Camu camu is a natural fruit found in the rain forest of South America. It is a little like a lemon, since it is too bitter to be eaten on its own. Health supplement products grind camu camu into powder, so it can be mixed into smoothies or made into juice.
Camu camu contains more vitamin C than any other known fruit. One tablespoon contains up to 1000 mg vitamin C, 11 times the daily recommended value.
Is such a high dose of vitamin C safe and effective? Read on to find out.
Camu Camu: Potential Negative Side Effects
Most camu camu powders prescribe doses containing up to 1000 mg vitamin C. The upper safe daily limit of vitamin C is 2000 mg.
Most issues associated with vitamin C are because of deficiency. However, there are a few negative side effects of taking too much vitamin C.
1. Iron Poisoning
Vitamin C aids in iron absorption, so excess vitamin C causes more iron to be absorbed than is healthy. In the short term, this overdose causes upset stomach and vomiting. After a while, it leads to kidney and liver damage.
The body excretes excess vitamins through diarrhea and frequent urination. However, these symptoms only last until all the unused vitamins are removed.
Camu Camu: The Positive Side Effects
Camu Camu has few negative side effects, which is why it’s popular among dieters. Although there is the small risk of overdosing vitamin C, camu camu’s positive effects far outweigh its negative ones.
1. Reduced Effects of Obesity
A study of obese diabetic rats showed those who consumed camu camu had decreased symptoms of the disease. In the study, half the rats were given 25 ml per day of camu camu pulp. These rats experienced lower glucose, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels than the rats who did not take camu camu.
This study has yet to be replicated in humans, so it’s unclear if the positive effects will apply.
2. Immunity Boost
Vitamin C is an antioxidant. Antioxidants prevent and heal damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals attack individual cells and DNA, intensifying signs of aging and increasing chronic diseases.
Regular consumption of foods with vitamin C, such as camu camu, maintains a healthy immune system. Generally those who eat more vitamin C have shorter colds with milder symptoms.
3. Lower Oxidative Stress
One scientific study showed the benefits of camu camu versus vitamin C tablets. Smokers took either 70 ml camu camu juice or a corresponding 1050 mg vitamin C tablet. Those who took camu camu juice experienced a decrease in markers of inflammation and oxidative stress, while those who took vitamin C saw no effect.
The Final Word
It is unlikely camu camu causes excessive negative side effects. It is, after all, a natural fruit. As long as it is consumed within the recommended daily amount, camu camu should cause only positive health effects.
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