Tuesday, 17 August 2021

9 Health Benefits Of Camu Camu + Experiences

Are you already familiar with Camu Camu? This tropical fruit has a high nutritional value and contains the highest amount of vitamin C in the world! The berries are fairly new to the market, but their popularity is growing worldwide. 

Due to its many alleged health benefits, Camu Camu is considered a superfood. Is there a new hype being created around these berries or is this fruit really as amazing as it is said? In this article, you will discover the health benefits, whether Camu Camu is dangerous and what the side effects can be.

What is Camu Camu good for?


Myrciaria dubia, also known as Camu Camu, is a plant species from the Amazon region of Peru and Brazil, which grows up to 5 meters in height and bears cherry-like fruits.

What distinguishes the Camu Camu fruit from other fruits is the enormous amount of vitamin C. That is why it is a popular supplement with the highest vitamin C value of any plant in the world.

If you saw the berries in the wild, you might think they are poisonous. Well, they certainly aren't!

This berry is closely related to the Guava berry, which also contains a high concentration of vitamin C (a 100 gram serving of guava provides 293% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C).

Camu camu berries contain many vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. The vitamin C content in Camu Camu berries depends on the soil composition and humidity of the growing area in the Amazon.

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Strong sour taste


Due to the high content of vitamin C, these berries can taste very sour. For that reason, Camu Camu is also mixed with milk and sugar for use in jams and jellies.

Curious about the health benefits of using Camu Camu?

I have listed these for you below:

Benefits Of Camu Camu



Health Benefits of Camu Camu


Camu Camu is considered a powerful superfood due to its potential health benefits.

Here's what science says about it:

Benefit #1: It's Rich in Vitamin C

Eat your orange!” how many times have you heard this in your youth? And all because orange is said to contain a lot of vitamin C.

Well, that amount is nothing compared to the Camu Camu fruit. Meet the unknown Amazon fruit that is packed with vitamin C!

Camu Camu is rich in the most famous vitamin known to people. We are talking about vitamin C.

The Dutch Nutrition Center recommends 75 milligrams of vitamin C daily for both (young) men and (young) women from 14 years of age (source). The Camu Camu fruit contains 3000 mg of vitamin C per 100 grams!

This vitamin is involved in all kinds of processes in our body and acts as a powerful antioxidant and protects the body against free radicals.

An excess of free radicals causes oxidative stress. This increases the risk of damage to the cell's DNA and accelerates body aging.

Eating foods rich in vitamin C, such as Camu Camu, can help prevent oxidative stress and help fight damage caused by free radicals.

Camu-camu berries also have a surprising amino acid profile with valine, leucine, and serine, which are helpful for numerous bodily functions, including muscle growth.

Benefit #2: Reduces Low-Grade Inflammation


The berries may help reduce chronic inflammation and oxidative stress.

Chronic diseases – such as diabetes and arthritis – have a common denominator: inflammation (source, source, source). Inflammation is a (protective) response of the body to a virus, bacteria, damage or injury to the body.

The main symptoms of inflammation are:

  • redness
  • Heat
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Loss of function

Fruit pulp from the Camu-Camu berries contains ellagic acid, which is an antioxidant that has been proven to inhibit enzymes that induce inflammation (source, source).

While these results are promising, more future research is needed to explain Camu Camu's possible anti-inflammatory effects.

Benefit #3: Supports Cardiovascular Health


Chronically high blood pressure can increase the risk of stroke or heart attack. The good news is that Camu Camu works as a natural remedy to lower unhealthy high blood pressure.

Camu Camu berries are believed to act as powerful anti-inflammatory foods that help protect the heart and blood vessels from thickening and hardening (a risk factor for heart disease).

Also, taking Camu Camu can help improve blood sugar and insulin response:

A 2018 Tokyo University of Agriculture study of ten healthy men and women found that Camu Camu can help dilate blood vessels and improve blood pressure in young adults (source).

