Acai Berry formulations are hot at the moment as the latest superfood and weight loss sensation. There certainly is much to recommend the Acai berry from a nutritional point of view--the level of antioxidants as measured in their ORAC rating is very high. Likewise, they are chock full of healthy omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids, 19 amino acids, as well as Vitamins B1, B2, B3, E, potassium, calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc, as much Vitamin C as blueberries and over 1000 IU of Vitamin A for every 100 grams of Acai. Based on this, we can buy the claims that the product helps cleanse your body, gives you more vitality, and improves overall health. However, whether these scientifically valid superfood qualities translate into significant weight loss is another matter--despite the hype there is not a single study that confirms acai has any benefit for weight loss.
Some claim the high presence of reservatol and anthocyanins, as in the red grapes so beloved of the French, helps with weight loss, just as these help explain the French paradox (why the French have low levels of obesity and heart disease despite eating significant quantities of cheese and such). Proponents claim you can lose 1-5 pounds per week by taking acai supplements. Without the clinical trials to back them up, we're skeptical. We understand that as of late 2009, clinical studies are planned, but will take some time to complete, so we should have evidence one way or another in the coming months.
The acai berry comes from the acai palm tree, and has long been consumed by Amazonian tribes among others. The small round black-purple fruits are about the size of a grape, but once harvested quickly spoil, hence their distribution in freeze dried or powdered form.
Of the many acai berry products out there, this one reviewed, Pure Acai Berry, does seem to be among the best if you still want to give them a try. Their certified organic berries are freeze dried immediately after harvesting to lock in maximum benefits. Likewise, unlike other Acai products on the market, they contain a solid 1500 mg per day (some 500-1000mg are thought to be required for the purported weight loss positive benefit.) Likewise, it is a pure product, not an extract as many of the competitors use, and there are no fillers added (again, a problem with cheap acai and hoodia products.) Also, many acai berry companies have gained a bad reputation by their autoship programs, where once you try a "free trial" you are charged exorbitant amounts of money for continuing product shipments--Pure Acai Berry is one company that does not do this, and single orders can easily be made.
Ill Effects: At least there are no known side effects for taking Acai berry powders.
Prices: A one-month's supply costs $54.95, but if you like acai, then a much better deal is the 6-month supply for $194.95, bringing the per month cost down to a reasonable $32.50.
There is a 180-day "total satisfaction guarantee"--see site for further details.