Natural Home Cures Freeze Dried Acai Berry's Ability To Neutralize Free Radicals and Its Impact on Cancer Research
W e are living in this era of increasing cancer cases due to frequent exposure to toxins and various forms of health hazards that have recently surfaced.(1) You have probably heard the term "free radicals" over and over again. You know it's a bad thing that's frequently associated with cancer and other disease processes. How do you stop it from causing havoc to your health?
Free radicals are molecular structures which contain an unpaired electron. Electrons are normally paired, which keeps them stable. Imagine free radicals as a single person desperately looking for a mate. He searches erratically and wildly, stealing wives of other electrons and creating chaos within their families (cellular structures). To make matters worse, he influences others to be like him through a chain reaction.
Free radicals are produced by the body in reaction to exposure to harmful elements in the environment such as cigarette smoke, processed foods loaded with preservatives, engine exhaust, UV radiation, heavy metal products, and pesticides.
Free radicals are dangerous because they damage your cells, eventually resulting in mutation or degeneration.(2)
When they react with the protective covering of the cell called the cell's membrane they alter its codes resulting in the cells functioning poorly and the cell's eventually die, leading to cancer, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer's, diabetes, premature aging, high blood pressure and others.
Your body defends itself through antioxidants. Antioxidants are like noble people who reach out and interact with the wild free radicals to make them stable. They prevent free radicals from stealing electrons from other molecules. The free radicals are also stopped from oxidizing the sensitive biological molecules thereby reducing the number of free radicals.
Antioxidants are important in fighting infection by maintaining the body's immune system. Lowered immunity is a factor why cancer develops in your body.
Your body has innate enzyme systems that counteract the effects of free radicals. Antioxidants are also derived from the food that you eat. Vitamin E, beta-carotene and vitamin C which are rich sources of antioxidants are not synthesized by the body so they have to be consumed in the foods we eat.
Can Antioxidants Prevent Cancer?
Laboratory studies show promising effects of antioxidants in slowing and possibly preventing cancer development. However, clinical studies are still not sufficient to back up the results, as these results have been inconsistent. Antioxidants are shown to exert beneficial effects in the prevention of cancer, they may be counterproductive for patients who already have cancer because it can allegedly interfere with the cancer cells' self-destructive abilities.
Large scale clinical trials are still being pursued to study the effects of antioxidants on cancer. Most studies are centered on the antioxidant effects of beta-carotene and Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E.
Lately, other food sources are discovered to have potent antioxidant properties, several times over the more frequently studied antioxidants such as those found in acai berry.
It has been shown that the antioxidants found in the acai berries can indeed kill cancer cells and seems to be especially true for leukemia and works better when it is done in vitro.(3) In other research, the acai berry began destroying cancer cells within 18 hours of being ingested.(4) Another research study showed that an extract of acai berries killed 86 percent of lung cancer cells.(5)
Acai Berry's Antioxidant Properties
Acai berry is a round purplish fruit that grows in floodplains and swamps. It can be found in the Amazon forest of Brazil. It is steadily rising in popularity because of its amazing health benefits. It is touted as the number one superfood in the world because of its high antioxidant value.
It contains anthocyanin which has potent antioxidant properties that are 30 times higher than that of a glass of red wine.(6) Acai berry is likewise rich in other flavonoids such as homoorientin, orientin, taxifolin, deoxyhexose, isovitexin, scoparin, proanthocyanidins, and resveratrol gives the fruit over 80% of its antioxidant effect.
The Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) content, is used to measure the antioxidant capacity of a food. Acai berry scores higher than other fruits tested, including blueberry and apple.
In laboratory studies using cell culture model, acai berry has been found to kill cancer cells through its powerful antioxidant activity.(7) It is exceptionally rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin C and Vitamin E, amongst many other vastly beneficial minerals and nutrients including Selenium, Zinc, and Essential Fatty Acids.
(1) Physicians for Social Responsibility - Cancer & Toxic Chemicals
(2) Excerpt from Contemporary Ayurveda - Free radicals
(3) Hope4Cancer - Acai & Cancer
(4) Facts Flow - Antioxidant Miracle Berries
(5) Natural News - Studies Cancer & Acai Berries
(6) Street Directory - Impact Factor Cancer Research
(7) EuroBotanicals - Reported Acai Berry Benefits
- "What Is Cancer?". National Cancer Institute.
- "Cancer Fact Sheet". Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry. 2002-08-30.
- "Exciting New Cancer Treatments Emerge Amid Persistent Myths".
- "Cutting off cancer's supply lines". Nature 458 (7239):
- "Complementary and alternative therapies for cancer". Oncologist 9 (1): 80–9.
- What Is CAM? National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. retrieved 3 February 2008.
- "Complementary/alternative medicine use in a comprehensive cancer center and the implications for oncology". J Clin Oncol 18 (13): 2505–14.
- "Alternative cancer cures: 'unproven' or 'disproven'?". CA Cancer J Clin 54 (2): 110–8.