Camu Camu (Myrciaria dubia)
Myrciaria dubia, commonly known as Camu Camu, is a type of fruit that is native to South America. The berries that have a somewhat sour flavor are usually added to desserts or sweetened beverages, or consumed in the form of blended juices, instead of as the whole food.
Here’s everything you need to know about Camu Camu and its numerous health benefits, side effects, and dosage, among other amazing factors.
What is Camu Camu
The Camu Camu shrub grows in flooded or swampy areas of the Amazon rain forests of Brazil, Peru, Colombia, and Venezuela. The leaves and fruit are typically used as medicine.
For many years, Camu Camu has been used for a variety of viral infections, such as the common cold sores, chronic fatigue syndrome, eye conditions like cataracts, and hardening of the arteries, among several other conditions. However, there isn’t enough scientific studies or research to back these claims.
Some folks use Camu Camu as a means to boost energy and maintain healthy eyes, gums, skin, and immune system.
Some people also consume the Camu Camu fruit as food.
Does Camu Camu have other names?
Besides Myrciaria dubia, Camu camu is also known as Araza de Agua, Araca d’agua, Camo Camo, Cacari, Camu-Camu, Camocamo, Camu-camu Negro, Myrciaria paraensis, Guapuro Blanco, Rumberry, and Psidium dubium.
How does Camu Camu juice work?
The Camu Camu fruit essentially contains a range of nutrients, including protein, vitamin C, fatty acids, beta-carotene, and so on. Also, Camu Camu contains other important chemicals that may have some impact on your body. That said, there isn’t enough research or information to actually determine how the Camu Camu fruit might work in terms of treating/ preventing chronic medical conditions.
What are the health benefits of Camu Camu?
Camu Camu is widely preferred as a superfood mostly because it contains a rich content of specific nutrients and strong plant compounds, which includes vitamin C.
Camu Camu has several health benefits. Let’s check some of the more evidence-based benefits of this amazing fruit.
Vitamin C food
Research shows that Camu Camu is high in vitamin C, which plays a vital role in our body. For instance, vitamin C helps improve your immune system. It is also needed for collagen formation, which is a protein that helps support your skin and bones, as well as muscles.
What’s more? According to several scientific research, vitamin C plays the role of a robust antioxidant. It protects the cells from volatile molecules known as free radicals. Although free radicals tend to be a usual byproduct of cellular function, an unusual amount could cause poor diets, stress. It may also result in exposure to infection.
As free radicals slowly outnumber the antioxidants in our body, it causes a certain condition known as oxidative stress, which, by the way, has often been linked to serious health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, cancer, and so on.
Consuming foods high in antioxidants such as vitamin C may help prevent the said oxidative stress. It may also help combat any free radical damages.
According to our trusted source, Camu Camu is said to contain up to 3 g of vitamin C as per 3.5 oz (100 g) of fruit.
Due to Camu Camu’s sour taste, however, it is rarely consumed fresh and usually sold in powder form. Because the Camu Camu powder has no water, it contains significantly more vitamin C per gram than the fresh berries.
You’ll find it on the product’s nutrition labels that most Camu Camu powder is able to deliver more than 750 percent of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) of vitamin C as per teaspoon (5 g).
Note that that the vitamin C level in Camu Camu products may vary based on, for instance, where the Camu Camu fruit was initially grown.
Camu Camu antioxidants
According to a source, Camu Camu offers incredible antioxidant capacities since the fruit is rich in vitamin C, not to mention other potent compounds, such as flavonoid antioxidants like ellagic acid and anthocyanins.
Antioxidants are basically substances that protect the cells from harm caused by the aforementioned free radicals. Too many free radicals in the body may lead to severe conditions like cancer and heart disease over time.
The rich antioxidant content of the Camu Camu fruit can benefit specifically those who smoke regularly. Smoking creates excess free radicals, which ultimately leads to oxidative stress.
