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Brazilian Superfruit Found to Kill Cancer Cells

Updated: Jul 20, 2023

A recent study from the University of Florida has increased interest in the Brazilian acai fruit. One of the first studies to investigate the numerous claims made about the acai fruit.

The pulp of the acai fruit was used to create six separate chemical extracts for the investigation, each of which was synthesized in seven concentrations.

When used for at least 24 hours, at least 4 of the extracts significantly reduced the number of cancer cells. Depending on the specific extract and concentration, anywhere between 35 and 86 percent of the cancer cells were eliminated.

According to Stephen Talcott, an assistant professor with the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, the study revealed that acai berry extracts caused up to 86 percent of the leukemia cells examined to undergo a process known as apoptosis, or programmed cell death.

Talcott, however, issued a warning against extrapolating too much from the findings, pointing out that cancer cell cultures rather than actual humans were used as the test subjects.

However, the outcomes are intriguing. Brazilian berries have become very popular in the US during the past year. Numerous businesses have also taken notice of it and are now developing goods that contain acai berries.

Although acai berries are one of the fruits with the highest concentrations of antioxidants, similar studies have found that other fruits high in antioxidants can also kill cancer cells.

Antioxidants are compounds that might guard against the harm that unstable molecules called free radicals do to cells. One of the primary causes of cancer, according to theory, is free radical damage. Many believe that a sufficient number of antioxidants can halt this process by interacting with and stabilizing free radicals and possibly preventing the harm that they cause to healthy cells.

Due to the numerous other lifestyle factors that must be taken into account, experts disagree on the precise impact that antioxidants have on cancer cells in the human body.

For the acai berry, numerous anecdotal claims have been made. In the past, Indians in the Brazilian rain forest have utilized it for a variety of purposes, including food, drink, thatching for houses, therapy for fevers, diarrhea, jaundice, and other illnesses, as well as prevention of many other illnesses.

The University of Florida study is a great step in the direction of disproving some of the claims made about acai and putting it through rigorous research.

Many claims are being made, but the most of them haven't been put to a scientific test, according to Talcott. "We are only just beginning to understand the complexity of the acai berry and its health-promoting effects."


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