From MSN: “At this point, açai falls into the category of intriguing but unproven. It may in fact turn out to be the superfood it’s advertised to be, but first we need some solid scientific evidence that can only come from human clinical trials,” says Brent Bauer, M.D., director of the complementary and integrative medicine program at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn
“It definitely has the potential to do lots of good things, and I do think there’s something there, but we still don’t know what happens when you concentrate it and give it to humans at doses many times stronger than what the natives in the Amazon have been consuming for years,” says Bauer.
And finally…a cautionary tale for anyone willing to endorse something just because it looks promising: the beta carotene story. Beta carotene is a powerful antioxidant, and several epidemiological studies showed that people whose diets featured high levels of beta carotene had less cancer. When that news broke, health-conscious people started popping high doses of beta carotene. But when a large-scale human clinical trial was finally completed, it was found that in smokers, high levels of beta carotene actually increased the risk of cancer.
The bottom line: Most experts agree that the açai berry probably does qualify as a superfood (it’s a favorite of health gurus like Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Nicholas Perricone), thanks to its rich antioxidant and nutrient profile. But they remind consumers that there is no health magic bullet. “If you still smoke, drink, don’t exercise and eat fast food, drinking a few ounces of açai juice every day isn’t going to keep you healthy.”