The potential health benefits of acai as a pre diabetes diet supplement may be linked to a potent anti-inflammatory compound recently found in acai extract called velutin.
I have previously posted on the diabetes and cholesterol-lipid benefits of Acai. Research as previously showed that Acai has strong antioxidant properties, and that dietary antioxidants have been associated with a lower incidence of various cardiovascular diseases including coronary artery disease and stroke.
A study published in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry evaluated the anti-inflammatory effects of velutin and showed that this flavonoid compound has an even stronger anti-inflammatory effect than other more well-known anti-inflammatory flavonoids luteolin, apigenin and chrysoeriol.
The researchers isolated velutin from acai fruit pulp and examined its effects on a certain type of white blood cell. These cells, called macrophages, were exposed to an inflammation producing lipopolysaccharide. Lipopolysaccharides (LPS) are found in the membrane, or “skin,” of certain bacteria and act as toxins causing a strong inflammatory immune response.
The researchers evaluated the effect of LPS exposure on the macrophage cells’ production of inflammatory compounds known as tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and interleukin 6 (IL-6) in the presence or absence of velutin, and compared this reaction with other flavones with similar chemical structures (luteolin, apigenin and chrysoeriol).
Velutin was found to be the most potent for reducing the production of both TNF-alpha and IL-6.
Velutin can be classed as a new strong anti-inflammatory flavonoid in the broader class of plant compounds known as polyphenols.