest that Oprah supports the benefits of their product. Oprah supports the acai berry as a food, she doesn’t support every product on the face of this planet that might happen to contain the acai berry.
A message to the consumer – just because you see a familiar face on a product doesn’t mean the product is “better”, and in this case, it doesn’t even mean the celebrity is aware of the product itself!
As you notice on the below chart, the maqui berry claims a higher ORAC value than the acai berry. Learn more about ORAC scores and free radicals. In fact, it claims triple the ORAC score, and after other acai berry based products touted that same “3x the orac score” claim over blueberries, the trend continues. The question arises when you question the chart – there is no unit of measurement stated and it doesn’t cite any sources or supporting research. There’s a great conversation taking place on recent article on AcaiResource.com titled A Bottle of Juice = 12 Bottles of MonaVie where a similar claim has sparked debate.
The question arises – what ORAC value should we aim to reach on a daily basis?
Studies show that eating food with a high ORAC score will raise the antioxidant levels in the blood by 10% to 25%. Experts suggest that an ORAC score of around 5,000 units per day is necessary to have a significant effect on blood and tissue antioxidant levels. It would take about 8 to 10 brightly colored fruits and vegetables or dark greens to achieve this level, but a couple handfuls of blueberries will bring you closer to 6000 ORAC units.
The two last things worth noting are that, firstly, the ORAC value of a food can be affected by harvesting techniques, the aging of the food and how it is consumed and processed. It’s quite likely that the product marketers out there measure the ORAC values when they are at their peak, which might not be the case at the time we ingest them. Secondly, at what rate can the body absorb antioxidants? Can we reach a level where we simply stop benefiting? I haven’t been able to find much data on that question – if anyone out there has some insight into this please leave a comment!