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Camu Camu A Natural Source Of Vitamin C For the Body
Camu Camu is a round, red to purple colored fruit that grows abundantly in the Amazon rain forest. Recent research has shown that this fruit contains one of the highest natural vitamin C contents of any food in the world. (1) Camu Camu’s main growing areas are near the Peruvian border with Brazil, and the fruits are the size of lemons. Due to its high vitamin C content, Camu Camu is becoming a widely used ingredient in dietary supplements. Camu Camu also contains calcium, beta-carotene, protein, leucine, thiamin, valine and serine. The Camu Camu fruit contains the highest documented quantity of natural vitamin C on Earth. It has up to three times more vitamin C than Acerola. Compared to oranges, Camu Camu has 30 times more vitamin C, three times more niacin, ten times more iron, double the amount of riboflavin and 50% more phosphorus. Camu Camu also contains 711 mg of potassium per kilogram, and provides a full complement of minerals and amino acids that can improve the absorption of vitamin C. The fruit is also an extremely rich source of anthocyanins, with a particularly high level of cyanidin-3-glucoside.
Vitamin C is very important for our body. Vitamin C is involved in numerous organ and system processes in the body. Vitamin C protects the body from free radical damage in the body; an example of a free radical is the oxygen we breathe. The oxygen we breathe is involved with many biochemical processes. These processes can cause oxygen to loose an electron. When oxygen looses an electron it looks for a replacement and will attach itself to the nearest cell offering an electron causing cellular damage. For example: have you ever seen when an apple is cut open it has a nice white/off white color but leave it set for a few minutes and it turns brown? What’s occurring is an organic reaction and oxidation of the fleshy parts, causing the these parts to become damaged and that is why the apple turns brown. Vitamin C freely offers an electron to the free radicals in need rendering them harmless so the body can excrete these harmless compounds out of the body. Vitamin C is required in the body to synthesis collagen and connective tissue, plays a role in energy production, helps the formation of neurotransmitter norepinephrine, and good for the immune system. (1) Camu Camu has other antioxidant compounds as well.
Anthocyanin compounds are natural pigments responsible for the brilliant colors seen in the fruit. (2) These compounds possess antioxidant properties capable of fighting free radicals in the body. Studies have shown that anthocyanin compounds are rapidly absorbed into humans; these studies show that the stomach and intestines are where the compounds are absorbed. When absorbed the compounds enter the bloodstream and go to work fighting free radicals. (3) Cyanidin-3-glucoside is a component of anthocyanin compounds which has shown great promise as an antioxidant to fight free radicals. In vitro studies have shown cyanidin-3-glucoside to help prevent free radical damage including DNA cleavage, free radical scavenging capacity and xanthine oxidase activity. (4) In a study with rats, Anthocyanin compounds increases the resistance of rat serum to oxidative changes. This suggests that anthocyanin compounds are potent antioxidants. (5)
You might be hard pressed to find Camu Camu in the produce section of your local grocery store; unless your grocery store is up on things, the only place you can currently find Camu Camu is at your local health food store. Available in bulk extract powder or capsule form, Camu Camu is a great source for wild crafted natural vitamin C and a potent antioxidant. Camu Camu provides a wholesome way to infuse the body with its daily requirements of vitamin C and comes with the added benefits of anthocyanin compounds that fight free radical damage in the body.
1. Linus Pauling Institute. Micrnutrient Information Center. Monograph on “Vitamin C”. lpi.oregonstate. edu/infocenter/vitamins /vitaminC/
2. Zanatta CF, et al. Determination of Anthocyanins from Camu-camu (Myrciaria dubia) by HPLC-PDA, HPLC-MS, and NMR. J Agric Food Chem 2005. 53: 9531-9535.
3. Talavera S, et al. Anthocyanins are efficiently absorbed from the small intestine in rats. J Nutr 2004. 134: 2275-2279.
4. Acquaviva R, et al. Cyanidin and cyanidin 3-O-beta-D -glucoside as DNA cleavage protectors and antioxidants. Cell Biol Toxicol. 2003 Aug;19(4):243-52.
5. Tsuda T, et al. Dietary cyanidin 3-O-beta-D-glucoside increases ex vivo oxidation resistance of serum in rats. Lipids. 1998 Jun;33(6):583-8.
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