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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