Since being touted as a metabolism booster, weight reducer and athletic enhancer, sales of acai products have dramatically increased in the U.S. These berries are considered exotic- being harvested in the Brazilian rainforest from acai palms that may reach heights in excess of 60 feet - one of the same palms used to harvest edible hearts of palm.
Green Bay, WI (PRWEB) November 14, 2008 -- Though very little research has been done on the Amazonian wonder berry, its benefits are widely raved about from personalities to medical experts. The first of its research conducted by the Texas AgriLife Research scientists have found out that the acai (ah-sigh-EE) berry has the ability to be absorbed in the human body when consumed both as juice and pulp. This finding was recently published in an issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
The research states that the Brazilian acai berry absorbed much better than any other fruit or food because of its high content of antioxidants. Because of this one super benefit, the berry is heavily marketed in the U.S. as a health food and has even entered the Dr. Perricone's list of super foods. The research conducted involved 12 healthy volunteers who consumed a single serving of acai juice or pulp.
Principal investigator Dr. Susanne Talcott said "Acai is naturally low in sugar, and the flavor is described as a mixture of red wine and chocolate, so what more would you want from a fruit?" Talcott, who also is assistant professor with the Texas A&M University's nutrition and food science department, said that previous studies have shown the ability of the human body to absorb target antioxidants (from other produce), but "no one had really tested to see if acai antioxidants are absorbed in humans."
Since being touted as a metabolism booster, weight reducer and athletic enhancer, sales of acai products have dramatically increased in the U.S. These berries are considered exotic- being harvested in the Brazilian rainforest from acai palms that may reach heights in excess of 60 feet - one of the same palms used to harvest edible hearts of palm. Talcott noted that the size of the fruit is similar to a large blueberry with only the outermost layers of the fruit and the pulp surrounding the seed are edible.
Talcott and her co-researcher and husband Dr. Steve Talcott began studying the palm- berry in 2001. His first scientific report on acai, apparently the first such study in English, was published in 2004. Initial research done on the acai was done to examine the antioxidant and nutritional values of the pulp and juice, with later studies focused on the benefits of the berry in fighting cancer. Since the benefits of fighting cancer was found, the researchers then decided to find out whether those elements were actually being absorbed into the human body or being eliminated unused as waste. Says Steve Talcott, "Like vitamin C, the body can only absorb so much at a time."
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