Its pretty safe to say that most, if not ALL of us get asked about every single trend in “dietary supplements”. If its not Oprah’s guests touting the health benefits of some ‘system’, its somebody else doing the same. Everybody is looking for the magic bullet: something to make us thinner, younger looking, more virile (if you are a male), protect us from disease, help us sleep better yet provide us with more energy. I mean really, isn’t that the holy grail of all things in the drug world? If we could ever truly latch on to some extract that could accomplish even HALF of these things then there would be some serious money made by its founder/inventor/discoverer.
Enter the Acai berry. I started getting inquiries about it a few months ago. We didnt’ stock any and our wholesaler didnt list anything under Acai yet. Since being informed makes the Chick look good, I decided to check out this product and see if it sniffed of scam.
First of all I looked for scientific study and didnt find much. What I did find was a lot of “free” (but not really) trial offers. You know the ones: “try it free for 14 days, and if you dont manage to send it back, we charge you an exhorbitant price and enroll you in automatic shipping for a monthly supply of our junk. AND even if you do send it back, we will somehow LOSE your return and charge you for it anyway and you will spend the next 3 months trying to get a refund. Ha ha you sucker…” This does not bode well for my objective investigation into Acai and scored high on my scam-o-meter. Nevertheless I kep trying. I never found any bonafide studies, but there was a lot of anectodal/testimonial evidence that would intice one easily influenced to believe its claims.
Lets discuss its claims. Depending on what website you look at Acai claims it will make you feel less hungry, speed up your metabolism without stimulants, is a powerful antioxidant, cause you to lose weight like you were a cancer patient, make you sleep better, but have more energy during the day. Of all these claims, the one most believable would be its claims about antioxidants. It is quite an antioxidant and for that it may be a worthy supplement. The rest is debatable.
However, for some inexplicable reason (maybe those 10 lbs of fat around my middle), the Chick decided to test the claims herself.
First order of business: Pick a vendor who is NOT a rip off. This is harder than it seems. I wanted an Acai product that was pure and not something like 10% Acai. I did NOT want a not-so-free trial. I wanted to pay for what I was buying and not be roped into some automatic shipping nightmare I’d have to wade thru Hell for to free myself from. I also wanted to purchase from a reputable site and not some vaguely described Malaysian internet pharmacy/warehouse. Lastly, I was looking for somebody who might tout the real benefits of the product and not some hype. After wandering thru most of the w.w.w I narrowed in on one site: Amazon Thunder.
Now before you start screaming “Hey Chick, are you endorsing a product?” the answer is NO, I am not endorsing anything, I am just telling a story.
I found this site to sell a purified product that I would have to pay for and it didnt promise the fountain of youth, nor did it promise I would be leaving a trail of fat behind me as I walked off my excess pounds. They let their testimonials tout all its benefits, carefully leaving out any specific health promises in its official information. After 2 weeks of thinking about it, I leaped in. Being the ever cautious shopper, I made my purchase on Amazon.com instead of its own website and got free shipping (which may be significant because it came in two big glass bottles). I also looked at the reviews and decided on the puree in the bottle instead of its other offerings. Several reviewers described the concentrated powder as tasting like “dirt”. Since I am pretty sure I would not enjoy eating scoopfuls of dirt daily, I opted for the liquid.
I am happy to say that the liquid does not taste like dirt, but I am not sure I would describe it as a beverage either. Its a very thick puree that has some grape juice added for flavor as the berry itself isn’t very sweet. I am grateful that a 1oz serving is standard because nobody would be able to consume very much of it. Its very thick, but pleasant tasting once you get used to it. I drink it down like a shooter, then rinse out the glass with water (lots it left behind) and drink the rest. It is low in calories, something like 15 calories per ounce so the user isn’t consuming a dessert whilst supplementing his/her health.
But what about its benefits, Chick? Thats what we are waiting for!
Two weeks into it, I still look 45. I haven’t lost any weight, and that bag of potato chips still calls my name at 10:30 every morning. I still sleep about the same, and my energy level remains unchanged. The jury is still out on whether it has helped my golf game. I don’t have any chronic illness for which I am hoping for a cure, so I am not looking to Acai to heal me, tho I must admit I was hoping for the appetite suppression. Maybe it takes a while to kick in.
I still have 1 bottle to go. I may even re-order once to give it the old’college try. Its not a miracle product. I am not cinching up my belt from any dramatic weight loss and nobody is asking the Chick to pose for the next SI swimsuit issue.
However, the stuff’s not bad and who knows, maybe all those antioxidants may provide some unforeseen benefit down the road. You are at least getting what they advertise, and nobody is roping anybody into any predatory auto shipments thru sneaky terms of service.
All I can say, is if there ever is any discovery that delivers on all these things without causing painful tumors or boils all over our bodies, the stuff will sell itself and the world will beat a path to its door waving fistfuls of money.
And, oh, could I be that inventor……hope springs eternal.