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Posts from January, 2009

Super Berry is here to stay for 2009

Jan 19

While many claim the acai berry is all hype and no clout, Leah McGrath, the corporate dietitian for Ingles Supermarkets, records some of the new foods and trends we will be seeing more of this year. In that list is the acai berry.

Juice alert — While last year the pomegranate ruled the shelves and aisles, this year we’ll see new and different berries and fruits in our juices. Acai berries, the fruit of the acai palm, are native to the Amazon region and have been widely touted for their antioxidant properties. Goji berries come from China and Mongolia and also are a rich source of antioxidants, especially carotenoids which may be beneficial to the health of your eyes. Mangosteen fruit comes from Asia. The rind contains xanthones which may help prevent cancer. Don’t look for these fruits in the produce section as they either can’t be imported due to regulations or are too fragile, but you will find them as juice in Snapple juices.

Coca Cola’s Vitamin Water under legal attack

Jan 16

Coca Cola's Vitamin Water - acai berry, pomegranate, blueberryA class action lawsuit has been filed against the Coca Cola Company over what the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) says are deceptive and unsubstantiated claims on its VitaminWater line of beverages. The CSPI nutritionists say the 33 grams of sugar in each bottle of VitaminWater do more to promote obesity, diabetes, and other health problems than the vitamins in the drinks do to perform the advertised benefits listed on the bottles. Indeed, there are 125 calories in a 20 ounce bottle. The Vitamin Water product containing the acai berry, according to the label, claims to have triple antioxidants to help keep you healthy and fight free radicals. That triple threat consists of the acai berry, blueberry and pomegranate. On the nutrition label it says it containts “less than 1% juice”, which means the acai berry content really is next to nothing.

None the less, the name of the product is, afterall, “VitaminWater”. I don’t think anyone is expecting this stuff to contain high concentration of real juice. While the suger content is likely higher than one might expect, I don’t think a lawsuit is fully justifyable.

Acai berry study to back up the ‘super food’ claims

Jan 08

Acai BerriesAfter a few posts about the acai scams that are floating around the Internet, I thought it was time to write something that supports this amazing berry.

While there are a number of claims circulating that the acai berry is the #1 super food, there often isn’t a lot of data presented to support those claims. In comparison with other foods, the acai berry hasn’t been researched very extensively. It would seem that most of the claims are proposed by those that will benefit financially from the popularity of the acai berry, so you have to be cautious. None the less, there have been studies that do back up the amazing benefits of the acai berry – they’re just not publicized as much.

For starters, the fiber content of acai berries sits at around 35%, surpassing that of the competing goji berry (wolfberry). The energy at fatty acid content is greater than goji berry and blueberry as well. Borrowed from an article reviewing the studies, Paul Gross, PhD states:

Analysis of the fat composition [from two separate studies] revealed the precise origins of açaí’s exceptional lipid density. Nearly all of the saturated fatty acid content in açaí is from palmitic acid (IUPAC hexadecanoic acid, approx. 23%), monounsaturated fat is from oleic acid (approx. 58%, an omega-9 fat,18:1 ω-9), and polyunsaturated fats result from linoleic acid (12%, an omega-6 fat, 18:2 ω-6). These three fatty acids, therefore, make up 93% of the total lipids in açaí. The oleic acid content of açaí is the same as in olive oil.

When looking at the nutrient content of the acai berry, there’s even more good news.

The density of several minerals in açaí is a significant percentage of the daily recommended intake, especially for copper and zinc which equal or exceed the daily recommended intake. In one result, vitamin E content was 3-times the recommended intake.

The conclusion of the review of these studies states two very important things. Firstly, it identifies that the acai berry is difficult to bring to market with all of it’s nurtitional benefits due to the high oxidation rate caused by the significant fat content. Freeze drying is accepted as as one method of preserving the nutritional benefits of the acai berry. The second statement is exciting, yet of course doesn’t promise anything. “Dozens of diseases have a component of oxidative stress at their origins, such as chronic inflammation, atherosclerosis, diabetes and cancer, and so may be prevented or inhibited by high-antioxidant fruit like açaí.”

FX Supplements and Central Coast Nutraceuticals called out

Jan 05

I hate to post two negative posts in a row, but a press release titled “Weight-loss Berry Claiming Oprah Endorsement Makes Wallets Slim and Consumers Angry Warns BBB” from the Better Business Bureau caught my attention today. As stated in the release:

Better Business Bureau is warning consumers to be wary of online ads relying on celebrity endorsements to sell acai-berry related weight loss products. BBB has received thousands of complaints from consumers nationwide who thought they were signing up for a free-trial offer of acai berry weight loss products that were supposedly endorsed by Oprah, Rachel Ray and other celebrities; in the end, the free trial cost them, month after month.

FX Supplements and Central Coast Nutraceuticals were two companies called out in the press release, but it sounds as if there’s no shortage of distributors playing this game, some of which have already come to my attention and been written about on this site. Some people have had to cancel entire credit cards to stop the charges, as no one answers at the phone numbers provided on the websites.

Regardless, the next post will be a positive one. Afterall, the only reason these companies are succesful in selling their products is because of the buzz surrounding the acai berry. And the only reason the acai berry has built this kind of buzz is because it does indeed have a wide range of health benefits.

Warning about Acai Berry Supreme store

Jan 02

Acai Berry Supreme store in Florida has been getting some complaints in and around the internet. The following, which is posted at www.complaintsboard.com, just supports the concept of sticking with reputable distributors even more.

Beware- So far I’ve been charged twice w/no authorization. Once for 88.62. Then again for 94.57 with another merchant listed which is EROTSMERPUSIACA. The phone number for contact is useless. Its either a recording with no option to leave message or its busy. The charges are being disputed. Also this was charged in a two week period so they are not wasting any time stealing your money. BEWARE!!!

There have been a few acai berry capsule diet pills circulating on the internet, and you will often see charges like the above in the fine print. Extreme Acai Berry, which I wrote about back in September is one of those companies.