Have you heard of Myciaria dubia yet?
Well, that’s the formal name for the adorable little Amazonian berry.
You might be more familiar with it as camu camu, or maybe even cacari.
It’s a berry that grows in trees on the riverbanks of South American countries, most notably Peru and Brazil. The trees, in the Myrtle family, grow 9 to 14 feet tall. Each tree will yield around 26 pounds of berries a year.
I’m going to make a bold prediction right here today: based on a single study done on this fruit, it will become the next big weight loss “superfood.”
Dr. Oz is probably warming up to hump this one harder than raspberry ketones. And he gave that stuff some hard loving…
The sad part is that this tart little berry from South America has some remarkable nutritional and health benefits. We’ll look at those in a minute. First, the next big weight loss fad, as brought to you by science!
The Universite Laval and the Quebec Heart and Lung Institute Research Centre did a recent study where they fed mice a diet rich in sugar and fat. Half the mice were fed camu camu, the other half wasn’t.
Weight gain in the camu camu group was half what it was in the control group. Researchers believe this is due to the high concentrations of phytochemicals in camu camu. Researchers believe those are responsible for an increase in resting metabolism in the group fed the berry extract.
Cacari has 20 times the vitamin C of a kiwi and 30 times the polyphenols of blackberries. It also has high amounts of minerals and antioxidants, as well as some essential amino acids. Pretty solid nutrient punch. But more on that shortly.
The researchers also found that camu camu improved glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity and reduced the concentration of blood endotoxins and metabolic inflammation. “All these changes were accompanied by a reshaping of the intestinal microbiota, including a blooming of A. muciniphila and a significant reduction in Lactobacillus bacteria,” explains Dr. André Marette, a professor at Université Laval’s Faculty of Medicine and principal investigator for the study. Transplantation of intestinal microbiota from the camu camu group to germ-free mice lacking an intestinal microbiota temporarily reproduced similar metabolic effects. “Camu camu thus exerts its positive metabolic effects at least in part through the modulation of the gut microbiota,” concludes the researcher.
Mind you, while I’m being a bit cynical (ya think?,) these are significant findings which may portend very positively for folks trying to manage their weight and improve health. I’m simply predicting that weight-loss industry charlatans and moneychangers will find a way to screw this up, too.
But enough cynicism. Should YOU be eating camu camu? Good question! Lets look at the actual, proven benefits of this tart, exotic little berry.
- It’s Anti-inflammatory – Vitamin C is a good start here, but throw in the other good stuff in camu camu, such as anthocyanins, catechins and flavonols and you get quite the anti-inflammatory punch! Folks with gout, arthritis, hemorrhoids, headaches and joint pain can benefit from this fruit.
- Improves cognitive ability – It’ll help break down inflammation in cognitive pathways by breaking up plaque build-up from free radicals. It’s been linked to preventing things like dementia and even Alzheimer’s, but it can help healthy folks improve focus, memory and concentration.
- Vitamin C – I mentioned this already, but it’s important to note that the body neither makes nor stores Vitamin C. You need it to boost the immune system, stimulate white blood cell production and produce collagen, which is important to repair and build tissues, cells and organs.
- Relieves mood swings – The high amount of magnesium and a few other vitamins and minerals in camu camu are the likely actors here. Research shows a calming effect on the body, with positive effects on mood swings and mental anxiety.
- Improves fertility – It has been shown to protect the health of sexual organs and to ensure their proper function.
- Tones muscle – The bounty of amino acids, organic compounds that come with the vitamins and minerals make this a very supportive food for those seeking more muscle tone.
- Improves vision – The carotenoids (primarily lutein, as well as beta-carotene and zeaxanthin) are an anti-oxidant that are strongly connected to protecting eye health. They can prevent the onset of macular degeneration and cataract development by eliminating oxidative stress in the ocular system.
- Digestion – The fiber combines with the other vitamins, minerals and compounds to aid digestion and improve the function of insulin.
- Antiviral & Antibacterial support – Camu camu can help you fend off e. coli and even sexually transmitted diseases like herpes.
- Helps prevent cancer – Again, we’re coming back to the anti-oxidant bounty of camu camu. We know from research that the assassination of free radicals reduces oxidative stress in the body, reducing the likelihood of developing cancer.
100 grams of camu camu contains:
- 0.4 grams protein
- 0.2 grams fat
- 2145 milligrams vitamin C (3575 percent DV)
- 2.1 milligrams manganese (106 percent DV)
- 0.2 milligrams copper (10 percent DV)
- 0.5 milligrams iron (3 percent DV)
- 12.4 milligrams magnesium (3 percent DV)
- 15.7 milligrams calcium (2 percent DV)
- 83.8 milligrams potassium (2 percent DV)
- 0.4 milligrams zinc (2 percent DV)
Powerful stuff right there! And yes, it might be a dietary and weight loss discovery as well.
Let’s hope that plenty more research gets done on that front. Maybe we’ll get a weight loss “superfood” we won’t be disappointed in this time.
Keep the faith and keep after it!