Doctor's Note

Here are the older açaí videos I referenced: Antioxidant Content of 300 Foods and Superfood Bargains.Indian gooseberries may also help control blood sugar (Amla Versus Diabetes) and rose hips may also help with arthritis (Dietary Osteoarthritis Treatment). Plant-based diets in general may help arthritis (Diet & Rheumatoid Arthritis) and metabolic parameters (Metabolic Syndrome and Plant-Based Diets).I also have another video on pomegranate juice: Is Pomegranate Juice That Wonderful? And what's true of pomegranate juice is true of other juices (Best Fruit Juice) with one exception (The Fruit Whose Juice Is Healthier).Even if supplements contain what they say, they may not be useful (Dietary Supplement Snake Oil) and sometimes it's what's added rather than what's missing that is the problem (Some Ayurvedic Medicine Worse Than Lead Paint Exposure).For some context, please also check out my associated blog posts: The Science of Acai BerriesRaspberries Reverse Precancerous Lesions, and Probiotics During Cold Season?If you haven't yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.
  • SharonL

    Is there a link to the “Pomegranate juices don’t contain pomegranate juice” study?

    • Mike Quinoa

      Sharon, click on the “Sources Cited” under the video.

  • Celia

    Dr. Greger, I am from Brazil and the açai berry is largely consumed here as we are one of the top producers in the world. However, there is a major concern about its consumption and most of the crops (at least here) may be contaminated by the “barbeiro” which is the insect who is responsible to spred the known Mal de Chagas. The decontamination proccess is very simple but our local media has been reporting that many producers do not use it and the parasyte survives even the freezing proccess, as it is really very resistant. Here in Brazil it is already a matter of public health and unless its origin is really certified, I would be really conerned about consuming it. Locally the habit is to eat a bowl of açaí with granola and just for you to have an idea – Pará in located in the North of Brazil, is the major producer of the açai berry and some cities concentrate 80% of the Mal de Chagas cases. So, please be aware of the benefits of the fruit but also its contamination.

    • Thea

      Celia: Thanks for this information. Nothing is ever simple.

    • http://www.facebook.com/smylchreest Serena Seri Mylchreest

      Thank you Celia for this information. Can you tell us what the decontamination process is?

      • Celia

        It´s called “branqueamento” meaning “whitening” – first you have to give acai seeds a thermo shock – by imersing them in hot water 80 degrees Celsius for 10 seconds and then in cold water. After that, you have to wash acai with Sodium Hypocloryde 2% twice and then the last wash with filtered water. It´s fairly simple for the producer and those are the recommendations of the Brazilian Health Authorities. But we know for a fact that they don’t do it only certified producers do it. so, as there is so much fuss about the acai properties many producers are aiming the fast buck and putting peoples health at risk of a deadly disease such as mal de Chagas. So, make sure you are buying from a reliable source.

  • Celia
  • LindaP

    Dr. Greger,

    Thanks so much for this video and all you do! As a regular consumer of pomegranate juice (in 1 ounce portions), I was naturally concerned about your statement that most pomegranate juices do not contain actual pomegranate. I read the abstract of the study at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20349921, and they are discussing pomegranate extract found in supplements. Your video implied there was no pomegranate juice in most commercial pomegranate juices, not supplements. Could you please clarify?

    Thanks! I think your work is terrific!

    • Scottosphere

      I read the entire study on pomegranate juice adulteration thanks to my local library’s interlibrary loan program (support your library). Like you, I wondered which brands were pure and which were adulterated. Unfortunately, the researchers never gave the names of the products; they just assigned a letter to each sample, A through W.

      To clarify the study further, the non-pure samples weren’t other juices entirely. They were adulterated pomegranate juice samples. In other words, other components were added to pomegrate juice, not substituted entirely. Given that only 26% (6/23) samples were pure, and we do not know the pure brands, Greger’s advice to stick with the whole fruit seems prudent. And if that is not reason enough, here is what the FDA says about juice in general: adulteration of juices is occurring commonly in the marketplace.

      Skeptic shopping :-)

      • Thea

        Scottosphere: Thanks for taking the time to share the results of your research with us!

  • LindaP

    Dr. Greger,

    Sorry, I was looking at the wrong study. Here is the correct one: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19249817. I can only access the abstract and not the whole study. Does it mention which brands are 100% pomegranate juice? I can see they included samples from China, India, Turkey, etc, so I understand those might not be well regulated according to U.S. standards. Does this mean some of the major U.S. brands like Pom and Trader Joe’s are cheating?

