CLINICAL TRIAL: Açaí Part of Mounting Evidence of the Acai Berry's
Heart Health Benefits
A new clinical trial investigating the health benefits of açaí, the
antioxidant and vitamin-rich berry, is adding to the emerging scientific
evidence of the fruit’s ability to potentially reduce some metabolic risk
factors associated with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and stroke. The
latest study won top honors during the Scripps Center for Integrative
Medicine on January 23 and revealed promising initial results for using
açaí to improve vascular health, lower fasting blood sugar levels, and
lower bad cholesterol.
“This pilot study demonstrated the ability of the açaí pulp product to
significantly lower several markers of cardiovascular risk in a relatively
short period of time. Given these promising results, and the biologically
active components in the açaí fruit, further study is merited,” said Dr.
Jay Udani, MD, CEO and Medical Director of Medicus Research, a leading
contract research organization with functional food experience.
Medicus Research recently conducted a pilot study with 10 slightly
overweight, but healthy adult male and female participants (representing
1/3 of the American population). Each study participant consumed 100 grams
of açaí frozen fruit pulp twice daily for one month. Researchers measured
participants’ baseline fasting plasma glucose, plasma insulin levels, lipid
levels (total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, triglycerides), high sensitivity
C-reactive protein and blood pressure. After 30 days of consuming açaí,
participants’ fasting glucose, insulin, total cholesterol, and LDL (bad
cholesterol) were significantly reduced, as compared to the baseline. In
addition, post-prandial (between meals) increases in blood glucose levels
were significantly reduced.
“While additional research is needed, this pilot study suggests that in
otherwise healthy, overweight adults, daily consumption of açaí reduces
several markers of metabolic syndrome associated with an increased risk of
diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and stroke,” said Jack F. Bukowski, MD,
Ph.D., a former Harvard professor and currently Director of the Nutritional
Science Research Institute.
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