Acai supplements have become extremely popular recently, and it is no surprise when you look at the ads. Who wouldn’t want to take a supplement that “melts off the pounds”, detoxifies the body and is great source of antioxidants. In fact, it almost sounds too good to be true…and that’s because it is too good to be true.
There is no research to support using Acai for weight loss, to increase energy or to detoxify your body. But what about Oprah…if she endorses it, it must work, right? The truth is that Oprah does not endorse Acai, and this supplement has been part of a multimillion dollar scam. Need proof?? Check out this “Berry Weight Loss” clip from ABC news and read this “Fraud Alert” in April’s Nutrition Action Newsletter. Still not convinced, please take a look at the newsletter of the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
The only reason to take an Acai supplement would be for the antioxidant properties. Antioxidants in the diet have been found to help stabilize free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can lead to cancer, wrinkling of the skin, arthritis and many other conditions. Therefore, a diet high in antioxidants can have protective measures. However, they have not found that taking antioxidants in supplement form has the same benefits as eating foods that are rich in antioxidants for general health benefits. However, if you have certain conditions (like arthritis or need to heal a wound) taking additional antioxidant in supplement form may be beneficial. If you are looking to add more antioxidants to your diet consider blueberries, pomegranate, tea and red wine. If you are looking for supplements, a red wine extract or a green tea extract would probably give you more benefit because they have a greater antioxidant capacity than Acai.