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Despite of being used for long time by Brazilian people that live on the Amazon bay, as food and beverages, only in the beginning of this century, açaí berries have been object of scientific research. Açaí berries are rich in polyphenols that probably explain its versatile pharmacological actions and huge consumption, not only in Brazil but also in Europe and United States. In this review, not all but some pharmacological aspects of acai berries are analysed. Chemical and pharmacological differences between extracts obtained from the skin and seed of acai are considered. Polyphenols from the seed of açaí increase endothelial NO production leading to endothelium-dependent relaxation, reduce reactive oxygen species and regulate key targets associated with lipid metabolism in different conditions such as hypertension, renal failure and metabolic syndrome. We review the novel mechanisms of actions of açaí on different targets that could trigger the health benefits of the açaí, such as antioxidant, vasodilator, antihypertensive, cardioprotector, renal protector, antidyslipidemic, antiobesity and antidiabetic effects in cardiovascular and metabolic disturbances.
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Cardiovascular and Metabolic Effects of Ac¸aı
an Amazon Plant
Roberto S. de Moura, MD, PhD and Ângela Castro Resende, PhD
Abstract: Despite being used for a long time as food and beverage
by Brazilian people who live on the Amazon bay, only in the
beginning of this century, açaí berries have been the object of sci-
entic research. Açaí berries are rich in polyphenols that probably
explains its versatile pharmacological actions and huge consumption,
not only in Brazil but also in Europe and United States. In this
review, not all but some pharmacological aspects of açaí berries
are analyzed. Chemical and pharmacological differences between
extracts obtained from the skin and seed of açaí are considered.
Polyphenols from the seed of açaí increase endothelial nitric oxide
production leading to endothelium-dependent relaxation, reduce
reactive oxygen species and regulate key targets associated with lipid
metabolism in different conditions such as hypertension, renal fail-
ure, and metabolic syndrome. We review the novel mechanisms of
actions of açaí on different targets which could trigger the health
benets of açaí such as antioxidant, vasodilator, antihypertensive,
cardioprotector, renal protector, antidyslipidemic, antiobesity, and
antidiabetic effects in cardiovascular and metabolic disturbances.
Key Words: açaí, polyphenols, antioxidant, vasodilation, hyperten-
sion, metabolic syndrome
(J Cardiovasc PharmacolÔ2016;68:1926)
A signicant number of drugs used in medicine are
molecules derived from plants. Between 1981 and 2010, 34%
of medicines approved by the United States Food and Drug
Administration were natural products or direct derivatives of
natural products.
Brazil has a huge biodiversity, including
approximately 50 thousands of vegetal species that can be
a signicant resource of new medicines. The plant Euterpe
oleracea Mart, also known by the popular name of açaí is
a multicaule palm with up to 25 stems per clump. E. oleracea
Mart fruits (berries) are rounded, violet in color, diameter
about 13.3 mm, weighs approximately 2 g and comprehend
a violet pulp (617%) and a beige seed (683%) (Fig. 1).
is largely diffused in Amazon region, mainly in Para,
Amazonas, Maranhao, Tocantins, and Amapa states of Brazil,
and the pulp of E. oleracea has been used for many years by
Brazilian Indians and also by poor Amazonian communities,
not only as food but also in the treatment of various symp-
toms, mainly fever, tiredness, and pain.
Consumption of açaí
pulp has increased signicantly in the last years, not only in
Brazil but also in Europe and United States, where it is called
asuper fruit.
Açaí is used not only by food industry but
also by the cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries including
nutraceutics. The pulp of açaí is easily separated from the
seed by grinding the açaí berry with water and then freezing
until the day of use. The amount of water added to açaí will
determine the obtainment of a nal liquid or sort of a concen-
trated açaí juice. Nowadays the aqueous extract pulp of açaí
berries is used to make juice, ice-cream, sweets, and many
kinds of food and beverages, and usually the seed of açaí is
discarded. Approximately 202.216 tons of açaí berries were
processed in Brazil in 2013.
Interestingly açaí consumption
has become very popular among young Brazilian people as an
energetic drink.
Pharmacological studies on açaí berries are recent and the
majority of them started in the beginning of last decade and were
mainly concentrated in the chemical composition and antioxi-
dant effect.
Since then, various pharmacological studies have
been performed with both pulp and\or seed extracts demonstrat-
ing the presence of important pharmacological effects. This
review discusses the recent studies on the pharmacology of
extracts of açaí pulp and\or seed, (not juice blend), mainly its
cardiovascular, renal, metabolic, and antioxidant actions.
Chemical analyses of açaí berry have shown that both
pulp and seed of açaí are rich in polyphenols. As suspected,
because of its purple color, the pulp of açaí berry is rich in
anthocyanins. Chromatographic analysis of açaí pulp
showed the presence of a signicant amount of avonoids,
where 2 anthocyanins, cyandin 3-glucoside, and cyanidin
3-rutinoside were found to be the most predominant. How-
ever, protocatechuicacid and epicatechin were also identied
as minor compounds.
Chemical composition of açaí pulp
has been extensively revised
and the content of polyphenols
in the hydroalcoholic extract of açaí seed and pulp, mea-
sured by analyzing for total phenol by Folin-Ciocalteau pro-
was approximately 25% and 18%, respectively.
Differently from the pulp, chemical analysis of hydroalco-
holic extract of açaí seed (ASE) showed the predominant
presence of catechin, epicatechin, and polymeric and oligo-
meric proanthocyanidins.
Received for publication August 27, 2015; accepted November 11, 2015.
From the Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Biology, State University
of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil.
Supported by the National Council of Scientic and Technological Devel-
opment (CNPq) and Rio de Janeiro State Research Agency (FAPERJ).
The authors report no conicts of interest.
Reprints: Roberto S. de Moura, MD, PhD, Departamento de Farmacologia e
Psicobiologia, I.B., Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro; Av.
28 de Setembro, 87, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, 20 551-030 (e-mail:
Copyright © 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Copyright © 201 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited.
Since the rst suggestion in the 1960 that reactive
oxygen species (ROS) could play an important role in the
pathophysiology of hypertension,
the number of studies
published in this subject has been increased signicantly.
ROS is generated by multiple sources including nicotinamide
adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase, mitochon-
dria, xantine oxidase, uncoupled endothelium-derived nitric
oxide (NO) synthase, cycloxygenase, and lipoxygenase dur-
ing the reduction of oxygen and include unstable free radicals
such as superoxide (O
) and nonfree radicals such as hydro-
gen peroxide (H
). O
the dominant initial ROS species is
a short-lived molecule that can subsequently undergo enzy-
matic dismutase to H
can oxidize proteins and lipids
leading to different toxic reactions. H
can be further con-
verted to highly reactive hydroxyl radical that causes cardio-
vascular dysfunction.
