WHY ACAI FOR HEALTH?
What is oxidative stress?
Oxidative stress is the damage made to a cell through the oxidative process or Oxidation. Oxidation is defined as the interaction between oxygen molecules and all the different substances they may contact, from metal to living tissue. Oxidative stress to the body comes in many forms including pollution, processed foods, stress, radiation, prescription and over-the-counter medications and even over exposure to the sun.
Oxidation, in itself, is a very normal process - it happens all the time to our bodies and many things that surround us. However, when there are disturbances in the natural oxidation process, such as the attraction of a free radical to another molecule in your body, the results are often have toxic effects.
Imagine an iron pipe lying on the ground. As it is exposed to the weather and years of rain, environmental exposure, sun, and other factors, it begins to rust. The rust is caused by oxidation. Free oxygen radicals are created during the metabolism of normal oxygen cells, or oxidation. These free radicals are missing a simple electron and are in search of another molecule that they can combine with to become "whole." In their quest, they fire charges that damage other cells and structures around them. This, in turn, causes the rust.
In effect, your body is "rusting" as it goes through its lifetime, the free oxygen radicals wildly running through your system, searching for a mate. As you can see, the more free radicals your body contains, the more damage that's likely to be done. Free radical cause oxidative stress and the increased and prolonged exposure to these wild and reckless free radicals cause a faster build-up of "rust" or disease in our bodies.
Oxidative Stress and Disease
To date, science has discovered that oxidative stress may very well be the cause of over 70 well-known, widely-spread diseases.
Depending on what form of toxin or stress your body is exposed to on an ongoing basis, you could find yourself suffering, even at an early age, from diseases that could be prevented if only you'd have minimized the harmful free radicals in your system.
Here are just some of the diseases are caused by oxidative stress:
• Heart Disease
• Lung Disease
• Neurodegenerative Diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's
• Autoimmune Diseases
• Eye Diseases like Macular Degeneration
The Heroic Role of Antioxidants
The key ingredient, by far, to reducing the amount of free radicals in your system is antioxidants. Antioxidants are fantastic little substances that wander through your body, giving up an electron to the greedy free radicals charging through your system. They neutralize the free radicals and allow your body to do its business of excreting them safely and without harm.
Our bodies already make several different types of antioxidants all on their own. But as our exposure to harmful free radicals in the environment and through our lifestyles increase, our need for outside supplies of antioxidants is vital in the war against aging and degenerative disease.
While a good supply of antioxidants come from natural sources like healthy food, we also need to supplement those sources.
Increasingly, our food supply is being degraded through harmful growing practices and soil depletion, and can no longer be relied upon to protect us from the oxidative stress all around us.
With a healthy supply of free-radical-neutralizing antioxidants, you can see how our bodies are better able to withstand and ward off the "rusting" for decades longer than we currently do.
HEALTH & DISEASE PREVENTION
As mentioned above dozens of diseases have a component of oxidative stress at their origins, such as chronic inflammation, atherosclerosis, diabetes and cancer , and so may be prevented or inhibited by high-antioxidant fruit like Acai.
For example, a recent study showed that Acai antioxidants could induce more rapid death (apoptosis) of leukemia cells in vitro (11). This preliminary research indicates a possible anti-cancer effect of anthocyanins and other Acai pigments, similar to promising laboratory results examining phenolics in the black raspberry as a chemopreventive food source (15).
Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity of Acai has been documented. Folk medicinal uses include treatment of fever, pain, and flu. The fruit's dark green oil has been used as an antidiarrheal agent. However, there is a lack of clinical information to recommend Acai for any use.
Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity of Acai has been studied.
Acai fractions containing polyphenolic compounds reduced the proliferation of HL-60 leukemia cells through caspase-3 activation in a dose- and time-dependent manner. The mechanism of action is associated with polyphenolic phytochemicals activating caspase-3, leading to cell death or apoptosis.
An ethanol extract of Acai palm fruit peel inhibited testosterone 5-alpha reductase. In patients with an enlarged prostate, dysuria was prevented by the administration of 2 tablets per day (80 mg of Acai palm fruit peel extract powder per tablet) for 1 month.
Acai induced an endothelium-dependent vasodilator effect in a rat mesenteric vascular bed. The mechanism of action appeared to be dependent on activation of NO-GMPc pathway and may involve endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor release.