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Tropical fruit camu-camu (Myrciaria dubia) has
anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties

 "Camu-camu"is an Amazonian fruit that offers high vitamin C content ranging from 9 to 50 g/kg, which is twofold that of acelora [10]. Additionally, in vitro anti-oxidant activity of 100% camu-camu juice evaluated by DPPH method reaches 50-fold of that of 100% acelora juice (unpublished data), suggesting its potentiality as an effective dietary supplement to prevent atherosclerotic disease. However, the anti-oxidative property has not been evaluated in an in vivo human study. Furthermore, the effects of camu-camu on inflammation have not been elucidated.

This study was designed to establish the antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties of camu-camu in vivo in humans.

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Background: Oxidative stress as well as inflammation plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. Although, various anti-oxidative dietary supplements have been evaluated for their ability to prevent atherosclerosis, no effective ones have been determined at present. ‘‘Camu-camu’’ (Myrciaria dubia) is an Amazonian fruit that offers high vitamin C content. However, its anti-oxidative property has not been evaluated in vivo in humans.

Methods: To assess the anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties of camucamu in humans, 20 male smoking volunteers, considered to have an accelerated oxidative stress state, were recruited and randomly assigned to take daily 70 ml of 100% camu-camu juice, corresponding to 1050 mg of vitamin C (camu-camu group; n = 10) or 1050 mg of vitamin C tablets (vitamin C group; n = 10) for 7 days. Results: After 7 days, oxidative stress markers such as the levels of urinary 8-hydroxy-deoxyguanosine (P < 0.05) and total reactive oxygen species (P < 0.01) and inflammatory markers such as serum levels of high sensitivity C reactive protein (P < 0.05), interleukin (IL)-6 (P < 0.05), and IL-8 (P < 0.01) decreased significantly in the camu-camu group, while there was no change in the vitamin C group.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that camu-camu juice may have powerful anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties, compared to vitamin C tablets containing equivalent vitamin C content. These effects may be due to the existence of unknown anti-oxidant substances besides vitamin C or unknown substances modulating in vivo vitamin C kinetics in camu-camu.

© 2008 Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd on behalf of Japanese College of Cardiology.


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