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Dr. David Kim Kim Bariatric Institute

Acai Berries

Many people are talking about the popular berry called Acai. It is a palm berry of the Amazon and is rich in nutrients called phytochemicals or plant chemicals. Plants such as Acai get there colors from compounds that protect them from damage from the sun. In our bodies we are also at rick for damage from the sun, metabolism of chemicals and the aging process. Acai has been touted to reduce hunger, increase metabolism and boost the immune system. Well here is my take. I performed PubMed (a huge government research database) and the International Bibliographic Database of Dietary Supplements (IBIDS) and did not see any original human studies that show Acai will help you lose weight or feel full. That’s the bad news, but the good news is that the berries do possess very strong antioxidant properties. They also contain fiber and carbohydrate, which may promote fullness. A number of vitamins and minerals in the berries are used to produce energy in the body and help support a healthy immune system. Research on the fruits according the studies I saw, were concentrating on better understanding how the berries color pigments work as antioxidants in the body and if they may help control, kill or otherwise reduce one’s risk for cancer. So here’s to the acai berry of the Amazon and all power foods such as broccoli and other cruciferous veggies, colorful fruit such as blueberries, almonds, walnuts and to a plant based diet. All the disease fighting ability we may ever need is in the foods we eat. To lose weight, remember no matter what power foods you add to your diet, calories count. Energy in and energy out. Always combine your acai berry juice with a brisk walk or other activity to live a strong healthy life.

David Kellenberger, MPAS, RD, PA-C

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