The acai berry has created much ballyhoo as the next best diet pill, no thanks to aggressive product marketing. And as a diet pill, many are wondering if it comes with the same harmful side effects that popular diet supplements carry.
Depending on their ingredients, different diet pills cause different side effects. The fat blocker Xenical eliminates excess fats from the intestines, causing cramps, gas and diarrhea. Orlistat also hampers the body's absorption of essential vitamins and nutrients, so users are advised take multivitamin supplements.
When the appetite suppressant Meridia stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, it increases heart rate and elevates blood pressure that can lead to heart attack and cardiac arrest. FDA reports show that 49 deaths between February 1998 and March 2003 have been attributed to sibutramine. Meridia can also develop insomnia, constipation and headaches.
Although herbal supplements are supposed to be safe because they are made with all-natural herbs, the diet capsules themselves contain other ingredients that have potentially dangerous side effects.
Another popular diet pill ingredient is the amphetamine-like stimulant called ephedra (or the Chinese herb ma huang), which, when combined with caffeine, can trigger massive weight loss. But because ephedra boosts the heart rate, it increased the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Acai berry supplements in extract, puree or pill have not shown any side effects or negative interaction with pharmaceuticals in any study. Grapefruit is known to interact with certain drugs, but the acai berry does not contain the substances which make grapefruit dangerous when taken with pills. You may experience a reaction if you happen to have a rare allergy to berries, but otherwise you should be just fine.
The acai berry contains rich amounts of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that have kept South American natives healthy for centuries. As for acai berry side effects, there's only one -- decreased appetite, which is actually a benefit for those trying to lose weight.