Study Shows Acai Berries May Kill Cancer Cells
Acai has only recently become an internationally popular super food. Yet it has been cherished by the native people of the Amazon for hundreds of years as a healing fruit. Modern Brazilians eat the acai berry because it tastes nice and is highly nutritious. The famous Gracie Jiu-Jitsu family recommended eating acai before workouts, and soccer players have been using the fruit as a natural energy booster. With its popularity skyrocketing, acai’s anti cancer potential is being researched.
Acai berries grow on palm trees in floodplain areas of the Amazon River. The berries are dark purple and about the size of a blueberry. Like blueberries, they are potent antioxidants.
What Makes Acai a Cancer Fighting Super Food?
Free radicals are harmful molecules caused by everything from pesticides and cigarette smoke to exercising. They can damage cells and even DNA. Free radical damage has been shown to be associated with a range of diseases such as arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and Cancer.
Nature’s antidote to free radicals come in the form of fruits and vegetables known as antioxidants, which strengthen cells and defends against free radicals. The amount of antioxidant power that a food has is known as its ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity score).
The Acai berry is one of the highest. Its ORAC score is 167, compared with 32 for blueberries and 14 for apples. The increase in high antioxidant foods is essential to combating the skyrocketing rate of cancer and other diseases.
Acai May Kill Cancer Cells
A study at The University of Florida discovered that acai berries caused human cancer cells to self destruct 86% of the time in a culture. While this research has only been shown in a cell culture model, it is likely that it will have the same effect on human beings.
The researchers plan to continue identifying how acai berries can prevent cancer. The assistant professor Talcott says “We are just beginning to understand the complexity of the acai berry and its health-promoting effects.” Studies at the University of Florida are also underway to determine the acai berry’s benefits on blood pressure, cholesterol levels, heart health and related health indicators.
While the acai berry hasn’t been proven to cure cancer, the research certainly looks promising and at the very least it is helpful in preventing cancer and other illnesses. Plus, it tastes delicious.
by Sheryl Walters