Usually, oxidative stress occurs
when there is an imbalance between formation and neutrali-
zation of ROS by enzymatic antioxidants such as superoxide
dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase
(GPx), thioredoxin, and peroxiredoxin, or nonenzymatic anti-
oxidants such as ascorbate, tocopherols, glutathione, bilirubin,
and uric acid.
Membrane and protein oxidative damage can
be evaluated by formation of products of lipid peroxidation
(malondialdehydeMDA) and protein carboxylation. As ex-
pected, the presence of polyphenols in açaí berries suggests
a signicant antioxidant action. Numerous scientic publica-
tions have demonstrated a signicant antioxidant action of
extracts obtained from both pulp and seed of açaí berries.
The antioxidant effect of açaí, as observed with other avo-
noids, may be due to a direct scavenging of free radicals,
decrease of endogenous ROS producing enzymes, and
increase of endogenous ROS scavenging enzymes
(Fig. 2).
Antioxidant capacity of açaí skin measured by total antioxi-
dant scavenging capacity assay, showed an excellent antiox-
idant capacity against peroxyl radicals, a good effect against
peroxynitrite, and poor against hydroxyl radicals.
The anti-
oxidant effect of açaí skin was conrmed by numerous other
studies, using different in vitro methodologies.
performed with health volunteers showed that açaí juice pre-
pared with the skin of the fruit induced an increase in plasma
antioxidant capacity of up to 3.3-fold.
Antioxidant capacity of açaí methanol and ethanol seed
extract showed a good antioxidant scavenging capacity against
peroxyl, peroxynitrite, and hydroxyl radicals.
This study also
demonstrated that the antioxidant scavenging capacity of açaí
seed against peroxyl radicals is in the same order of magnitude
as that of açaí skin, but more efcient against peroxynitrite and
hydroxyl radicals. The antioxidant effect of ASE may be due to
an in vivo action, because it induces activation of the endog-
enous antioxidant system through increase of SOD, CAT, and
GPx (Fig. 2). The antioxidant effect of ASE was demonstrated
in the isolated mesenteric vascular bed (MVB) of 2K-1C
hypertensive rats by decreasing MDA and carbonyl protein
levels and increasing the expressions of SOD, CAT and
The increased levels of MDA and protein carbonylation
observed in mice that were fed a high-fat diet were prevented
by ASE.
Furthermore, oral treatment with ASE reduced oxi-
dative stress observed in adult rat offspring whose mothers
were fed a low protein diet during pregnancy.
Since the demonstration by Furchgott and Zawadski
that the vasodilator effect of acetylcholine was dependent on
FIGURE 2. Cellular targets for ac¸aı
´and the corresponding
cardiovascular, renal, and metabolic effects. SREBP-1c, sterol-
regulatory-element binding protein-1c.
FIGURE 1. Euterpe oleracea Mart. (ac¸aı
´) palm tree, the rounded violet fruits and the seeds.
de Moura and Resende J Cardiovasc PharmacoläVolume 68, Number 1, July 2016
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the integrity of the endothelial cellsleading to the concept
that the cellular monolayer plays not only a simple passive
mechanical role but also an important control of blood vessel
compounds that modulate the endothelial
function have been the object of signicant pharmacological
studies. Endothelial cells control vascular function by releas-
ing several autacoids such as NO, endothelium-derived hy-
perpolarizing factor, and prostaglandins which locally
modulate, among other functions, the vascular reactivity.
Control of vascular smooth muscle contractility by endothe-
lial cells is mainly modulated by NO, and the majority
of pathophysiological studies on this subject concentrate in
synthesis, release, and mechanism of action of NO on target
Release of NO by endothelial cells is a very complex
mechanism triggered by pharmacological and physiological
mechanisms such as activation of various receptors by neuro-
transmitters (acetylcholine and catecholamines), autacoids
(bradykinin, prostaglandins, histamine, angiotensin and sero-
tonin), and shear stress of the owing blood on the endothe-
lial cells.
The production of NO is initiated by activation of 3
isoforms of NO synthase (NOS): neuronal (nNOS), inducible
(iNOS), and endothelial (eNOS). eNOS is constitutively and
mainly expressed in endothelial cells and synthesize NO in
a pulsatile Ca
\calmodulin-dependent manner.
Once acti-
vated, the electrons donated by NADPH at the C-terminal
reductase domain are transferred to the heme catalytic center
of the N-terminal oxygenase domain, where activation of
molecular oxygen is coupledto NO synthesis by 2 succes-
sive mono-oxygenations of L-arginine.
The oxygenase
domain also binds an important eNOS cofactor tetrahydro-
biopterin (BH
) that plays an important role in the NO syn-
thesis. This cofactor promotes the assembly of eNOS
monomers into an active dimer and promotes electron transfer
to the N-terminal oxygenase domains of the other eNOS
In some pathological situations (hyperten-
sion, atherosclerosis) where there is an increase in the forma-
tion of ROS induced mostly by stimulation of the NADPH
oxidase activity, BH
can be easily oxidized by ROS to dihy-
drobiopterin (BH
). As BH
cannot activate NO synthesis but
can compete with BH
by the N-terminal oxygenase domain
of eNOS, the formation of NO is reduced and O
is pro-
duced from the oxygenase domain, thereby converting eNOS
to a O
- producing enzyme, an uncoupled reaction,
contributes signicantly to cardiovascular pathology. Impor-
tantly, BH
can be re-reduced to BH
by antioxidants such as
vitamin C.
eNOS activity can also be modulated by phosphoryla-
tion in several serine, threonine, and tyrosine residues.
Phosphorylation of serine 1177 residue induces activation
while threonine 495 residue induces inhibition of eNOS.
Phosphorylation of serine 1177, in the presence of Ca
modulin is activated by phosphorylated adenosine-
monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK).
Therefore, compounds that induce phosphorylation of AMPK
may induce activation of eNOS. eNOS plays a very important
role in the control of normal cardiovascular function and
eNOS dysfunction has been extensively implicated in the
pathopysiology of various cardiovascular diseases, mainly
hypertension and atherosclerosis. Therefore, drugs that mod-
ulate eNOS activity may be important for the pharmacologi-
cal treatment of cardiovascular diseases.
