We have previously written about Camu Camu and its amazing health benefits and how this fruit is the new Superfood that we should all be including in our diets. In this article we look more deeply at the health benefits and research that is exciting scientists and health professionals worldwide.
Camu Camu contains Ellagic Acid, an anti-cancer compound
The Camu Camu fruit belongs to the Myrtaceae family of plants, and has been shown to contain high amounts of ellagic acid, a powerful natural compound that has been shown to neutralise cancer-causing substances and boost the immune system.
It has been shown that Camu Camu promotes apoptosis (self-destruction) of cancerous cells in test tubes which gives a great basis for further studies as to whether Camu Camu really can promote anti-cancer activity in humans.
Camu-Camu contains as much as 80 times as much vitamin C as oranges
Typically, Camu Camu contains anywhere between 1900mg to 2300mg of vitamin C per 100g. That’s 40 times more than regular oranges and 80 times more than mandarin oranges. Vitamin C is great for the immune system, skin, hair, teeth and bones and is great at protecting against some allergic reactions as it is shown to act as a natural anti-histamine.
Camu Camu is high in antioxidants – great for smokers according to Japanese research
We all know that antioxidants can help protect against cellular damage caused by free radicals and protect against degenerative diseases and ageing.
The antioxidant properties of Camu Camu cannot be attributed solely to the vitamin C it contains. A group of researchers from Japan recruited 20 male smokers and randomly assigned each man to one of two groups: The first group were instructed to consume 70mg of 100% Camu Camu juice daily, corresponding to 1,050mg of vitamin C. The second group were asked to take vitamin tablets containing an equal amount of vitamin C.
The results were surprising: the men in the vitamin C supplement group did not show an improvement in their oxidative stress levels at the dose used in this 7-day trial. By contrast, the men in the Camu Camu group showed a significant drop in several markers of oxidative stress. Not only do these results imply that Camu Camu has strong antioxidant properties, they also suggest that natural compounds other than vitamin C may be largely responsible for the antioxidant properties of Camu Camu.
Camu Camu reduces eye degeneration
Camu Camu has been shown to contain anthocyanins along with other flavonoids. In addition, it contains carotenoids such as lutein. Sometimes called "the eye vitamin", lutein is often used as a preventive treatment for cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, and other diseases affecting the eyes.
Camu Camu has many health benefits that should make it part of your daily diet. There is still a lot of research going on into the amazing properties of this Amazonian fruit but the research so far looks more than promising.
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Some references to this article, and for further reading, may be found below:
- Lucile T Abe, Franco M Lajolo and Maria Ines Genovese (2012). Potential dietary sources of ellagic acid and other antioxidants among fruits consumed in Brazil: Jabuticaba (Myrciaria jaboticaba (Vell.) Berg). Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, Malden, 92(8), suppl. 1, Part 2, p. 1679-1687.
- Akter, M.S. et al. (2011), Nutritional compositions and health promoting phytochemicals of camu-camu (myrciaria dubia) fruit: A review, Food Research International, 44(7), 1728-1732.
- USDA's Nutrient Database for Standard Reference.
- C. Azevedo-Meleiro and D. Rodriguez-Amaya (2004). Confirmation of the identity of the carotenoids of tropical fruits by HPLC-DAD and HPLC-MS. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, 17, 385-396.
- T. Inoue et al (2008). Tropical fruit camu-camu (Myrciaria dubia) has anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties. Journal of Cardiology, 52(2), 127-132.