The acai berry from Brazil offers vital nutritional benefits for people over 40 years of age. The acai contains 33 times the cholesterol fighting anthocyanin than a glass of red wine, a daily value of calcium, twice the daily value of the antioxidant Vitamin E and a substantial amount of dietary fiber.

A little about cardiovascular maintenance and the role of anthocyanins in the acai fruit

Anthocynins are cholesterol regulating compounds with well researched data. Elevated blood cholesterol is one of the major modifiable risk factors for coronary heart disease (5) and the leading cause of death in the U.S. The fact is that 490,000 Americans die of coronary heart disease each year (3) with costs of over $60 billion annually in medical expenses and lost productivity. ( 4)

Regulating and reducing cholesterol through dietary means can contribute to prolonging life and reducing medical expenses. Low cholesterol foods and exercise are only a part of the natural program to prevent and help lessen the affects of cardiovascular disease. The consumption of foods rich in compounds that reduce cholesterol, reduce blood pressure and carry antioxidant protection completes the program.

Acai is an excellent example of such a functional food that is now accessible to food, beverage and supplement markets in an economical and convenient form. Calcium-rich acai also provides several cardiovascular health benefits, according to a research summary by the Just-Food.com editorial team. More than maintaining skeletal strength and reducing the impact of osteoporosis, studies have shown that people who suffer from high blood pressure often also have diets low in calcium. When calcium is added to their diet, blood pressure drops. Some research also suggests that calcium may help reduce cholesterol levels. Also the lower risk of stroke, found in a study of 86,000 women, was attributed to calcium. Diets rich in calcium have also been linked to reduced occurrences of colon and breast cancer in various laboratory studies.

The generous amount of Vitamin E in acai is essential for regeneration of damaged tissue and as a protective antioxidant. Cancer prevention and intestinal function: "Acai's high fiber content is very favorable to the consumer's proper intestinal function," reports Dr. Herve Rogez. "Fiber accelerates the intestinal processes and has a very important role in avoiding colon cancer. The daily value is 35g of fibers/adult a day and acai consumers reach this dose very easily." (2)

Works Cited

(1) Claire Madden, VP Marketing at MarketResearch.com,

(2)"Biochemical and Technical Studies on Acai" by Dr. Herve Rogez 2, Sofia Pascal 2, Jesus N.S. de Souza, Arlete R. Aquino & Raphaele Buxant Dept.. de Engenharia Quimica - Centro Tecnologico, Diaouiweir ria I niinnin, Beligica)

(3) National Center for Health Statistics. Annual summary of births, marriages, divorces, and deaths United States, 1993, Monthly vital statistics report-, vol 42 no 13. Hyattsville, MD: Public Health Service, 1594.

(4) American Heart Association. Heart and stroke facts 1995 statistical supplement. Dallas, TX: American Heart Association, 1994,

(5) National Cholesterol Education Program. Second report of the Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults Adult Treatment Panel II). BeM6sda National Heart, Lung.

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