This study shows that even a single dose of Camu Camu can dramatically lower blood pressure and improve vasodilation to further promote healthy blood flow.

Note: if you are taking medicines for blood pressure and/or for lowering blood glucose and start consuming Camu Camu, it is wise to do this in consultation with your specialist. Taking a Camu Camu supplement can cause your blood pressure or blood glucose to become too low in combination with medication.

Benefit #4: contributes to good oral health


Unhealthy gums can be an ugly sight. Healthy gums say a lot about the condition of your teeth.

Inflamed gums in the first stage are called gingivitis.

By following a healthy diet or using vitamin supplements such as Camu Camu, free radicals can be combated (source). Free radicals are causal inflammatory factors of gum problems.

Benefit #5: supports the immune system


The most obvious benefit of Camu Camu is that it helps support the immune system.

This is not surprising thanks to the high vitamin C content. However, Camu Camu extract also contains betulinic acid, a vegetable substance with anti-inflammatory properties and an anti-cancer-inhibiting effect (source).

Factors such as smoking, exposure to toxins from air pollution, and alcohol consumption mean that extra vitamin C is necessary for many people.

Iranian scientists suggest that Camu Camu may help defend against viruses that cause colds. In other words, it prevents you from getting a cold (source).

Benefit #6: protects against aging


Ever seen skincare commercials on television touting the benefits of vitamin C against the visible signs of aging?

They are probably right. The high content of Vitamin C and other antioxidants in Camu Camu helps support the body's natural collagen production. Collagen is what gives our skin its youthful elasticity.

Both oral administrations of vitamin C supplements and cream can help prevent skin aging (source).

A randomized, double-blind study from 1999 with 19 participants saw an improvement of almost 60%(!) in the group that treated the skin with vitamin C.

Benefit #7: possibly good for the liver


Since the berries contain many antioxidants and biologically active substances, this supports the liver in several ways.

A 2010 animal study from Gifu University in Japan showed that animals given camu-camu powder saw a significant improvement in liver function (source).

People with liver disorders (such as cirrhosis) in particular benefit from a higher vitamin C intake.

Benefit #8: Improves blood sugar levels


I don't have to tell you that a regularly high blood sugar level is harmful to health.

A stable blood sugar level ensures in the long term the prevention and delay of cardiovascular diseases, strokes, damage to nerves and kidneys (source).

Scientists have shown that Camu Camu can significantly lower fast blood sugar and possibly improve triglyceride levels (source).

Research by the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of São Paulo among 23 healthy participants shows that Camu Camu can reduce the peak in blood sugar after eating a carbohydrate-rich meal (source).

These potential health benefits make Camu Camu an effective home remedy. But as with other supplements, excessive use of Camu Camu can lead to health problems (more on this in a moment).

Benefit #9: It prevents infections and scurvy


Deficiency of vitamin C is rare in Western countries but can develop in people who follow a restrictive diet or eat almost no fruits or vegetables.

People with drug addiction or alcoholism are also at greater risk.

A severe lack of vitamin C leads to a disease known as scurvy. In this disease, collagen is not produced. Connective tissue (collagen) needs vitamin C to build up as a building block in the production process. So if you do not have enough vitamin C, the collagen is not produced (source).

So today you do not have to worry that you run a risk of scurvy if you do not belong to the above risk groups. Only 10 milligrams of vitamin C per day are needed to prevent scurvy.

Experiences with Camu Camu


The opinions and experiences about Camu Camu are mainly positive. It seems that the taste is considered too strong by some users.

Below is a small selection of the experiences I have received:

It has become a bit of a superfood for me. In the morning I notice an increase in energy when I take it. It goes well with my morning smoothie and oatmeal. Aside from the taste (which I'm not a big fan of), I love the health benefits of camu-camu! It also mixes well with juice I must say.

I have been using camu powder for a while to increase my vitamin C intake and take it daily to boost my immune system. It takes some time to mix it well in water, but other than that I can't say anything negative about it. With a little stevia, I make sure that the sour taste disappears. Since taking camu as a supplement, I have rarely had a cold. I can recommend it to anyone looking for a good vitamin C supplement!

