Acai Assault: The Acai Berry may Regulate Cholesterol
by Frank Mangano
(NaturalNews) The laundry list of acai berry benefits to the body just got a bit longer. According to a recent study published in the journal Nutrition, the awkward-to-pronounce berry is great for cholesterol regulation.
There's no shortage of health claims when it comes to the acai berry (pronounced ah-sigh-EE, not ack-EYE), the berry that's been billed as the "Superfood of superfoods" by doctors and nutritionists alike. From better digestion to improved circulation, the acai berry could very well be the "berry best" in a family that's already bursting with nutritional heavyweights.
The latest study to tout the acai berry's benefits comes out of Brazil, the berry's native land, where the pulp of acai was fed to two groups of rats. One of the groups had a standard rat diet, while the other had a high fat diet. The remaining rats had high fat diets but without the accompanying acai (there were four groupings of rats).
After six weeks of observation, the researchers found distinct differences in the blood work of the rats that supplemented with the acai and those that didn't. Both acai supplementing groups had improvements in their cholesterol profile, but what really took the researchers by surprise was that the high fat rats had the best cholesterol profile (i.e., total cholesterol levels AND non-HDL levels dropped).
The researchers believe the acai berry was the catalyst, but it could also have been due to the fact that those fed the high fat diet consumed less food in terms of quantity (i.e., less food consumed, but more calories consumed).
Granted, this test was performed on rats, but observers of the study have every reason to suspect that the results can be translated to humans. More long-term studies are in the offing.
The acai berry is not something you'll find nestled next to blueberries or strawberries at your local farmer's market. Ninety percent of the berry is the pit, which may explain why you've seen people drinking acai berry juice but not eating the actual berry. But what an acai berry lacks in plumpness, it makes up for in nutrients. The flesh of one acai berry has 10 times the antioxidant content found in a grape, and two times the antioxidant content found in a blueberry.