As the majority of extracts of plants rich in polyphenols
induces vasodilation in isolated vessels,
it would be rea-
sonable to speculate that extracts from açaí skin and seed, that
contains signicant amounts of avonoids, would induce
a vasodilator effect. Indeed, extracts of the skin and açaí seed
induced a complete, dose-dependent, and long-lasting vaso-
dilator response in isolated MVB of the rat.
the vasodilator potency expressed by ED
of both extracts,
demonstrated that the vasodilator effect of ASE (ED
= 1.11
60.4 mg) is signicantly more potent than the extract from
the skin (ED
= 317.8 61.5 mg) of açaí berry.
that the concentration of polyphenols in skin (18%) and seed
(25%), are up to a certain point similar, the pharmacological
difference among those 2 extracts may be due to the chemical
differences of polyphenols occurring in the seed and in the
skin of açaí berry, as mentioned before.
The vasodilator effect of ASE in the MVB of the rat is
dependent on the integrity of the endothelium.
endothelial-dependent vasodilator response induced by ASE
is dependent on synthesis of NO, because it is signicantly
reduced by L-NAME, an inhibitor of eNOS
(Fig. 2). The
vasodilator effect of ASE in the MVB of the rat may not be
due to the release of prostaglandins by the endothelial cells,
because the cyclo-oxygenase blocker indomethacin did not
alter the response.
The vasodilator effect of ASE is indepen-
dent of stimulation of muscarinic, histaminergic, alpha-2 adre-
noceptors, or bradykinin receptors at the level of endothelial
cells because treatment with atropine, pyrilamine, yohimbine,
or HOE 140, respectively, did not reduce the vasodilator
effect of ASE.
Endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor
may be involved in the mechanism of ASE vasodilation,
because the remaining portion of ASE-induced vasodilation
resistant to L-NAME, is almost completely abolished by com-
bination of L-NAME plus high potassium solution. Activation
of Ca
-dependent K
, but not K
and Kv channels may
play an important role in the vasodilator effect of ASE
because it is inhibited by charybdotoxin plus apamin but
not by glybenclamide or 4-aminopyridine.
The contribution
of NO to the vasodilator effect of ASE is corroborated by the
demonstration that ASE induced an increase of NO formation
in cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells that was
signicantly reduced by L-NAME.
Interestingly, the extract
from the açaí pulp induces a signicant inhibitory expression
of iNOS induced by LPS\II N-^
y in the cell culture of RAW
264 mouse monocyte-macrophages.
At the moment, the
mechanism of eNOS activation by ASE is not known, but
probably involves the participation of AMPK, because ASE
increases phosphorylation and activation of AMPK in dia-
betic rats (de Bem et al, unpublished data) and in mice treated
with high-fat diet (de Oliveira et al, submitted for publica-
tion), that may lead to phosphorylation of serine 321,177
residue, an important modulator of eNOS activation.
Incidence of hypertension is extremely high worldwide.
Close to 1 billion people suffer from this disease and the
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mortality due to cardiovascular complication is very high.
Despite the large occurrence of hypertension, the leading
cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, and the huge
number of papers published on hypertension, the pathophys-
iology of essential hypertension is not completely clear. The
theory that hypertension is due to deregulation of various
mechanisms that interact in the control of arterial blood pres-
sure, as proposed in the mosaic theory suggested by Irvine
Page (1949),
seems to be still valid. This concept helps us to
accept why pharmacological treatment of hypertension can be
performed by many drugs that have completely different
mechanisms of action. The consumption of fruits and vegeta-
bles has been shown to decrease the incidence of hypertension
and probably this effect is modulated by the presence of avo-
noids occurring in the diet.
Antihypertensive effect of extracts
rich in polyphenols has been demonstrated by many pharma-
cological studies.
Because of its high content in poly-
phenols and an endothelium-dependent vasodilatation,
showed a signicant antihypertensive effect in different types
of experimental hypertension rats (such as 2K-1C, deoxycor-
ticosterone acetate-Salt, spontaneously hypertensive rats and
L-nitro argenine methyl ester).
Antihypertensive action of ASE was further studied in
renovascular (2K-1C) hypertensive rats, a renin-dependent
This study demonstrated that ASE adminis-
tered orally prevented the increase in blood pressure and
plasma renin levels, recovered the endothelial-dependent
vasodilator effect of acetylcholine, increased nitrite content
and protein expression of eNOS, recovered SOD, CAT and
GPx activities, and decreased MDA and carbonyl protein
levels in the mesenteric vessels. This study also showed that
ASE decreased vascular structural changes induced by hyper-
tension because it reduced the increase in the media thickness
of the mesenteric and aortic arteries, and media to lumen ratio
in the aorta observed in nontreated hypertensive rats. Mor-
phological changes observed in SHR such as increase on
media thickness of the mesenteric and aortic arteries and
increase in the media to lumen ratio were also prevented by
treatment with ASE.
The mechanism of the antihypertensive
effect of ASE in 2K-1C and L-NAME hypertensive rats is not
completely elucidated, but probably an interaction between
NO and renin may play an important role (Fig. 2). Consider-
ing that NO induces an inhibitory effect on renin release by
juxtaglomerular cells,
an effect modulated by cyclic guano-
sine monophosphate-regulated protein kinase type II,
can speculate that reduction of renin release may be depen-
dent on the increase of NO activity induced by ASE. The
inhibitory action of ASE in renin release may also play an
important role in the antihypertensive action of ASE in L-
NAME hypertensive rats, because in this experimental model
of hypertension, the activation of renin-angiotensin system is
also present.
Considering that ASE increases phosphory-
lated AMPK (pAMPK) in diabetic rats (de Bem et al, unpub-
lished data) and in high-fat obese mice (de Oliveira et al,
submitted for publication), the reduction on plasma renin
concentration induced by ASE in 2K-1C hypertensive rat
and SHR
may be due to increase in pAMPK that has been
shown to control renin secretion.
However, the antihyper-
tensive effect of ASE may also involve mechanisms
independent of renin inhibition, because it was also demon-
strated in DOCA-Salt rats, a low-renin hypertension model.
Considering that adiponectin increases eNOS activity, and in
consequence NO production through AMPK-mediated phos-
phorylation of eNOS at Ser1177,
the benecial effect of
ASE on endothelial dysfunction may also involve an interaction
of adiponectin and AMPK because ASE increases adiponectin
activity in diabetic rats (de Bem et al, unpublished data).
