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Camu Camu

    camu

    Camu camu is a fruit mainly grown along the Amazon. It is slightly larger than a grape and nearly as sour as a lemon.

    Too bitter to be eaten as a whole fruit, camu camu is commonly found as an ingredient in fruit drinks and ice cream in South America. It is also immensely popular in France and Japan.[1]

    In the 1980s, camu camu was discovered to have incredibly high vitamin C content. Whole camu camu fruits contain 2-3% vitamin C by weight.[2]

    Camu camu also contains other healthful substances, including amino acids, beta-carotene, and antioxidants.[3]

    These substances make camu camu an up-and-coming superfruit.

    Far from being a one-note superfood, camu camu has many health benefits.

    Camu camu contains vitamin C, amino acids, beta-carotene, calcium, iron, potassium, flavonoids, phosphorous, gallic acid, and ellagic acid.[4]

    These substances aid in strengthening the immune system. Camu camu is also rich in antioxidants, which fight free radicals that damage DNA.[5]

    Additionally, camu camu reduces the negative symptoms that accompany obesity. One study of obese diabetic rats showed those who ate camu camu had lower cholesterol, glucose, fat, and triglyceride levels compared to those who did not.[6]

    Camu Camu fights inflammation. A study of male smokers showed those who drank camu camu juice every day for a week had less inflammation and oxidative stress. Those who took vitamin C capsules experienced no change.[7] This is because camu camu contains a unique blend of compounds that work together better than vitamin C alone.

    There has not been sufficient study of camu camu to form a comprehensive inventory of side effects. However, individual servings of powders and tablets camu camu have over 1000 mg vitamin C.[8]

    Vitamin C overdosing causes side effects. The upper limit of vitamin C is 2000 mg per day. That means you should not take more than 2 servings camu camu per day to avoid toxicity.[9]

    Excessive vitamin C increases iron absorption above healthy levels. Iron overdose causes nausea and vomiting in the short term. It also causes liver and kidney damage in the long term.[10]

    In high doses, vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid, causes upset stomach and diarrhea. The acid eats away at stomach tissues over time. [11]

    As long as camu camu is taken in moderate doses, it should be as safe to consume as any citrus fruit.

    Camu camu is largely available in North America in powder or tablet form. There is no recommended dose of camu camu per se, but it is a plentiful source of vitamin C.

    Depending on the brand, 5 g camu camu powder contains between 1000 and 1200 mg vitamin C.[12]

    For adults, the upper limit of vitamin C is 2000 mg per day.[13]

    The daily recommended dose of vitamin C for adults is 75-90 mg per day.[14] Camu camu powder contains a safe dose of vitamin C.

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