Researchers in Quebec, Canada investigated how the Amazonian fruit camu camu benefits may include obesity prevention and metabolic disorder control.
Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables has been known to be beneficial to health. A diet rich in polyphenols is often advised by health experts for individuals trying to lose weight. Fruits and vegetables contain polyphenols known as phytochemicals in large quantities. These are naturally-occurring chemicals that have potent anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties. They help fight toxins, protect the body against damages from free radicals, and have elements capable of causing cell destruction, which is a process that results in a positive metabolic effect in the gut. The phytochemicals are also responsible for the red, blue, and purple colours in fruits.
Researchers have found that polyphenols in fruits and vegetables have the potential to cause changes in the gut microbiota and this may be beneficial for the control of obesity and metabolic disorders.
In a recent study published in Gut, researchers studied the effects of the camu camu fruit on obesity by looking at its anti-oxidant and ant-inflammatory potentials in eight-week-old mice. For the study, they divided the mice into two groups. They fed both groups a high-fat, high-sugar diet, but only half of the mice were given a camu camu extract each day. The researchers assessed the body weight and food intake of the mice twice a week for a period of eight weeks.
From the fourteenth day of study, the researchers observed that induced weight gain was prevented in mice who were given a camu camu extract and there was no fat accumulation in their bodies. At the end of the study, they found that weight gain in mice given a camu camu extract was 50% lower than the mice who did not receive the extract.
They also found that camu camu benefits glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. It also lowered the concentration of blood endotoxins and metabolic inflammation. The camu camu treated mice also demonstrated significant changes in their gut microbiota; a decrease in the gut microbiota is known as a driving factor for obesity.
Overall, the study revealed that camu camu benefits weight loss by preventing obesity, visceral organ fat accumulation and inflammatory processes. They believe that the anti-obesity effect of this fruit may be due to an increase in resting metabolism. The fruit seems to increase the break down of fats and decreasing the production of fat while helping the body expend energy.
The study demonstrated that the camu camu fruit could have huge benefits on metabolism by altering the gut microbiota, facilitating fat break down, increasing energy expenditure, preventing fat accumulation, increasing insulin sensitivity, and reducing blood endotoxins and metabolic inflammation.
However, the extent of how camu camu changes the gut microbiome and affects metabolic inflammation to benefit weight loss and improve metabolic syndrome is still unclear. The authors suggest further studies on camu camu benefits for humans while promoting the consumption of fruits and a diet rich in phytochemicals.
Written by Ijeoma C. Izundu, MBBS
Reference: Anhê F, Nachbar R, Varin T, Trottier J, Dudonné S, Le Barz M et al. Treatment with camu camu (Myrciaria dubia) prevents obesity by altering the gut microbiota and increasing energy expenditure in diet-induced obese mice. Gut. 2018;:gutjnl-2017-315565.