In SHR and 2K-1C models of experimental hyperten-
sion, there is a decrease in endothelial-dependent vasodilata-
tion induced by acetylcholine, characterizing the endothelium
Considering that the equilibrium of blood ow
to the microcirculation is maintained largely by the endothe-
lium, disruption of this equilibrium can cause signicant dam-
age to vascular homeostasis. Endothelium dysfunction at the
level of small arteries, the resistance vessels, can cause sig-
nicant physiological disturbances, as for instance, increase
in vascular resistance that may lead to arterial hypertension.
The mechanism of endothelial dysfunction observed in 2K-
1C and L-NAME hypertensive rats is very complex, but prob-
ably involves the increase in plasma angiotensin II that leads
to an increase in ROS formation, mainly depending on the
activation of NADPH oxidase.
The endothelial dysfunction
observed in 2K-1C and L-NAME hypertensive rats was abol-
ished by treatment with ASE.
Probably this effect may be
due to activation of eNOS through activation of adiponectin
phosphorylation of AMPK (de Bem et al, unpub-
lished data), and to an extent the antioxidant effect of ASE,
preventing oxidation of BH
The antihypertensive effect of açaí was studied not only
in anima vile but also in anima nobile. Hemodynamic effects
studied in a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled
and crossover test in 20 normotensive healthy individuals
treated with 500 mg of açaí demonstrated a signicant reduc-
tion in standing systolic blood pressure (24.6 69.3 mm Hg
vs. placebo 2.2 68.5 mm Hg) induced by açaí but no
changes were observed in other parameters (seated systolic
blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, and electrocardio-
graphic parameters).
These results are similar to previous ndings
showed no signicant changes in systolic and diastolic blood
pressure or heart rate in normotensive overweight adults who
were treated with 100 g of açaí pulp twice daily for 1 month.
Those 2 studies differ from the data observed in rodents (see
above) because ASE induced a signicant antihypertensive
effect in various models of experimental hypertension. This
discrepancy may be due to different kinds of extracts used in
those studies.
Myocardial Ischemia
Myocardial ischemia occurs when there is an imbalance
between the coronary blood supply and myocardial oxygen
demand. NO seems to play a very important role on
myocardial microcirculation, and endothelial dysfunction is
an independent prognostic factor for myocardial infarction.
During hypertensive crises demand for oxygen may be so
high that the offer cannot accomplish the oxygen need. Dur-
ing a constant oxygen demand by the myocardium, cardiac
ischemia can occur when there is abrupt reduction of oxygen
de Moura and Resende J Cardiovasc PharmacoläVolume 68, Number 1, July 2016
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offer to the myocardium, as happens during a short spasm
of the coronary arteries in Prinzmetal angina, or because of
an acute reduction of the coronary lumen due to rupture in
coronary atherosclerotic plaque and thrombus formation.
Therefore, pharmacological treatment of acute myocardial
infarction mainly includes drugs that increase coronary
blood ow and\or reduce myocardial oxygen demand. Con-
sidering that ASE induces vasodilation and reduction in
ROS, this extract may have a salutary action in myocardial
infarct. Indeed, a recent study demonstrated that oral treat-
ment with ASE induced an improvement of cardiac dys-
function (Fig. 2) and exercise intolerance in rats subjected
to experimental myocardial infarction.
Treatment with
ASE reversed the decrease in systolic arterial pressure, left
ventricular systolic pressure, left ventricular relaxation rate
and also reversed the increase in left ventricular end-
diastolic pressure, heart weight to body weight ratio
(cardiac hypertrophy), and left ventricular brosis observed
in rats subjected to myocardial infarction. These experimen-
tal results demonstrate a benecial effect in delaying
cardiac remodeling and may indicate a possible ASE
administration to prevent heart failure resulting from
myocardial infarction.
Renal Failure
Preclinical data have shown a signicant renal pro-
tective action of açaí skin extract in experimental renal
dysfunction. In glycerol-induced acute renal failure, açaí
treatment induced an improvement in kidney function such
as decrease in serum urea, creatinine, and blood urea nitro-
gen. The protective action of açaí is probably dependent on
its antioxidant action because renal oxidative stress
markers (renal catalase and reduced glutathione) were sig-
nicantly ameliorated by açaí
(Fig. 2). A benecial effect
of açaí skin was also reported on renal ischemia\reperfu-
sion injury.
In this study, açaí produced a signicant
attenuation of ischemia\reperfusion induced renal damage,
decrease of blood urea nitrogen levels, serum creatinine
and renal tissue content of kidney molecule-1, and also
reduction of MDA, myeloperoxidase, interferon-
, cas-
pase-3, collagen IV, and endothelin-1.
Numerous experimental studies have demonstrated the
association between small body weight at birth and later
cardiovascular disease, such as arterial hypertension.
association establishes a relationship between an adverse
intra-uterine or early postnatal nutritional environment and
development of disease in later life.
It has been shown that
offspring from rats that were protein restricted during preg-
nancy has lower than normal birth weight, and develop hyper-
tension in adulthood,
as well as, endothelial
oxidative stress,
reduced nephron and glo-
merular number,
increased glomerular volume, increased
serum levels of renin, urea, creatinine and fractional excretion
of sodium.
All these functional and structural changes were
signicantly prevented by oral administration of ASE during
pregnancy. Activation of oxidative stress, expressed by
increase in MDA and carbonyl protein levels and decrease
in SOD, CAT, and GPx expressions were prevented by ASE
The benecial effect of ASE may be related to
activation of eNOS\NO system that may correct the endothe-
lial dysfunction and inhibit renin plasma levels.
Metabolic Syndrome: Dyslipidemia and
Metabolic syndrome (MS), a progressive pathophysio-
logical state associated with substantially increased risk for
development of type 2 diabetes and atherosclerotic cardio-
vascular disease
is increasing worldwide. Among US adults
the prevalence of MS has been increasing signicantly since
As pharmacological treatment of MS is mainly symp-
tomatic and is some time not successful, experimental studies
to develop new drugs to treat this highly prevalent syndrome
is worthwhile. Benecial effects of açaí have been demon-
strated in experimental models of MS, and in healthy over-
weight adults.
Rats that were fed a hypercholesterolemic
diet presented increased levels of total and nonhigh-density
lipoprotein cholesterol and decreased levels of high-density
lipoprotein cholesterol.
The supplementation of diet with
açaí pulp caused a hypocholesterolemic effect by reducing
total and nonhigh-density lipoprotein cholesterol.
