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Can acai berry help me lose weight?

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Updated March 11, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Question: Can acai berry help me lose weight?
Acai berry is advertised as a "magic" ingredient in some weight-loss products. Is there any truth to it? And just what is it, anyway?
Answer: What is acai berry?

Acai (AH-sigh-EE) is a palm tree that grows in South America; berries from the acai tree are used in natural medicine. Acai contains antioxidants, which may protect cells from the damaging effects of oxidation.

How do you consume acai berry?

The acai berry may be consumed raw or as juice, which is available commercially as a beverage, and in foods such as ice cream and jelly. It is also available in supplement form.

How effective is acai berry?

According to the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, which rates the effectiveness of natural medicine substances based on scientific evidence, there is not sufficient evidence to rate the effectiveness of acai for treating arthritis, cholesterol, or other conditions, and whether or not it improves health in general.

Is acai berry safe?

There is not enough information to know if acai is safe and it is unknown whether this product interacts with any medicines.

Will acai berry help me lose weight?

You may see it advertised as an ingredient in weight-loss products, but there has been little testing done to show whether the acai berry helps in promoting weight loss. While a diet rich in antioxidants is healthful, and fruit such as berries should be a part of any weight-loss diet plan, there just isn't enough research about acai's ability to help us lose excess pounds to say conclusively whether or not it can help you lose weight.

Please talk to your doctor before starting a diet or taking any weight-loss supplements.

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