A 7-day study conducted in several male smokers found that those who consumed 0.3 cups of Camu Camu juice (1,050 mg vitamin C) on a daily basis had reduced oxidative stress, as well as inflammatory markers, including C-reactive protein or CRP.
The interesting part is that there weren’t any changes in those markers in those who took a vitamin C pill. What this means is that the unique combination of alternative antioxidants from Camu Camu berries had significantly more robust antioxidant effects compared to vitamin C alone.
Camu Camu anti-inflammatory properties
According to a study, Camu Camu is effective when it comes to reducing inflammation.
Chronic inflammation, as you are aware, can affect your cells’ health negatively. It’s also been associated with serious conditions like heart disease, autoimmune disease, and even cancer.
Camu Camu fruit pulp boasts ellagic acid, which is an antioxidant known to hinder the inflammation-enabling enzyme called aldose reductase.
As we mentioned, a study conducted in a group of male smokers found that drinking 70 ml of Camu Camu (in juice form) for 7 days reduced hsCRP and the inflammatory markers like interleukin (IL-6).
To everyone’s surprise, the same impacts weren’t visible in the group that consumed a tablet with similar amounts of vitamin C (1,050 mg). This proves that there are several beneficial components in the Camu Camu fruit that can potentially help you combat inflammation.
Camu Camu fruit seeds also contain strong anti-inflammatory properties. Several animal studies indicated, and we quote, “Extract from the Camu Camu fruit seeds suppressed inflammation.
Although these results seem promising, more human studies are required to fully understand the possible anti-inflammatory benefits of the Camu Camu fruit.
Other health information
Scientific studies on Camu Camu’s health benefits are limited, as of today.
However, some studies say Camu Camu can deliver a number of benefits, including:
● Reduced weight: A few animal studies have suggested that the Camu Camu berry could reduce body weight via increasing burnt calories and potentially altering the bacteria in your gut.
● Enhanced levels of blood sugar. A study in 23 healthy individuals demonstrated that Camu Camu minimized blood sugar spike after having a high-carb meal.
● Improved blood pressure. Human studies and test-tube research have found that the Camu Camu berry can help lower blood pressure by increasing blood vessels.
● Antimicrobial properties. Another test-tube study shows that the seeds and peel of Camu Camu lowered bacterial growth of Streptococcus mutans and Escherichia coli, two potentially harmful bacterias.
Remember, research in these fields is limited, and the majority of available studies on Camu Camu are animal studies and test-tube findings. More high-quality human studies are required to confirm Camu Camu’s potential benefits.
Is Camu Camu good for your skin?
High in vitamin C, combined with other minerals and vitamins present in the Camu Camu berry, make the fruit an effective antioxidant to prevent premature skin aging, particularly when used with a decent sun protection cream. Here’s how Camu Camu helps protect your skin.
Camu Camu eliminates pigmentation
Camu Camu is high in niacin and vitamin C, meaning it has a strong effect on your melanin-producing cells. Therefore, any signs of discoloration, sun damage, or acne will fade gradually. Flawless skin, checked!
Vitamin C Protects against environmental damages
When paired with a rich factor SPF, the flavonoids and vitamin C in Camu Camu produce a dose of solid antioxidant protection against aging UV. Also, it protects your skin against any negative effects of pollution and pollen that leads to dry and inflamed skin.
Vitamin C helps brighten skin
The Camu Camu fruit not only helps fix your pigmentation issues, but it also exfoliates dead skin cells to bring back a youthful glow!
Vitamin C combats signs of aging
Dermatologists believe that Vitamin C is vital for collagen synthesis. Speaking of collagen, it makes your skin look healthy and plump, fighting the loss of elasticity.
Is Camu Camu safe for babies?