In the past, I have bought Camu Camu in powder form with good results. In powder form, I can't recommend it to anyone because it was a hassle to take with water and it just didn't taste good. That's why I switched to organic capsules. I'm very happy with it!

I have more energy if I use this every day. Unfortunately, I just can't get used to the taste which is really rancid. Whether I mix it with yogurt or tea, the taste is so overpowering and bitter it makes me gag. Even though I have tried another brand but this makes no difference. If you have sensitive taste buds, I do not recommend this supplement.

I have been using this supplement for years! It works great for me! I put the powder in smoothies and cereals. Previously I thought the taste was gross and very strong, but after trying it in several meals, I started to like the taste anyway. Moreover, you can easily mask the strong taste when mixed with yogurt or fruit in smoothies. My partner and I are very satisfied with this supplement.

Is Camu Camu Dangerous?


Now that you've read all of this, you may be wondering, is it safe to use Camu Camu? The side effects of camu camu have not been extensively studied.

It is possible that using Camu Camu powder may cause side effects in some people. The possible side effects of Camu Camu are related to its high vitamin C content.

Since it contains a very high amount of vitamin C, it can potentially lead to side effects such as stomach upset, nausea, or diarrhea for some users.

The EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) has determined that 2000 mg per day for vitamin C is the safe upper limit (source). The tolerable upper limit is the highest intake at which no harmful health effects are expected.

Vitamin C helps to absorb iron better, so people with an iron storage disease (hemochromatosis) should avoid using Camu Camu.

However, camu camu is safe to use for most people because high-dose vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin and therefore is not stored in the body. So you just pee out all the vitamin C you don't need!

Serotonin Level


Be aware that Camu Camu can increase serotonin levels in the body. Serotonin is essential for regulating your mood and suppresses appetite.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that suppresses appetite. It also produces substances that make you feel happy.

Although a healthy serotonin level is important for your emotional well-being, too high a serotonin level can lead to complaints, such as lack of sleep and a decreased appetite.

If you are taking medication or are pregnant, it is always advisable to consult your doctor before taking Camu Camu in supplement form.

How to take Camu Camu?


What is the best way to take Camu Camu? Preferably take with a meal and do not exceed the daily dose. Keep the supplement in a cool, dry place and out of the reach of young children.

Camu camu supplements come in different forms: powder, pills, capsules or healthy juices. It is usually ground into powder and mixed with sweeteners or liquids to somewhat mask the sour taste of Camu Camu fruit.

It is, therefore, best used by mixing it into smoothies and shakes. You can also add it to oatmeal or yogurt. It can also be used in baked goods, although cooking at high temperatures can destroy some of the bioactive compounds.

The dosage recommendations for Camu Camu powder vary, but a normal dosage is about 1-3 teaspoons of powder per day. Always read the label before buying powder or supplements. The powder is easiest to find in stores, while the capsules with 100% pure Camu Camu are best ordered online.

How much vitamin C does Camu Camu contain?
Camu Camu can contain up to 3 grams of vitamin C per 100 grams of fruit (source). In other words: it can contain 60(!) times more vitamin C than an orange.

Keep in mind that the vitamin C content in Camu Camu supplements can vary. Therefore, read the label before you buy a supplement.

Because of the rather strong sour taste, Camu Camu is rarely eaten fresh and is mainly sold in powder form.

Finally


Camu camu is a powerful fruit with unique properties.

The use of camu camu is generally safe and offers many health benefits due to its high vitamin C content and powerful antioxidants.

These substances help reduce inflammation, counteract the aging process, support the immune system, and much more.

As mentioned, Camu Camu is quite sour. Wanna try? Then consider taking a supplement or adding the powder to your yogurt or smoothie.

It is important to note that much of the available research on Camu Camu stems from test-tube and animal studies. Therefore, more future research is needed to confirm the current findings of Camu Camu.

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