It all started when a doctor visiting Oprah’s show called açai berry a superfood.
He argued that it was loaded with antioxidants and those had a variety of impressive health benefits for weight, energy, and aging.
Since then, there has been wide demand for açai and açai related products.
Many makers of the açai products promise health benefits such as causing weight loss. But from a scientific perspective, how likely is this to happen?
To get answers, we dug into the scientific research and were surprised at how little much information there is out there.
Our conclusion is that açai berry is unlikely to cause weight loss in and of itself. Let’s go through the details.
First, what is açai berry?
The açai berry is small and round, about the size of a small grape, and ranges in color from green to dark purple. It is found in Central and South America as well as the Amazon jungle and grows in swamps and flood plains.
Its name means “fruit that cries” in the Tupi language.
Açai contains a high amount of certain types of antioxidant. Beyond that, there does not seem to be that much that distinguishes the açai berry.
Can antioxidants cause weight loss?
Since the main feature that characterizes açai berry is its high amount of certain antioxidants, the question becomes if antioxidants can cause weight loss.
Antioxidants work to counter the action of free radicals, or highly charged particles created by a variety of natural processes in your body. You might think of free radicals as being “electrical” blips inside your cells that can cause damage.
In that metaphor, antioxidants discharge the electrical blips.
There is no reason that doing so would directly cause weight loss. No data we have seen has indicated that antioxidants are directly associated with weight loss.
The antioxidants in açai berry
How much antioxidants açai berry has and what significance it has depends on who you ask. Some point to what they see as its exceptional activity against superoxide as the “highest of all foods.”
Others argue that açai berry does not have more antioxidants than many other foods.
According to Quackwatch, açai berry actually has less antioxidants than some grapes and blueberries.
It is important to realize that many of the online sellers of açai berry can be taking advantage of the great demand and may not deliver a high quality product.
Many people report signing up for a service expecting to pay a certain amount only to find strange activity on their credit card.
Açai berry is sold in juice, tablets, smoothies, and instant powder, but as always, if you consider buying it, make sure to do so through a reputable and safe source.
The argument about whether açai berry can cause weight loss fundamentally comes down to the question of whether antioxidants can cause weight loss.
We have seen no evidence that this is the case and have seen no compelling evidence that açai berry causes weight loss.