Organic Camu Camu powder is an underrated superfood for babies. It’s a tasty fruit extract derived from the Camu Camu berry. It’s a shame that Camu Camu is often overlooked by parents. It is pretty much bursting with useful nutrients beneficial for children, including vitamin C (compared to oranges, the Camu Camu berry contains between 25-50 times more vitamin C), B vitamins, antioxidants, and the minerals, phosphorus, calcium, and iron.
Your children surely appreciate Camu Camu powder in shakes and smoothies over regular breakfast granolas.
Can you overdose on vitamin C?
Research shows that the average adult man requires 90 mg of vitamin C per day, whereas it is 70 mg for the average woman. Recommended amounts are usually higher for nursing and pregnant women.
We suggest you consult a doctor regarding your specific nutritional needs. The max recommended amount, i.e., the upper limit, would be 2,000 mg a day for an adult.
Now, overdosing on vitamin C is not life-threatening by any means. However, you may still experience some minor to major side effects, including:
● abdominal pain
● sleeping problems
● nausea (and vomiting)
Those who have hemochromatosis could be at risk of a vitamin C overdose, as this particular condition causes the body to store excess iron, exacerbated by consuming extra vitamin C. Note that this condition could potentially cause body tissue damage.
It’s also worth noting that vitamin C supplements can interact with specific medications, e.g., cancer or heart disease medications. Don’t forget to consult your physician before considering any supplements.
Camu Camu benefits hair
Camu Camu comes in oil form, and while you could try eating Camu Camu for hair care, experts recommend applying the oil directly on your hair and scalp.
As already mentioned, Camu Camu is high in vitamin C, and the antioxidants and vitamin C support healthy collagen levels on the scalp. Experts also say that collagen may potentially decrease age-related hair loss and/or thinning.
Experts also believe that the Camu Camu oil can enhance your hair color and shine. Because it is safe to use topically, we can easily recommend Camu Camu for your hair care.
Camu Camu side effects
Here’s a list of possible side effects related to Camu Camu that you should know about!
There isn’t a lot of evidence linking Camu Camu to digestive problems. That said, lack of adequate research doesn’t indicate Camu Camu has no relation to digestive issues.
When it comes to Camu Camu, high Vitamin C levels can cause digestive problems. It increases stomach acid levels and may even cause intestinal wall damage.
Insomnia, loss of appetite
Studies show that the Camu Camu tends to increase the serotonin levels in your body. Serotonin is vital for regulating your appetite and mood. This neurotransmitter tells your brain whether you’re hungry or happy.
While a healthy serotonin level may alleviate depression, make you feel better and happier, excessive amounts of it may lead to negative effects, like insomnia, appetite loss, etc. If this continues to occur for longer, it could easily lead to a lot of other issues.
Generally, digestive problems lead to constipation, bloating, and/or diarrhea, but it’s rarely that straightforward.
There are several other contributing factors, e.g., chronic diarrhea caused by the presence of bacteria, constipation caused by stones, etc.
However, with Camu Camu, an overdose of vitamin C could potentially lead to counter-reactions. As a result, your body will flush the extra vitamins through diarrhea and/or frequent urination. Therefore, take the right amount of Camu Camu for your own safety (more on this later).
Rapid heart rate
Rapid heart rates are an adverse effect of Camu Camu, that is if consumed in excess.
According to WebMD, Serotonin is a key chemical that induces palpitations. Normally, hypertensive people suffer from a rapid heart rate, which often leads to stroke, palpitations, or even MI.
While it does not usually happen, and, to be honest, the cases are extremely rare; it wouldn’t be wise to take Camu Camu when under certain medications. We cannot stress this enough, but you must consult your doctor beforehand.
Excess vitamin C can cause serious problems. One of the main concerns is how vitamin C impacts iron absorption.
This crucial vitamin helps our body absorb iron. Well, it doesn’t sound all that bad when you put it this way. However, you need to keep in mind that more vitamin C means more iron in your body, which could cause iron poisoning or an iron overdose. Excess iron often leads to vomiting, and if unlucky, it can also lead to liver and kidney damage.