In mice subjected to a high-fat diet, the increase in body
weight, plasma triglycerides, total cholesterol, glucose levels,
oral glucose tolerance test, and insulin resistance (HOMA
index) were signicantly reduced by oral ASE treatment.
previously demonstrated,
the vasodilator response to acetyl-
choline, but not to nitroglycerine was reduced in mice sub-
jected to high-fat diet, and the endothelial dysfunction was
prevented by ASE.
The possible molecular mechanisms
involved in the dyslipidemic effect of ASE were recently inves-
tigated (de Oliveira et al, submitted for publication). This study
showed that the reduction of pAMPK expression in the liver of
mice subjected to a high-fat diet is prevented by oral adminis-
tration of ASE. The increase in pAMPK by ASE is probably
one of the most important mechanisms of the benecial effect
of ASE on the dyslipidemic state induced by high-fat diet,
because this protein modulates important steps on the lipid
metabolism. pAMPK induces phosphorylation and consequent
inhibition of acetyl-CoA carboxilase that catalyzes the carbox-
ylation of acetyl-CoA to form malonyl-CoA, an intermediate
metabolite that plays a key role in the regulation of fatty acid
Another important nding observed in mice
that were fed a high-fat diet is the increase in 3-hydroxy-3-
methylglutaryl CoA reductase (HMG-CoA-R), an important
factor that activates cholesterol synthesis (de Oliveira et al,
submitted for publication). The activity of HMG-CoA-R is
modulated by AMPK which in its phosphorylated and active
state induces inactivation of HMG-CoA-R.
The decrease in
pAMPK expression observed in mice that were fed a high-fat
diet may explain the increase in HMG-CoA-R expression
(Fig. 2). Consequently, the activation of AMPK by ASE
decreased HMG-CoA-R activity, an important mechanism of
the benecial effect of ASE on altered lipid prole.
Lipid homeostasis is also regulated by sterol regulatory
element binding proteins that directly activate the expression of
over 10 genes involved in both the synthesis and uptake of
cholesterol, fatty acids, triglycerides, and phospholipids.
increase of sterol regulatory element binding proteins-1c
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expression, an activator of genes involved in fatty acid synthe-
sis, observed in mice that were fed a high-lipid diet, was
reduced by treatment with ASE (de Oliveira et al, submitted
for publication) (Fig. 2). The benecial antidyslipidemic effect
of ASE in mice that were fed a high-fat diet may not only be
due to decrease in cholesterol synthesis but also decrease in
absorption and increase in removal of excess of cholesterol
from the body. These mechanisms are modulated by ATP-
biding cassette, subfamily G transporters (ABCG) that induces
efux of unesteried cholesterol from the enterocyte back to
the intestinal lumen, and biliary cholesterol secretion.
extracts from the seed and also from the skin of açaí induced an
over-expression of ABCG transporters, ABCG5 and ABCG8,
in rats that were fed a high-cholesterol diet
and also in mice
that were fed a high-fat diet (de Oliveira et al, submitted for
publication) (Fig. 2). Another interesting nding is the
improvement induced by ASE on hepatic steatosis induced
in mice that were fed a high-fat diet (de Oliveira et al, sub-
mitted for publication). Probably, these actions play an impor-
tant role on the benecial effect of açaí extracts in the
cholesterol homeostasis. However, in a study performed in
mice that received a high-fat diet, a freeze dried açaí powder
did not reduce body weight gain, insulin blood levels, HOMA-
IR index, dyslipidemia, and in contrast, developed large stea-
totic livers.
Epidemiological studies have shown that world is facing
a pandemic of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Reports from the
International Diabetes Federation stated an estimation of 285
million people worldwide who had already been diagnosed
with diabetes, and the prevalence of diabetes in 2030 may
reach 450 million.
Therefore, research looking for new
compounds to treat diabetes is mandatory, and natural products
may be an important source for new therapy. Interestingly,
metformin, a biguanide compound, considered the rst-
choice drug and the gold standardfor most people with type
2 diabetes, developed from a herbal source, is derived from
galegine, which is naturally found in Gallega ocinalis (French
lilac, Goats rue; Italian tchSpanish sainfoin). AMPK, a key
modulator of body glucose homeostasis is an important target
of antidiabetic drugs. Activation of AMPK results in the stim-
ulation of glucose uptake in muscle, fatty acid oxidation, and
inhibition of hepatic glucose production, cholesterol and tri-
glyceride synthesis, and lipogenesis.
Recently, the benecial
metabolic actions of ASE have been studied in rats with type 2
diabetes (de Bem et al, unpublished data). This study demon-
strated that oral treatment of diabetic rats with ASE reversed
the increase in glucose and insulin levels, HOMA index,
insulin receptor, hosphorylated c-Jun N-terminal kinase and
decrease in HOMA
, nitrites, expression of phosphorylated
insulin receptor substrate-1, phosphorylated protein kinase B,
adiponectin in adipose tissue, and glucose transporter-4. Prob-
ably these benecial effects of ASE in type 2 diabetic rats is
dependent on AMPK because the increase in AMPK and
decrease in pAMPK observed in adipose tissue were reversed
by ASE (de Bem et al, unpublished data). The mechanism of
the antidiabetic effect of ASE is not known but it may be
modulated by NO release induced by ASE, because it has been
shown that the activation of AMPK by metformin is reduced
by inhibition of NO synthesis by L-NAME.
Analyses of the scientic information on açaí show that
the berries of this plant have signicant pharmacodynamic
activities. Hydroalcoholic extract of açaí seed has a signi-
cant antioxidant action, endothelial-dependent vasodilator
effect, and antihypertensive, antidiabetic, antiobesity, car-
diovascular, and renal protective effects. Probably these ac-
tions depend on the high concentration of polyphenols in the
skin and seed of açaí, that interestingly are different in ac-
tions, and in polyphenols concentration and composition.
The effects of açaí are dependent on stimulation of eNOS,
phosphorylation of AMPK, adiponectin activation, and
decrease of oxidative stress. Those pharmacological effects
support the conclusion that açaí extracts may have a bene-
cial action in patients with MS.
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... An overwhelming number of papers have been published on the benefits of acai, suggesting many positive effects on human health, as, for example, to induce innate immune responses (Holderness et al., 2011), reducing inflammation (Jensen et al., 2008), reduction in hepatic steatosis and hepatic injury (Pereira et al., 2016), alternative bipolar disorder therapy (Pereira et al., 2016), cardiovascular protection (Alqurashi et al., 2016;de Moura & Resende, 2016), benefits to gut health (Alqurashi et al., 2017), chemoprotective agent against cancer development (Alessandra-Perini et al., 2018), therapeutic nutritional strategy for chronic kidney disease patients (Martins et al., 2018), antiaging effects (Peixoto et al., 2016;Souza-Monteiro et al., 2019), and so on. All the potential health benefits are related to a large spectrum of bioactive compounds found in acai. ...
