Metabolic syndrome is a disease composed of different risk factors such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension or dyslipidemia. The prevalence of this syndrome is increasing worldwide in parallel with the rise in obesity. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is now the most frequent chronic liver disease in western countries, affecting more than 30% of the general population.
Several studies review the novel mechanisms of actions of acai on different targets that could trigger the health benefits of the açaí, such as antioxidant, vasodilator, antihypertensive, cardio-protector, renal protector, anti-dyslipidemic, anti-obesity and anti-diabetic effects in cardiovascular and metabolic disturbances (1).
A study (2) was to investigate the effect of a polyphenol-rich Acai seed extract (ASE) on adiposity and hepatic steatosis in subjects that were fed a high-fat (HF) diet and its underlying mechanisms based on hepatic lipid metabolism and oxidative stress.
Four groups were studied: subjects that were fed with standard diet (10% fat, Control), 10% fat + ASE (ASE), 60% fat (HF), and 60% fat + ASE (HF + ASE) for 12 weeks.
The group in the standard diet (10% Fat) that received the Acai Seed Extract (ASE) reduced the weight gain in half when compared to control group.
The group HF (High Fat Diet) without ASE presented a weight gain of about 10 times the control group, while the group HF + ASE presented half of the weight gain of the HF group.
The HF group presented 407.29% visceral fat weight gain when compared to control group. For the HF+ASE there was a reduction of 69.75% of the visceral fat weight when compared to the HF group.
Photomicrographs of the liver structure: Sections of the liver were stained with hematoxylin and eosin, and each photomicrograph is shown at the same magnification. (CONTROL) The usual liver appearance in the control group; (ASE) ASE did not change the liver appearance; (HF) macro- and micro-vesicular steatosis in the High Fat group; (HF+ASE) steatosis was reduced in the HF+ASE group.
The HF Group presented 54.04% increase in glycemic levels compared with control group. The HF+ASE presented a reduction of 22.57% of glycemic levels when compared to HF group.
The HF Group presented 104.78% increase in cholesterol levels when compared with control group. The HF+ASE presented a reduction of 34.96% of cholesterol levels when compared to HF group.
The HF Group presented 27,81% increase in LDL levels when compared with control group. The HF+ASE presented a reduction of 91.68% of LDL levels when compared to HF group.