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Posts in ‘Acai berry health’

Maqui berry claims higher orac value than acai berry

Jun 05

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 titled A Bottle of Juice = 12 Bottles of MonaVie where a similar claim has sparked debate.

Maqui berry orac score

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!

Benefits of the acai berry on Fox News

Mar 22

Here’s a quick video from Fox News about the benefits of the acai berry. It touches on the study using the acai berry to fight off leukemia cells in a lab, as well as the fact that some of the acai berry products can be on the expensive side. There’s a variety of acai products, so keep in mind the price quoted here near the end of the video isn’t necessarily the best deal out there.

Swanson Health Products brings acai berry extract to market

Mar 09

Swanson\'s acai berry extract softgelOn March 6th Swanson Vitamins added acai berry extract supplements in softgel form to the market. Recommended to support energy and vitality, these softgel capsules contain 500mg of acai berry extract (Euterpe Oleracea). According to the Swanson website:

Recently gaining popularity in fruit smoothies and other beverages, acai berries feature a nearly perfect amino acid complex, trace minerals and more free radical fighting power than blueberries, strawberries and cranberries.

Want to give this product a try? Simply buy Swanson’s Acai Berry Extract online ($4.99 at the time of writing this article.)

Acai berries for brain food

Mar 02

acai berry brain names the acai berry as a “power brain food”. Along side the acai berry they list wild salmon, blueberries, coffee beans and matcha green tea leaves. There are multiple types of brain food, and they all serve different purposes. Foods with healthy fats give your brain the energy it needs to process the masses of information throughout the day. Foods high in antioxidants prevent brain cells from mutating or dying. Tyrosine helps the brain’s transmitters to operate efficiently. Tyrosine can be found in high protein foods, especially soy products, fish, peanuts and sesame seeds.

Rehashing acai berry studies

Feb 25

Reading research papers with a scientific touch and understanding exactly what they’re talking about and how it applies to the health of the human body isn’t always a straightforward task. The below excerpt comes from a study published by Alexander Schauss, Xianli Wu, Ronald Prior, Boxin Ou, Dinesh Patel, Dejian Huang and James Kababick. This is my attempt to walk through it’s meaning…

Among many findings, anthocyanins (ACNs), proanthocyanidins (PACs), and other flavonoids were found to be the major phytochemicals. Two ACNs, cyandin 3-glucoside and cyanidin 3-rutinoside were found to be predominant ACNs; three others were also found as minor ACNs. The total content of ACNs was measured as 3.1919 mg/g dry weight (DW). Polymers were found to be the major PACs. The concentration of total PACs was calculated as 12.89 mg/g DW. Other flavonoids, namely, homoorientin, orientin, isovitexin, scoparin, and taxifolin deoxyhexose, along with several unknown flavonoids, were also detected. Resveratrol was found but at a very low concentration.

For starters, anthocyanins and proanthocyanins and flavenoids which are found in plants in either red, purple or blue colors. These anthocyanins are sources of antioxidants, and while anthocyanins haven’t been proven to be beneficial to health there are a number of claims on the contrary. The two anthocyanins with the highest concentration, cyandin 3-glucoside and cyanidin 3-rutinoside, are only beneficial to the human body if they are, firstly, in tact when they reach the digestive system, and secondly, if they are able to enter a cell and remain “active”. This is why harvesting the acai berry is such a critical part of the process. Afterall, the reason antioxidants have gained so much attention is because of their ability to lend an electron, thus preventing free radicals from damaging tissues.

The last substance mentioned, Resveratrol, is produced by certain plants when they are under attack from bacteria or fungi. You may have seen Resveratrol being sold as a supplement in health stores. In rat experiments Resveratrol has been reported as having anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory characteristics. However, the only benefit actually recorded as a result of taking Resveratrol is lower blood sugar when taking high dosages.