Flickr Photo by borderlysOh the hope these little exotic berries from Brazil promised -- a weight loss miracle in a bottle, pill or powder.
Unfortunately, the promises may be false. Nightline recently did a report that shot down all the supposed evidence that proponents of Acai have touted for weight loss.
"Currently, there is no direct evidence, scientific evidence, that acai has any weight loss properties," said food chemist and early acai researcher Susanne Talcott. Her husband, biochemist Steve Talcott goes on to say, "[T]he marketing hype with acai seems to have surpassed the science."
The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) also debunks the acai claims: "There's no evidence whatsoever to suggest that açai pills will help shed pounds, flatten tummies, cleanse colons, enhance sexual desire, or perform any of the other commonly advertised functions," a recent press release stated.
I can't say it's surprising, because really, if it worked, wouldn't you know about 1,000 people who have lost 20 pounds with it? And do you?
Like every new thing that comes out, we get excited, because we want something easy, something quick. But I've yet to see one of these promises that really works ... besides the old tried and true: exercise and eating less (sigh).
The CSPI also warns of the rampant scams around acai.
"If Bernard Madoff were in the food business, he'd be offering 'free' trials of açai-based weight-loss products," said CSPI senior nutritionist David Schardt, who authored an exposé of the scam in the April issue of CSPI's Nutrition Action Healthletter. "Law enforcement has yet to catch up to these rogue operators. Until they do, consumers have to protect themselves."
So, on to seaweed as the next weight loss miracle perhaps ...
Have you used acai for weight loss?