In this work, the Amazonian native acai fruit, a superfruit recognized worldwide, was used through a simple operation of maceration in alcohol vinegar to transform it into an attractive and functional product containing the acai natural colorant and its bioactive compounds. The variables studied were the proportion of alcohol vinegar to acai (8:2 and 1:1) and maceration period (7, 14, and 21 days). The final vinegar was subjected to the determination of color parameters, antioxidant capacity (DPPH, ABTS), total phenolics content (TPC), volatile compounds extracted by stir bar sorptive extraction and identified by gas‐chromatography–mass spectrometry analysis. The alcohol vinegars macerated with acai presented the color according to the content of acai added and maceration period employed, whereas antioxidant capacity and TPC were comparable to vinegars elaborated from fruits and red wine. Sixty volatiles compounds classified into five chemical groups were identified. The principal volatile compounds which contributed to the aroma in the products were 3‐methyl‐1‐butanol, phenylethyl alcohol, benzaldehyde, o‐cymene, p‐cymenene, isoamyl acetate, and ethyl acetate. The most attractive product regarding the parameters studied was obtained from the use of the proportion of 1:1 of alcohol vinegar:acai and maceration period of 14 days. This product retained the most similar color to acai in natura, the highest values for antioxidant capacity measured by ABTS and TPC while being rich in volatile compounds due to the contributions mainly of alcohols, esters, aldehydes, and terpenes. This work demonstrates the feasibility to produce an alcohol vinegar with an attractive color and functional properties by the addition of acai resulting in to a wide spectrum of chemical compounds of acai through a very simple operation of maceration during 14 days of a proportion of 1:1 of alcohol vinegar:acai.
... The results of the chromatographic profile can indicate the relevance of the white peach palm oil fractions in terms of organic functionality. The relationship between AGPI/AGS in oils may be an indication of functional aspects relevant to health, since its lower value is directly associated with the prevention of cardiovascular diseases (Moura and Resende, 2016;Paz et al., 2016;Pinto et al., 2018). Thus, the P/S data evaluated in this research as having a value of 0.09demonstrate the high functionality of white peach palm oil. ...
This is the first investigation concerning the white peach palm (Bactris gasipaes Kunt) variety. The aim was to determine the nutritional composition, chromatographic profile, triglyceride composition, thermogravimetric-differential behavior, spectroscopic profile and morphological patterns. The analysis results showed that white peach palm is a promising source of nutritional compounds, such as lipids (7.80%), fiber (10.37%), proteins (5.35%), minerals such as copper, manganese and zinc, supplying from 30 to 80% of the daily recommended doses of those minerals The plant is low in sodium (1%) and has adequate selenium (above 10%). Its oil showed high quality and functionality (ω-6 and ω-3) and predominance of long-chain triacylglycerol, with high thermogravimetric stability (350 ºC), and no oxidative changes in its spectroscopic profile. The Morphological analysis revealed the presence of fibers and starches in the granules. The potential of this new variety expands the application possibilities of this matrix in different industrial segments.
... From these results, it is plausible to infer that açai supplements could be helpful in the control of some chronic non-transmissible diseases, and this hypothesis has previously been tested in several studies (Choi et al., 2017;de Moura and Resende, 2016;Pala et al., 2018). Therefore, it is possible that açai supplementation could also attenuate some negative side effects triggered by pharmacological drugs such as antipsychotics. ...
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O Banco Ativo de Germoplasma de açaí (Euterpe spp), BAG Açaí, da Embrapa Amazônia Oriental (Belém, PA, Brasil) possui um grande número de acessos de três espécies, das quais duas E. oleracea e E. precatoria subsidiam o melhoramento genético. Este estudo teve como objetivo investigar as diferenças químicas dos frutos de oito acessos de ambas as espécies conservados nesse BAG por meio dos parâmetros de rendimento de polpa, lipídeos totais, compostos fenólicos totais, flavonoides totais, antocianinas monoméricas totais e avaliação da capacidade antioxidante (sequestro do radical ABTS). De maneira geral, os acessos de E. precatoria apresentaram faixas de teores de lipídeos (19-53%), compostos fenólicos totais (769-2414 mg/100 g), flavonoides totais (164-325 mg/100 g), antocianinas monoméricas totais (76-1822 mg/100 g) e capacidade antioxidante (35-96 µM equivalente de Trolox/g) superiores aos acessos de E. oleracea, destacando-se o acesso PL01 (E. precatoria). Dos acessos de E. oleracea, o L2PL5 foi o que apresentou o maior teor de antocianinas monoméricas totais (736 mg/100 g), flavonoides totais (306 mg /100 g) e capacidade antioxidante (53 µM equivalente de trolox/g). Portanto, os acessos PL01 e L2PL5 foram os materiais mais promissores para dar continuidade às pesquisas de melhoramento genético.
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Many foods interact with drugs and may cause changes in the pharmacological effects of the co-administered therapeutic agent. The enzyme CYP3A4, which belongs to the cytochrome P450 enzyme complex, is responsible for the metabolism of most drugs currently on the market and is involved in many drug interactions. Hence, the interaction of this enzyme with juices of some fruits, such as grapefruit, can affect the pharmacokinetics of various drugs. However, native fruits from the Amazon region have not yet been the target of this type of research. We determined total polyphenols and flavonoids of the Amazonian fruits açaí (Euterpe precatoria), buriti (Mauritia flexuosa), camu-camu (Myrciaria dubia), cubiu (Solanum sessiliflorum), cupuaçu (Theobroma grandiflorum), jenipapo (Genipa americana), and taperebá (Spondias mombin) and evaluated the effects of each fruit juice on CYP3A4 activity, using the star fruit (Averrhoa carambola) juice as positive control. Açaí juice presented the highest content of total polyphenols and flavonoids (102.6 ± 7.2 µg gallic acid equivalent (GAE) per mL and 7.2 ± 0.6 µg quercetin equivalent (QE) per mL, respectively). All juices were able to inhibit the activity of CYP3A4. There was no residual activity of the drug-metabolizing enzyme for açai, buriti, cubiu, camu-camu, and taperebá juice, while for cupuaçu, jenipapo and the positive control, the residual activity was 44.3, 54.3 and 20.2%, respectively. Additional studies should identify the phytocompound(s) responsible for this inhibition activity, to clarify the mechanisms involved in this phenomenon.
