"There is currently no scientific research to support a weight loss claim for açai fruit," said Stephen T. Talcott, associate professor of food chemistry at Texas A&M University, who has published several studies on the berry. "Some companies are capitalizing on the fact that the açai berry is still mostly unknown to the broader public, and is sold as a miracle curative fruit from the deep, dark Amazonian jungle. It is doing nothing more than playing on consumer ignorance."
To date, though, there have only been a few small studies of the berry on humans, two of which were published in the September 2008 Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. The first involved 12 volunteers who consumed a single serving of açaí juice or pulp. The study showed a short-term increase in the antioxidant capacity of the volunteers’ blood.
"It’s got good antioxidants," said Dr. Talcott, one of the researchers on the study. "We know antioxidants are probably good for us. But we need more studies."
In the other report, Dr. Alexander Schauss, a senior director at Aibmr Life Sciences, a nutraceutical research firm in Puyallup, Wash., wrote that MonaVie demonstrated "significant antioxidant protection" in 12 healthy adults.