Beneficial Antioxidant Protection*
Our body produces free radicals as a byproduct of many metabolic processes. Free radicals are molecules with unpaired electrons that have the potential of causing harm if not adequately neutralized by the body’s antioxidant system. While some free radical production is necessary for metabolism and detoxification, excessive amounts of free radicals may lead to compromised health.
Acai is a rich source of anthocyanins and other phenolics. Anthocyanins are compounds that have potent antioxidant activity, allowing for the neutralization of potentially harmful free radicals. By neutralizing these free radicals, anthocyanins from acai may serve to maintain the healthy function of numerous systems and organs. Some of the anthocyanins that have been found in acai include cyanidin-3-glucoside and cyanidin-3-glucoside-coumarate. Other phenolics include catechin and epi-catechin (the same compounds in green tea), quercetin derivatives and other flavonoids.1 It is likely that the synergistic effects of these compounds as present in acai fruit are responsible for its potent antioxidant activities.
Freeze-dried acai fruit powder has undergone numerous assays to assess its in vitro antioxidant capacity. Once the fruit is selected, the antioxidant potential of the acai fruit degrades quickly with extensive processing and various environmental factors. The freeze-drying process ensures that the beneficial antioxidant and other health-promoting compounds of this fruit are preserved to the maximum extent. The freeze-dried acai generally scores very high on a number of in vitro assays including the ORAC test (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity), one standard measure of free radical scavenging ability.
Other assays have been performed on acai pulp, including the in vitro TOSC (Total Oxidant Scavenging Capacity) assay. In a Brazilian study, eleven commercially available acai pulp samples were analyzed for antioxidant potential using this assay. It was found that all eleven of the samples performed very well for the ability to scavenge peroxyl and peroxynitrite radicals. The researchers also concluded that the activity of the anthocyanins alone could not account for the free radical scavenging actions of the acai fruit pulp. Other compounds, many of which are possibly yet to be identified, make significant contributions to the remarkable oxidant scavenging capacity seen with the fruit.2
Maintains Cellular Health*
Acai’s deep purple coloration makes it a rich source of beneficial polyphenols. While these compounds are potent antioxidants as outlined above, they also confer benefits beyond their free radical scavenging activity. A number of these phytochemicals are known to have beneficial effects on cellular health. Some mechanisms employed by polyphenols include the induction or inhibition of enzyme function and alteration of signal transduction, enhancing the ability of cells to communicate more effectively with each other. Many polyphenols are considered “biological response modifiers”, since they possess multiple effects, including the ability to decrease oxidative stress to cells. Since polyphenols are water soluble, they are also well-absorbed and assimilated, allowing them to efficiently promote cellular health.3
Because of the health benefits associated with a high intake of polyphenols it is crucial to get an adequate number of servings of fresh fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. Best Acai freeze-dried acai fruit powder with its high polyphenol content can provide an invaluable supplemental source of these health-promoting compounds to a normal diet.
1.Del Pozo-Insfran D, Brenes CH, Talcott ST. Phytochemical composition and pigment stability of Acai (Euterpe oleracea Mart.). J Agric Food Chem. 2004 Mar 24;52(6):1539-45.
2.Lichtenthaler R, Rodrigues RB, Maia JG, Papagiannopoulos M, Fabricius H, Marx F. Total oxidant scavenging capacities of Euterpe oleracea Mart. (Acai) fruits. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2005 Feb;56(1):53-64.
3.Ronzio, RA. "Naturally occurring antioxidants" The Textbook of Natural Medicine. Second edition. Ed. Joseph E. Pizzorno, Jr. and Michael T. Murray. Churchill Livingstone, 1999. 831-846.