Acai (Euterpe oleracea), pronounced AH-sigh-EE, is a palm tree found throughout South America. Its berries are dark purple and used to make medicine.

Acai contains antioxidants which are thought to protect cells from damage. Acai berries are believed to have more antioxidant content than cranberry, raspberry, blackberry, strawberry, or blueberry. Chemicals in acai might also reduce swelling, lower blood sugar levels, and stimulate the immune system.

People commonly use acai for athletic performance, high cholesterol, erectile dysfunction (ED), obesity, aging skin, metabolic syndrome, and many other conditions. But there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
When taken by mouth: Acai is possibly safe when used for up to 3 months. It's usually well-tolerated. But be aware that raw acai juice can be contaminated with parasites. In rare cases, drinking the raw juice has been linked to outbreaks of a disease called American trypanosomiasis or Chagas Disease.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if acai is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Diabetes: Acai might increase or decrease blood sugar by a small amount, but this probably isn't a big concern for most people.


There is interest in using acai for a number of purposes, but there isn't enough reliable information to say whether it might be helpful.
Likely effective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly effective Effectiveness definitions
Likely ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Insufficient evidence Effectiveness definitions

Dosing & administration

As a food, the acai berry is eaten raw and as a juice. The juice is also used in beverages and in ice cream, jelly, and liqueurs.

In supplements, there isn't enough reliable information to know what an appropriate dose of acai might be. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult a healthcare professional before using.

Interactions with pharmaceuticals

Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Acai might lower or raise blood sugar levels. Taking acai along with diabetes medications might cause blood sugar to drop too low or reduce effects of the medications. Monitor your blood sugar closely.

Interactions with herbs & supplements

Herbs and supplements that might lower blood sugar: Acai might lower blood sugar. Taking it with other supplements with similar effects might lower blood sugar too much. Examples of supplements with this effect include aloe, bitter melon, cassia cinnamon, chromium, and prickly pear cactus.

Interactions with foods

There are no known interactions with foods.
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This monograph was last reviewed on 08/03/2024 11:00:00 and last updated on 16/04/2022 08:20:22. Monographs are reviewed and/or updated multiple times per month and at least once per year.
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