Well, I figured I’d give the acai berry supplements a shot myself to see firsthand how well they work. I’m in fairly good shape, so I wasn’t expecting to shed a lot of pounds, but I must admit that my diet hasn’t been the greatest recently, and frankly I just wanted to see if I could notice similar results to B5. The first week was fine, then the trouble started.
It started out as a slight pain in my abdomen, but over the course of the next week, the pain got a lot worse. By week three I was barely able to sleep at night because of the intense stomach cramps that started wracking my body. There was a sharp, throbbing pain in my abdomen that radiated out to my lower back. One night it kept me up until 7:30 in the morning. Not fun.
At first, I was skeptical that the acai berry supplements had anything to do with my pain. I don’t have many allergic reactions to vitamins, minerals, herbs, etc. However, the time frame matched up, and now that I’ve laid off the supplements, the pain is leaving. A little googling led me to discover than apparently a number of other acai berry users have experienced the same thing.
This is not a well publicized side effect, and I expect it is fairly rare, but it’s a pretty brutal if you get it, so I’d just like to caution any acai users that if you start to feel stomach pain, stop taking the pills immediately.
So Opera is at it again and the latest craze in health supplements is here: acai berries. If you’ve visited many websites recently, you’ve probably even seen a few banner ads for acai weight loss supplements. Acai berries are notable for a few reasons. Like so many other supplements, they are packed with antioxidants. Acai berries are said to possess even more antioxidant power than blueberries and blackberries. That’s well and good, but you know how I feel about antioxidants (when it comes to treating any real ailment, don’t expect much). More interesting are the other benefits of acai, namely its purported ability to both decrease your appetite and increase your metabolism. That certainly sounds like a powerful combination for weight loss. Some users have even noted that their skin tone improved, which caught my attention.
The claims of increasing your metabolism in a fashion that enhances your skin tone made acai sound quite similar to another supplement that I’m rather familiar with – vitamin B5. So I got to looking at how acai brings about these effects. Sources that actually explain *how* the acai berry works are pretty rare, but it turns out that the berry’s ability to improve your metabolism stems from the fact that it delivers a healthy dose of omega fatty acids (including omega 3′s, 6′s and 9′s).
While the acai berry contains these fatty acids, it does not provide them in a readily available form. It is much harder for your body to obtain these ingredients from acai, compared with sources such as fish oil, for example. This begs the question: If you want a more powerful metabolism boost, why not just take fish oil?
The unique thing about acai is that it also helps decrease your desire for food, thanks in part to its high fiber content. This is pretty unusual in a metabolism booster. Most products that have the same effect make you more hungry, not less. For instance, many vitamin B5 users notice an increased appetite as their metabolism ramps up from taking B5.
In any case, acai berries are certainly a powerful supplement with some great health benefits, but whether they’re the answer for you depends on what you’re looking for. If it’s mainly the metabolism benefits, you will probably get stronger effects from fish oil or vitamin B5, but considering the whole package, acai berries are still a nice option, just don’t expect dramatic changes overnight like some of the ads out there claim.
For the longest time, topical acne treatments more or less ignored the real cause behind most acne, that being excess skin oil. You’d hear about how one acne cream or cleanser would give you clear skin thanks to how well it killed bacteria or removed surface dirt, factors which are mostly irrelevant when it comes to really stopping breakouts. Well, now it seems some products are actually getting it, talking specifically about how they eliminate excess skin oil from your pores….but there’s a still a problem with their methods.
I was recently watching a commercial for the Murad acne complex, which specifically noted how its deep-cleaning cleanser pulled the oil right out from your pores. Less oil is good, right? Well yes, but the key word here is “less”. The goal is to normalize your oil levels, not eliminate them altogether.
The problem with topical cleansers is that they strip away your skin’s natural level of defense. Acne is caused when your glands produce too much oil too fast. The oil becomes pressurized in your pores, hardening into acne pustules. Too much oil is a bad thing, but not enough oil can also be harmful. Too little oil leaves your skin dry and vulnerable, more easily irritated and more susceptible to sun damage. It can lead to premature aging and all kinds of effects you don’t want. And simply put, it’s not natural. Your body naturally tries to protect your skin with a safe level of oil. Constantly stripping it away is not a healthy way to treat your skin.
This topical approach does nothing to effect either oil production or oil metabolism. Once again, you’re treating the symptoms and not the problem. A topical treatment cannot take away “just enough” oil to leave your skin how it naturally should be. They don’t work like that. In the end, it takes an internal treatment to maintain your skin oil at healthy levels. If your body is pumping out too much sebum, that means you have to either decrease oil production with a prescription treatment such as Accutane, or increase oil metabolism with vitamin B5. In these cases, topical solutions aren’t a solution at all.