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Myocardial infarction has a high mortality rate worldwide. Therefore, clinical intervention in cardiac remodeling after myocardial infarction is essential. Açai pulp is a natural product and has been considered a functional food because of its antioxidant/anti-inflammatory properties. The aim of the present study was to analyze the effect of açai pulp supplementation on cardiac remodeling after myocardial infarction in rats. After 7 days of surgery, male Wistar rats were assigned to six groups: sham animals fed standard chow (SA0, n = 14), fed standard chow with 2% açai pulp (SA2, n = 12) and fed standard chow with 5% açai pulp (SA5, n = 14), infarcted animals fed standard chow (IA0, n = 12), fed standard chow with 2% açai pulp (IA2, n = 12), and fed standard chow with 5% açai pulp (IA5, n = 12). After 3 months of supplementation, echocardiography and euthanasia were performed. Açai pulp supplementation, after myocardial infarction, improved energy metabolism, attenuated oxidative stress (lower concentration of malondialdehyde, P = 0.023; dose-dependent effect), modulated the inflammatory process (lower concentration of interleukin-10, P<0.001; dose-dependent effect) and decreased the deposit of collagen (lower percentage of interstitial collagen fraction, P<0.001; dose-dependent effect). In conclusion, açai pulp supplementation attenuated cardiac remodeling after myocardial infarction in rats. Also, different doses of açai pulp supplementation have dose-dependent effects on cardiac remodeling.
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Fruits of Euterpe oleracea are widely used in foreign medical practice as an antioxidant. The fruits of Euterpe contain tannins. The most common method of quantitative determination of tannins is spectrophotometry. The purpose of this work is to determine the content of the sum of tannins in the fruits of Euterpe by spectrophotometry Quantitative determination of the amount of tannins in the fruits of Euterpe by direct spectrophotometry was carried out. To confirm the presence of tannins in the fruits of Euterpe, qualitative reactions were used (1% solution of iron-ammonium alum, 1% solution of vanillin in concentrated hydrochloric acid). The presence of tannins was confirmed by direct spectrophotometry in extracts from euterpe fruits, the analytical maxima of the studied compounds were determined at about 282±2 nm, which corresponds to the maximum absorption of catechin. The optimal conditions for the extraction of tannins from the raw materials of this plant (extractant – ethyl alcohol 40%; the ratio of "raw material – extractant" – 1 : 100; extraction time – 60 minutes; the degree of grinding of raw materials – 1.0 mm) are justified. It was determined that the average error in determining the content of tannins in the fruits of euterpe with a confidence probability of 95% is ±1.59%. It was revealed that the content of tannins in the fruits of euterpe is 8.90%.
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Rudgea viburnoides is widely found in the Brazilian Cerrado, and commonly used in Brazilian folk medicine. In this study, we evaluated the effects of prolonged administration of the aqueous extract from R. viburnoides leaves (AERV) on impaired redox status, renal dysfunction, and cardiovascular damage in 2K1C hypertensive rats, as well as its chemical composition by LC-DAD-MS. Renal hypertension (two kidney, one-clip model) was surgically induced in male Wistar rats and AERV (30, 100 and 300 mg/kg) was administered orally five weeks after surgery for 28 days. Renal function was assessed and urinary electrolytes, pH, and density were measured. Electrocardiography, blood pressure and heart rate were recorded. Cardiac and mesenteric vascular beds were isolated for cardiac morphometry and evaluation of vascular reactivity, and aortic rings were also isolated for measurement of cyclic guanosine monophosphate levels, and the redox status was assessed. Prolonged treatment with AERV preserved urine excretion and electrolyte levels (Na+, K+, Ca2+ and Cl−), reversed electrocardiographic changes, left ventricular hypertrophy and changes in vascular reactivity induced by hypertension, and reduced blood pressure and heart rate. This effect was associated with a positive modulation of tissue redox state, activation of the NO/cGMP pathway, and inhibition of the angiotensin-converting enzyme. Glycosylated iridoids, chlorogenic acids, glycosylated triterpenes, O-glycosylated flavonols, and triterpenoid saponins were annotated. AERV showed no acute toxicity in female Wistar rats. Therefore, AERV treatment reduced the progression of cardiorenal disease in 2K1C hypertensive rats, which can be involved with an important attenuation of oxidative stress, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition, and activation of the NO/cGMP pathway.
The wide consumption of açaí fruit results in large amounts of seeds which end up in waste. These seeds have an advantageous composition for the development of biopolymers due to their fibers content and active components (responsible by functional properties as antioxidant capacity). In the present work, active polymers were generated incorporating açaí seed flour in sustainable films produced using starch from broken rice grains as matrix. The effects of different seed flour content (0%, 5%, 10%, and 15%) were studied on the physicochemical and structural properties of the polymers, and their antioxidant capacity. The packaging-related properties were affected by the açaí seed flour incorporation mainly due to its high-fiber content and polyphenolic compounds. The physicochemical and structural properties results demonstrated that the incorporation of 5% of açaí seed flour was the most appropriate, because of its better distribution in the film matrix. Free radical scavenging and reducing power assays indicated the antioxidant potential of the açaí seed flour incorporated films. Thus, active and sustainable polymers for food packaging can be obtained from açaí seeds and broken rice grains, generating new polymers and converting them into valuable raw materials in the market.
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Açaí is a species of plant of the genus Euterpe, which is part of the tribe Euterpeinae and belongs to the family Arecaceae (Palmae), distributed in the Brazilian biome, mainly in the Amazon rainforest, cerrado and Atlantic forest, throughout Central America and up to the north of South America. Traditionally, açaí pulp has been used for artisanal consumption in the form of sweets, ice cream, creams, yoghurts, liqueurs, popsicles, jellies, porridge, sweets, nectars, teas, shakes, smoothies, energy and isotonic drinks, in natura, juices, fermented drinks, given its chemical properties and the presence of bioactive compounds, being also used for therapeutic and medi cinal purposes. As a food, açaí is rich in vitamins, minerals, protein, lipids and phenolic substances, mainly anthocyanins from the flavonoid group. In the pharmacological and therapeutic sector, the genus Euterpe spp. it has several important biological implications, such as antioxidant, hypoglycemic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiproliferative, immunomodulatory, cardioprotective, antidiarrheal, anticarcinogenic, reducing reactive oxygen species, inflammatory cytokine production and muscle stress markers. The present review summarizes the knowledge about the chemical composition, pharmacological and therapeutic effects, clinical, food and medicinal applications of the genus Euterpe spp.
