Camu camu, a natural remedy for overweight?

Anyone who has ever tried to get rid of the excess pounds knows that losing weight is not always easy. Following a diet and exercising more helps, but it is so difficult to permanently stay on weight after a period of weight loss. However, the results of scientific research in 2018 in mice offer hope: tropical fruit from the Amazon region in South America, called camu camu, is an efficient, safe and natural way to prevent obesity.

Camu camu is a berry that grows up to four meters high bushes (Myrciaria dubia) in the Amazon region of Brazil and Peru. It is incredibly rich in vitamin C; it contains up to 30 times more vitamin C than kiwis and oranges. The concentration of polyphenols (antioxidants) is five times higher than that in blackberries.

Camu camu and nutrition

Despite these good health properties, camu camu is little eaten by the locals. The berries are very acidic. Instead of eating camu camu as fruit, it is dried and then ground into powder, which can be dissolved in water or mixed in food. Camu camu is not in our shop as fruit, because it is so sour. Camu camu powder and capsules with an extract from camu camu, on the other hand, are easily available in the Netherlands, especially online.

Camu camu and overweight

Scientific research in 2018 has brought a new effect of camu camu on health to light. The research in mice, conducted at Laval University and the Heart and Long Research Center in Quebec, Canada, shows that an extract of camu camu weight gain as a result of sugar and high fat food is 100% prevalent. The weight of the mice after eight weeks on the fattening diet was comparable to the weight of mice that had received normal, healthy food. How does camu camu bring this enormous effect on weight gain?

Changes in the intestinal flora

Camu camu increases the basal metabolism, causing the mice to burn more energy instead of storing it. Camu camu also protects against insulin resistance, which often occurs in people who are overweight and leads to type 2 diabetes. The positive effect of camu camu on the metabolism (another name for metabolism) is caused by the bacteria that live in the gut. Camu camu namely changes the composition of the intestinal flora. Some bacterial species decrease in number (for example Lactobacillus), while others increase in number (eg Akkermansia muciniphila). The changes in the intestinal flora appear to be so important, that when the intestinal bacteria of a camu camu-treated mouse are transferred to the intestines of a mouse without bacteria, this mouse does not get fat from eating fat.

Intestinal flora affects the physiology of the body

The intestinal flora has a major influence on all kinds of physiological processes in the body. In people with overweight, for example, the intestinal flora is built up from the wrong types of bacteria. This has negative consequences for the immune system, for the metabolism and also fewer hormones are released into the body, indicating that it is time to stop eating when you are not hungry. Overweight people eat too much so that they become even heavier than they already are. Because camu camu reduces the number of ‘bad’ bacteria and increases the number of ‘good’ bacteria, as the research in mice showed, not only does the basal metabolism increase, but the ‘hunger hormones’ are also released in a normal amount. , making you eat less.

Effects of camu camu on overweight in humans

As mentioned, the spectacular protective effect against weight gain has been demonstrated in mice. Would camu camu have the same effect in humans? In the year 2018 this is not yet known. We do know, however, that overweight people have a different composition of their bacteria in the intestines compared to slim people. For example, the amount of Akkermansia bacteria is lower, and that of Lactobacillus is higher. These are precisely two of the bacterial species whose numbers are corrected by camu camu in the intestines of the mice from the study (Akkermansia increases, Lactobacillus decreases). The bacterial populations in the intestines of mice and people with overweight are therefore very similar and it seems plausible,