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The Truth About Acai and Maqui Berry

April 25th, 2010

acai-maqui-berry-products.jpgThe Acai berry has taken the U.S. by storm with a whole range of dietary health supplement products that claim to have significant benefits in areas ranging from anti-aging to weight loss to colon cleansing. Recently, the Maqui berry has also been added to this list. Acai and Maqui berry “superfruit” products are sold as tablets and juices among other forms. Both berries claim to have a very high antioxidant value, which improves the immune system, contributes to a higher metabolism rate, and helps in weight loss by burning fat. They also promise improved digestion, a better immune system, and the control of free radical damage. They claim to promote health and increase the burning of calories, which provides more energy to the body and fights fatigue so you can be active for a longer period of time. Acai berries claim to have more antioxidant power than even pomegranates and blueberries along with anti-carcinogenic qualities that protect the body against cancer.

Maqui berries, apart from all the above, in particular claim to contain antioxidants known as anthocyanins, which detoxify the body of harmful toxins. These toxins supposedly contribute to increased weight, and their removal enhances weight loss. The antioxidants in Maqui also control free radical damage in the body that lead to a breaking down of cells resulting in many diseases. The same free radicals also contribute to aging. With the use of the Maqui berry product, aging can be countered to give you a younger looking skin.

So is there truth in all these claims? No research until now has been able to effectively, evidentially prove any of the above claims. The Acai berry actually has less antioxidant value than the blueberry, dark cherry, cranberry, and the Concord grape. It does have more antioxidants than orange and apple though. Pomegranate juice and red wine have more antioxidants than Acai berry juice. The Acai and Maqui berry contain only the smallest amounts of anthocyanin (antioxidant), and even this small amount is not proven to be conserved by the body after the berry is consumed.

Overall, these berries are placed low on antioxidants among other berries. Studies have proved how even if the antioxidant value increased in the blood after the consumption of the berry product, there were no physiological effects. The antioxidant value they have is only good for the plant, not for humans. Most acai and maqui berry products have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA.

Hundreds of articles are written every day professing the benefits of the Acai and Maqui berries. The main idea behind most such articles being put up on the Internet is to overtake real blogs from real people who have actually used the products in question. Do not trust any testimonials given on websites selling or marketing Acai berry and Maqui berry products. A pool of questionable knowledge is being created on the Internet for commercial purposes, which actually have people’s health as their business. The fact that we know little is used against us. As the old saying goes, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. We need to know more about our bodies, and about free radical damage and antioxidants in this particular instance, so as not to fall into the traps these companies set for us.

This article was supplied by Nidhi Varma.

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