Camu camu

Camu Camu Health Benefits, Nutrition Facts and Uses - Dr. Axe

About camu camu

Camu camu is a shrub that grows in marshy or flooded parts of Peru’s, Brazil’s, Venezuela’s, and Colombia’s Amazon rain forests. The fruit and leaves of camu camu are utilised in traditional medicine. The fruit, camu camu, also known as Myrciaria dubia, is a sour berry that looks like a cherry. It is native to the Amazon rainforest, but it has acquired worldwide fame due to its numerous claimed health advantages. 

Because fresh camu camu berries have a sour flavour, they are typically found in supplement form as powders, tablets, or juice.
Camu camu is regarded as a health food, owing to its high concentration of specific nutrients and strong plant compounds, such as vitamin C.

Camu camu is often used to treat viral infections such as the common cold, eye disorders such as cataracts, artery stiffening (atherosclerosis), chronic fatigue syndrome, and a variety of other ailments, although there is no clear scientific evidence to support these claims.
Camu camu is also used by certain individuals to boost energy and promote healthy gums, eyes, immune system, and skin.

Mechanism of action

Camu camu fruit is high in nutrients such as vitamin C, beta-carotene, fatty acids, protein, and many others. It also contains additional substances that may be beneficial to the body. However, there is insufficient data to determine how camu camu may be used to treat or prevent any health issue.

The chemicals extracted from camu-camu leaves, ellagic acid, 4-O-methylellagic acid, and 4-(alpha-rhamnopyranosyl) ellagic acid, were discovered to inhibit aldose-reductase, a potential target for diabetes mellitus. In people who smoke, camu-camu juice reduces inflammatory and oxidative stress markers, like 8-hydroxy-deoxyguanosine, total reactive oxygen species, C reactive protein, IL-6, and IL-8.

Potential health benefits

1.) It is rich in vitamin C.

Camu camu has a lot of vitamin C. The fruit contains up to 3 grams of vitamin C every 3.5 ounces (100 grams). However, due to its strong sour flavor, it is rarely eaten fresh and is usually sold as a powder. Because the powder is devoid of water, it provides more vitamin C per gram than fresh fruit. As per the product nutrition labels, camu camu powder can provide up to 750% of the RDA of vitamin C per teaspoon (5 grams).
Please note that the amount of vitamin C in camu camu products may differ based on, for example, where the fruit was cultivated, for example.

Vitamin C serves a variety of functions in your body. F or instance, it aids in the strengthening of your immune system and the synthesis of collagen, a protein that nourishes your skin, bones, and muscles.

2.) It is full of powerful antioxidants.

Camu camu has high antioxidant capacity since it is high in vitamin C as well as several other strong components such as flavonoid antioxidants, including anthocyanins and ellagic acid. Antioxidants are compounds that safeguard your cells from free radical harm. Excessive free radicals in the body can eventually contribute to chronic illnesses such as heart disease and cancer.

Camu camu’s strong antioxidant content may be especially beneficial to smokers, as smoking produces an abundance of free radicals, resulting in oxidative stress.

3.) It may help reduce inflammation.

Camu camu may help to reduce inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation has been related to illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, and autoimmune disease, and also has a negative effect on the health of your cells.

The pulp of the camu camu fruit produces ellagic acid, an antioxidant that has been found to block the inflammation-causing enzyme aldose reductase. The seeds of the camu camu fruit also have potent anti-inflammatory chemicals, and a rat study discovered that extract from the seeds reduced inflammation.

Though these findings are encouraging, more research is required to fully comprehend the potential anti-inflammatory properties of camu camu.

4.) Atherosclerosis.

Camu-camu may protect against atherosclerosis, according to a limited research in smokers. More research is still required.

5.) Cancer.

In humans, camu-camu has not been demonstrated to prevent or treat any type of cancer. Although, camu camu contains several antioxidants, and has been shown to reduce inflammation which is a major factor to consider in cancer, human studies are still required before any conclusions can be drawn.

6.) Improved blood pressure.

According to tube-tube and human research, the fruit may help lower blood pressure by stimulating blood vessel dilatation.

Ways of using camu camu

Camu camu is quite sour, making it unappealing to most individuals. Camu camu is more commonly found in the form of pulp, puree, and juice, which is often sweetened to enhance taste. Camu camu is also available in extracts and powerful supplements, in addition to these forms.

Nonetheless, the powder version of the fruit seems to be the most popular. This makes sense because the water is eliminated, increasing the concentration of camu camu and extending the shelf-life.

Camu camu powder is simple to incorporate into smoothies, cereals, muesli, yoghurt, and salad dressings. When combined with other flavors, it covers the sour flavor and makes it more appetizing.

A helpful suggestion is to always add camu camu to food after cooking to reduce nutrient loss through heat, particularly vitamin C.

Precautions and side effects

Camu camu’s potential negative effects are due to its high vitamin C concentration.

1 teaspoon (5 grams) of camu camu has 682 mg of vitamin C, which is 760 % of the RDI. Excessive vitamin C use can induce digestive discomfort, such as diarrhea and nausea. When the vitamin C consumption is reduced, these symptoms usually go away.

Because vitamin C stimulates iron absorption, patients suffering from iron overload, such as hemochromatosis, should avoid consuming camu camu.

Camu camu, however, is generally safe for most folks, and vitamin C overload is uncommon because it is a water-soluble vitamin that is not retained in the body. You won’t get too much vitamin C if you stick to the suggested serving size. However, it is a good idea to read the label because different brands may have varying quantities of vitamin C.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is insufficient credible information to determine whether camu camu is safe to use while pregnant or breast-feeding. To be on the safe side, avoid using it.

During chemotherapy: Camu camu has high levels of vitamin C, which may interfere with the function of chemotherapy drugs. It may interfere with certain chemotherapy medications whose cytotoxic effects are dependent on the formation of free radicals.

Moreover, if you are using drugs, you should contact with your healthcare professional before using camu camu powder or supplements.

Takeaway

Camu camu is high in several nutrients and antioxidants, such as vitamin C and flavonoids.

According to certain studies, camu camu may be useful in treating inflammation, which is linked to decreased risk of diseases such as cancer. It is also shown to be helpful in lowering blood pressure in some people.

It is crucial to highlight that research in these areas is restricted, and much of what is known about camu camu comes from test-tube and animal studies. As a result, further high-quality research is required to prove the possible health advantages of camu camu.

While fresh camu camu fruit seems to have a sour taste, it can be easily incorporated into your diet as a powder or concentrated supplement.