    Thanks again for all you do!

    • Scottosphere

      I read the entire study on pomegranate juice adulteration thanks to my local library’s interlibrary loan program (support your library). Like you, I wondered which brands were pure and which were adulterated. Unfortunately, the researchers never gave the names of the products; they just assigned a letter to each sample, A through W.

      Skeptic shopping :-)

  • Thea

    I’m confused about the posts which say that there is no reference for the study that talks about pomegranate juice. I got the following link from Dr. Greger’s list above and it appears to be addressing pomegranate juice:

    Y.
    Zhang, D. Krueger, R. Durst, R. Lee, D. Wang, N. Seeram, D. Heber.
    International multidimensional authenticity specification (IMAS)
    algorithm for detection of commercial pomegranate juice adulteration. J.
    Agric. Food. Chem. 2009 57(6):2550 – 2557

    It is the second in the list of “Sources Cited” above. This link doesn’t give you the whole study, but if you have access to those materials, then you could look it up.

    Hope that helps.

  • Dan

    Amla or acai? Which is really the king of antioxidants?

  • Harold

    What are the 6 brands that were actually juice?

    • Scottosphere

      I read the entire study on pomegranate juice adulteration thanks to my local library’s interlibrary loan program (support your library). Like you, I wondered which brands were pure and which were adulterated. Unfortunately, the researchers never gave the names of the products; they just assigned a letter to each sample, A through W.

  • Dan

    Any idea why hibiscus tea only had half the effect on cancer cells as acai? I found this surprising.

  • Karen

    Interesting post! I was nodding my head in agreement at the end when you were discussing the pomegranate juice. It is amazing how easy (and DELICIOUS!) it is to juice a pomegranate. Fairly inexpensive too.

  • HemoDynamic, M.D.

    I like that the White Blood Cells were exposed to Acai extract’s and got the Munchies!!!!!-))

  • Debbie

    What is the news on other exotic berries including camu camu, golden, maqui, and mulberry? How good are these for you?

  • http://www.facebook.com/jbsamba Jeremy Black

    Dr. Greger- great video on Acai!!! and to respond to Celia’s question about Chagas the key to killing any potential of Chagas contamination is flash pasteurization which is not done for the most part in Brasil but is done for all products (as long as they are not labeled “raw” that come into the US). Cecila you can look for Tribal Acai in Brasil which is flash pastuerized.

    I also suggest you look at the myriad of studies that continue to get published on pubmed about acai since the review above was published. It’s clear the evidence is building around the health properties and benefits of the fruit.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=acai

  • linda comeau

    bonjour a vous je veux savoir au on trouve ce fruit s v p me répondre en français moi je prend soin de ma sante merci a vous

  • Teresa Donovan

    Dear Dr’s,It’s me,Teresa Donovan would you please help me to find a really great RA daily food cookbook or somewhere to find GREAT recipes for people with SEVERE RA? Thank you

  • jenne

    What were the six products that were pure pomegranta juice? Love getting your mail everyday!! I have learned so much but wish there was more on Hep C and what might be good for that.

    Thanks!!!!!!

    • Scottosphere

      Unfortunately, the researchers never gave the names of the products; they just assigned a letter to each sample, A through W.

      Skeptic shopping :-)

  • Kelli

    Dear Dr. Greger, There is a lot of hype lately about modified citrus pectin! can you shed some light on this subject? Thank You

  • Sebastian Tristan

    I’m also curious about the Amla vs Açai super heavy weight battle.

  • Gayle Humphrey

    Dr. Greger,
    I have a question that I am hoping that you can help me with. Have you, or do you know of any research that examined the effect of nutrition on blood cancers and diseases?
    I am a 57 year old female. I have been vegetarian for about 4 years and a vegan for about 6 months. Over the past year to yare and a half two of my cell lines (WBC and platelets) have been consistently low. At one point there was some question about the possibiltiy of a diagnosis of T Cell LGL Leukemia. However, I did not meet the criteria for that diagnosis and the decision was made to wait and watch and monitor counts x 2/ year.

    I am hopeful that there is something that would be helpful for me so that I don’t progress to leukemia and need treatment with campath, vidaza, methotrexate, cytoxin, CSA, etc.

    Do you have any information that could be beneficial for me?

    BTW, I love your videos and have learned so much. Thanks for all you do.

  • Ondy

    Hi, what is your take on Maqui berries, I hear they are off the charts in Vitamin c and higher than acai berrys in antioxidants, love to know if there is any scientific evidence or studys done.