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We assessed the effects of Euterpe oleracea Mart. (açaí) seed extract (ASE) rich in proanthocyanidins and catechin on vascular dysfunction and oxidative stress associated with hypertension in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). SHR and control rats were treated with ASE (200 mg/kg/day) or vehicle for 10 weeks. In the rat mesenteric arterial bed (MAB), acetylcholine response, endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) and superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD 1) expressions were studied. The antioxidant enzyme activity, oxidative damage and nitrite quantification were assessed in MAB and heart homogenates. eNOS immunohistochemistry and histological analysis was carried out on aortic sections. ASE was able to attenuate the hypertension and prevent the endothelial dysfunction in MAB of SHR. The increased levels of protein carbonylation and associated low levels of nitrite in MAB and heart of SHR were attenuated by ASE. The up-regulation of eNOS and SOD1 expression and the increased activity of SOD in MAB from SHR were normalized by ASE. In aorta from SHR, ASE prevented the increase in media thickness, media:lumen ratio and the decrease in the percentage of elastic fibers. Our results suggest that ASE produces antihypertensive effect and prevents the vascular dysfunction in SHR, through mechanisms involving antioxidant effects and NO production. Industrial relevance. Euterpe oleracea Mart. (Açaí) has been considered one of the most important medicinal plants of the Amazon by its beneficial effects in the treatment of fever, pain, inflammation and anemia. More recently, Euterpe oleracea Mart. has been reported to reduce blood pressure with an important antioxidant property. The present research reports the protective effect of the extract of the seeds from Euterpe oleraca Mart. against high blood pressure and the associated vascular structural and functional changes. The test for antihypertensive and vascular anti-hypertrophic effect of the hydro-alcoholic extract of the seed of Euterpe oleracea Mart. provides scientific data to confirm the potentials of Euterpe oleracea Mart as an antihypertensive medicinal plant. Considering the large supply of Acaí fruit in Brazil to obtain the extract, it provides a new therapeutic possibility of low cost for hypertensive patients. Keywords. Euterpe oleracea Mart; hypertension; oxidative stress; endothelial dysfunction; vascular hypertrophy.
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Acai (acai or assai) is one of the Amazon's most popular functional foods and widely used in the world. There are many benefits to its alleged use in the growing market for nutraceuticals. The acai extracts have a range of polyphenolic components with antioxidant properties, some of those present in greater quantity are orientin, isoorientin and vanillic acid, as well as anthocyanins cyanidin-3-glucoside and cyanidin-3-rutinoside. The presence of these substances is linked mainly to the antioxidant, anti- inflammatory, anti-proliferative and cardioprotective activities. Importantly, there are two main species of the Euterpe genus which produce acai. There are several differences between them but they are still quite unknown, from literature to producers and consumers. In this review are highlighted the chemical composition, botanical aspects, pharmacological, marketing and nutrition of these species based on studies published in the last five years in order to unify the current knowledge and dissimilarities between them. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Recent results of cohort studies have challenged protective effect of fruits and vegetables on cancer risk. What about coronary heart disease? What is the evidence of their protective effect? This evidence is based on observational cohort studies, nutrition prevention trials, investigations of effects of fruit and vegetables on cardiovascular risk factors and study of fruit and vegetables components. Observational epidemiological studies have reported either weak or non-significant associations. Meta analysis pooling these studies finds a weak association. Controlled nutritional prevention trials are scarce and the existing data do not show any clear protective effects of fruit and vegetables on coronary heart disease. Under rigorously controlled experimental conditions, fruit and vegetable consumption is associated with a decrease in blood pressure, which is an important cardiovascular risk factor. However, the effects of fruit and vegetable consumption on plasma lipid levels, diabetes, and body weight have not yet been thoroughly explored. Finally, controlled studies evaluating vitamins supplementation had disappointing results. In conclusion fruits and vegetables, source of vitamin fiber and water, should be consumed as part of a balance diet. Confirmation that fruits and vegetables have effect by themselves require new controls studies on cardiovascular risk factors.
The Cardiometabolic Think Tank was convened on June 20, 2014, in Washington, DC, as a "call to action" activity focused on defining new patient care models and approaches to address contemporary issues of cardiometabolic risk and disease. Individual experts representing >20 professional organizations participated in this roundtable discussion. The Think Tank consensus was that the metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a complex pathophysiological state comprised of a cluster of clinically measured and typically unmeasured risk factors, is progressive in its course, and is associated with serious and extensive comorbidity, but tends to be clinically under-recognized. The ideal patient care model for MetS must accurately identify those at risk before MetS develops and must recognize subtypes and stages of MetS to more effectively direct prevention and therapies. This new MetS care model introduces both affirmed and emerging concepts that will require consensus development, validation, and optimization in the future.
Reduced nitric oxide bioavailability contributes to endothelial dysfunction and hypertension. The endothelial isoform of nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) is responsible for the production of nitric oxide within the endothelium. Loss of eNOS cofactor tetrahydrobiopterin to initial increase in oxidative stress leads to uncoupling of eNOS, in which the enzyme produces superoxide anion rather than nitric oxide, further substantiating oxidative stress to induce vascular pathogenesis. The current review focuses on recent advances on the molecular mechanisms and consequences of eNOS dysfunction in hypertension, and potential novel therapeutic strategies restoring eNOS function to treat hypertension.
Abstract Acute renal failure (ARF) is one of the most common problems encountered in hospitalized critically ill patients. In recent years great effort has been focused on the introduction of herbal medicine as a novel therapeutic agent for prevention of ARF. Hence, the current study was designed to investigate the effect of Açai berry extract (ABE) on glycerol-induced ARF in rats. Results of the present study showed that rat groups that received oral ABE in a dose of 100 and 200 mg/kg/day for 7 days before or 7 days after induction of ARF by a single intramuscular glycerol injection reported a significant improvement in kidney functions tests [decrease in serum urea, serum creatinine, and blood urea nitrogen (BUN)] when compared to the ARF model groups. Moreover, there was significant amelioration in renal oxidative stress markers [renal catalase (CAT), renal reduced glutathione (GSH)] and renal histopathological changes in the ABE-treated groups when compared to ARF model groups. The most significant improvement was reported in the groups where ABE was administered in a dose 200 mg/kg/day. These results indicate that ABE has a potential role in ameliorating renal damage involved in ARF.