While the study on cholesterol used acai pulp and animals as their test subjects, the translation potential for humans is great when you consider all the facts known on the chemical composition of the acai berry. In the study, the animals received a high-fat diet. Half of the animals
received acai pulp and the other half didn't, according to the article in "Nutrition" called "Diet supplementation with acai (Euterpe oleracea Mart.) pulp improves biomarkers of oxidative stress and the serum lipid profile in rats" by M. Oliveira de Souza, M. Silva, M. Eustaquio Silva, R. de Paula Oliveira, M.L. Pedrosa
The results of the study concluded that the animals fed acai pulp had lowered cholesterol levels. They considered it might be from the increased excretion of the animals and the filling effects of the berry pulp, reducing the intake of food. The jury is still out on the study since it was a relatively short study and while the diet was high in fat, it did not replicate the present American fast food diet. Dr.Schauss noted that there were better model diets to follow and more emphasis needed to be on both the liver and blood vessels in addition to simply the cholesterol levels.
The fact that the acai juice and berry contain monounsaturated fat may also play a role in the results found by the scientists. Research studies show that monounsaturated fat may not only prevent high cholesterol levels, it also may lower it.
In addition to the acai berry lowering cholesterol, it contains powerful anti-oxidants to help protect the body and anti-inflammatory properties, which could potentially reduce chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation links to many different maladies, which include not only arthritis but also heart disease, type-2 diabetes, Alzheimer's, cognitive decline and osteoporosis.
The high amount of antioxidants and high levels of anthocyanins, known cancer fighters that are the pigment giving the berry the red color, help protect the body against attack from free radicals in addition to providing all the other benefits described. Free radicals cause cell death, which in turn causes disease and aging. When you increase the levels of antioxidants, they fight the free radicals by offering their electrons and stopping chemical changes in the cells that lead to their demise.
Could it be that we could still be healthy by just drinking a glass of acai berry juice with our McDonald's burger and fries? No one food can overcome the assault of the typical American diet but substituting acai juice for soft drinks is definitely a step in the right direction. Until further studies investigate all the links of acai juice and cholesterol levels, making those small substitutions, can only help you live a longer and a healthier life.
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