Now, all these side effects mentioned above may sound scary on the surface, but the truth is, they are extremely rare. As long as you don’t overdose on Camu Camu, i.e., too much vitamin C can cause complications, you’ll be just fine.
Other side effects caused by Camu Camu are still under investigation. Just make sure to talk to your physician before considering Camu Camu so that he or she could show you what you’re actually up against and how beneficial it will be.
Best Way to use Camu Camu
As Camu Camu is somewhat sour, it can be unpleasant for those planning to eat the berry.
Luckily, you can now find Camu Camu in several different forms, such as puree, juice, and pulp, often sweetened, so it tastes better.
The berry, however, is probably most preferred in the powder form, which kind of makes sense because the water is eliminated, enabling the concentration of the fruit to be higher and have prolonged shelf-life.
You can easily add the powder to oats, smoothies, muesli, salad dressings, and yogurts. Mixing Camu Camu with different recipes and flavors will further mask the sour taste, making the taste more pleasant.
For those seeking tips, always combine Camu Camu with foods after cooking to reduce the loss of nutrients from all that heat, especially vitamin C.
Besides these forms, the Camu Camu fruit is also available as concentrated supplements and extracts.
How much Camu Camu to take daily
The right dose of Camu Camu depends on a few important factors, e.g., age, health, medical conditions, etc.
As of today, there isn’t enough scientific research to decide an appropriate range of dosage for Camu Camu. Note that natural products aren’t always safe. Dosages are almost always vital. Our advice would be to follow the given instructions on product labels, as well as to consult your physician or pharmacist or any healthcare professional before taking Camu Camu.
Nutrition Facts, at a glance:
Camu Camu boasts a powerful mixture of minerals, phytochemicals, and amino acids like leucine, valine, and serine. It also has about 355 micrograms of carotenoids. And besides zeaxanthin and beta-carotene, lutein is the key carotenoid in the Camu Camu fruit.
Acai and acerola are two of the most popular superfoods with rich vitamin C content, but Camu Camu offers even more vitamin C compared to those two.
According to our trusted source, 100 g of Camu Camu, aka Myrciaria dubia, contains:
0.2 g fat
0.4 g protein
2145 mg vitamin C (3575% DV)
0.2 mg copper (10% DV)
2.1 mg manganese (106% DV)
0.5 mg iron (3% DV)
15.7 mg calcium (2% DV)
12.4 mg magnesium (3% DV)
0.4 mg zinc (2% DV)
83.8 mg potassium (2% DV)
Like other natural fruits with superfruit status, e.g., acai, acerola, baobab, Amalaki, moringa, and maqui, Camu Camu is known for its high vitamin C content and antioxidants. While consuming these nutrients could help to improve health, Camu Camu will cost you more than your local fruits, and there’s no surefire evidence that eating it will prevent or treat any serious health condition.
So, until there’s more scientific research confirming the benefits of Camu Camu, you’re better off sticking with anthocyanin-rich fruits like blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, red and purple grapes, bilberries, cherries, black currants, etc.
- Camu Camu helps with heart health
- Camu Camu maintains healthy eyes, gums, and skin
- Camu Camu promotes optimal brain performance
- Camu Camu may protect the nervous system
- Camu Camu help strengthen the immune system
Ingredients: Wild harvested Camu Camu
Parts Used: Berry
Forms: Two ounces of powder or 60 vegetable capsules (550-600 mg).
How to use:
Powder: Take 1/2 tsp of dried powder in 8 oz. glass of favorite juice or smoothie twice a day.
Capsules: Take 1 capsule 4 times a day with water or favorite beverage.
The gel caps we use are Vegicaps (vegetable) and are all-natural. No Animal By-Products, Starch Free, Wheat Free, Dairy Free, Preservative Free, Ethylene Oxide, and Sulfite FREE!
Legal Information: The Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated these statements. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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Powdered (2oz), Capsule (s) 60 Vegicaps