The Hidden Secrets of the Açaí Fruit.
Phytochemicals, Anthocyanins, what are they and what are the benefits of such compounds?
characterize, or sum up the whole picture of the beneficial compounds found in fruits,
vegetables, and certain teas. They are the protective living matter in which plants are
able to thrive in some uncertain environments such as climate and insect infestations.
When consumed by humans, these compounds act as antioxidants so vital to good health and
longevity. Many studies suggest that the use of antioxidants may help in the fight against
anti-aging, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and so many other age related degenerative
diseases including ophthalmology.
Anthocyanins are some of
the more potent forms of antioxidants. We have all heard of the "French
Paradox", how the people of France with their high fat diets and not uncommon
unhealthy lifestyles are still below the percentage of related deaths from cardiovascular
disease than many of the populations which exist today. One reason may be that they
consume large amounts of red wine. Wine, made from grapes have very high levels of the
(anthocyanins) in red wine, are believed to mitigate the effects of a fatty diet and
smoking. Anthocyanin, a polyphenol which is proven to reverse, halt, and improve the
conditions of many age related diseases inflicted on the general population. Anthocyanins
(flavonoids) found in various fruits have a unique chemical structure that makes them 6 to
8 times more potent than vitamin C.
One particular fruit,
known as Açaí (ah-Sa-E) contains the most highly concentrated forms of anthocyanins
known thus far through intense research. The anthocyanin content in the Açaí is proven
to be 3.5 times the amount of that present in a glass of red wine, volume to volume when
tested in an ORAL analysis ( measure of capacity).
Anthocyanins and their
· Inflammation and
Collagen: Anthocyanins neutralize enzymes that destroy connective tissue. Their
antioxidant capacity prevents oxidants from damaging connective tissues and repair damaged
proteins in the blood-vessel walls.
· The Nervous System: By
preventing tyrosine nitration, the anthocyanin properties in Açaí may help protect
against neurological diseases. The primary anthocyanins in Açaí known as
Cyanidin-3-glucoside have been found to help in the reversal of age related neurological
· Large and Small
Blood-Vessels: Anthocyanins ability to counter oxidants make them a powerhouse in the
fight against arteriosclerosis. Even in trace amounts, anthocyanins effectively protect
against LDL oxidation. Anthocyanins protect the integrity of the endothelial cells that
line blood vessel walls and help to maintain micro capillary integrity. Diabetes: One of
the serious diabetic complications is retinopathy, which in most cases can cause
blindness. This condition occurs when the body attempts to repair leaking, damaged
capillaries, but does so by over producing abnormal proteins. The protection of
anthocyanins may help prevent these capillaries from leaking and to help prevent abnormal
· Eyesight: Anthocyanins
may also help improve eyesight by numerous mechanisms. In the Second World War, British
fighter pilots were found to have improved night vision. These findings were thought to be
contributed by the large amounts of bilberry in the pilots diet. The effects of the
improved night vision were not long lasting after the initial consumption of bilberry
lasting just hours after initial consumption. With this new found advantage, the pilots
would consume the bilberry fruits just prior to the mission.
· Sources: Pigmentated
fruits are known to carry the highest amounts of anthocyanins. Fruits that can be eaten
with skin on, offer the highest value of anthocyanins. These fruits would consist of
cherries, grapes, raspberries, blueberries, bilberry, and Açaí to name a few.