Marketed as a weight-loss, anti-aging, sexual performance-enhancing, sleep and digestion aid, acai berry may have caught your eye. Unfortunately, these claims are not proven, according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. The fruit does show promise in the lab for its antioxidant content, which may have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effects. Use caution, however, as there are some side effects associated with acai berry.
Adverse Acai Effects
The reddish-purple acai berry comes from a palm tree. If you are allergic to plants in the palm family, you may experience allergy symptoms, such as itchy, watery eyes if you eat the fruit, warns the NCCAM. The center also cautions against ingesting acai berry if you are scheduled to have a magnetic resonance imaging test, as it may affect the results. There have been cases of Chagas disease, a condition marked by severe flu-like symptoms, in Latin Americans who ingested acai berries contaminated with infected insect waste, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Wash fresh produce thoroughly to prevent foodborne illness.
References and ResourcesNational Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Acai
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Oral Transmission of Chagas Disease by Consumption of Açaí Palm Fruit, Brazil
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Parasites -- American Trypanosomiasis