What Is Acai Berry?

Acai berries aren’t the miracle fountain of youth, despite what some supplement makers promise. Harvested from a Brazilian palm, açaí (ah-SAH-ee) berries are a dietary staple in Brazil and have also been used medicinally by Amazonian tribes. Açaí juice was introduced in the U.S. in 2001, and the export of açaí from Brazil has grown dramatically. Dozens of food and drink products containing açaí are on the market.

Intended uses: To lose weight; slow aging.

What the science says: No reliable scientific evidence supports the use of acai berry supplements for any reason.

Special precautions: Safety and ideal dosage for acai berry not established. Don’t use before getting an MRI—it could affect results.

Common side effects: None reported for supplements, but drinking raw acai berry juice has been linked to Chagas disease outbreaks from parasites.

Possible interactions: None established, but testing has been limited.