Acai: Scam and Deception
I am receiving so many junk mails about the AMAZING effects of Acai products. In general, I am very skeptical when anything is advertised as a cure-all. Acai certainly is marketed as an effective therapy for a vast number of health concerns.
Based upon my exposure to research from Acai manufacturers, the primary value of Acai is its high anti-oxidant activity. ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) is one measure of antioxidant activity.
Promotional materials for Acai claim that the ORAC value of Acai is several times higher than other anti-oxidant rich foods. As with all statistics and marketing, the devil is in the details.
According to one freeze-dried Acai supplement manufacturer, the ORAC value of 100 grams (about 3.3 ounces) of freeze-dried Acai is 5,500 ORAC or about twice that of 100 grams of blueberries. That is very good.
However, this manufacturers supplement contains 1,000mg (one gram) of freeze-dried Acai per 2 capsules. This provides an ORAC value of 55! The ORAC value of one cup of blueberries is between 9,000 and 13,000 or equivalent to 260 servings of Acai freeze-dried supplement.
One $40 (discounted from $50!) of Acai supplement provides sixty 1,000mg servings of Acai. In other words, $40 provides you with the anti-oxidants activity of 1/4 to 1/3 cup of blueberries.
Anti-oxidants are very important and promote health, however you would get many times more anti-oxidant effect at a small fraction of the cost from eating some blueberries each day.
Richard Malik, ND