Acerola Berry

Acerola (Malpighia glabra L.) is a tropical fruit native to Mexico, Central and South America. Rich in antioxidants (including vitamin C and anthocyanins), acerola is often sold in supplement and juice form. Proponents claim that acerola offers a wide range of health benefits.

Acerola is sometimes referred to as acerola berry or acerola cherry. However, acerola is not related to cherries from the genus Prunus (such as the wild cherry).


To date, very few scientific studies have tested the potential health benefits of acerola. Although there is no evidence from clinical trials to show that acerola can enhance health, some preliminary findings from laboratory research and animal-based studies indicate that acerola may have some beneficial effects.

Here's a look at several key study findings:

1) Blood Sugar

Acerola may help reduce blood sugar levels, according to a 2006 study from Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry. In tests on mice, scientists demonstrated that antioxidants extracted from acerola may help suppress transport of blood sugar throughout the intestines.

2) Oxidative Stress

In a laboratory study published in Plant Foods for Human Nutrition in 2011, researchers found that acerola extract may fight oxidative stress (an aging-related process linked to a number of major diseases).

3) Lung Cancer

Acerola shows promise for protection against lung cancer, a 2002 study in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology suggests. Tests on mice revealed that acerola extract helped regulate abnormal cell growth to slow the spread of lung cancer.


Acerola is touted as a natural remedy for a number of health conditions, including:

In addition, some proponents claim that acerola can stimulate the production of collagen, improve sports performance and slow the aging process.

What Is Acerola Gel?

Acerola gel is a beauty product said to improve skin tone and heal sun-damaged skin. While preliminary research suggests that oral intake of acerola extract may shield skin from the harmful effects of sun exposure, there is currently a lack of scientific support for the claim that topically applied acerola can benefit the skin.


Although little is known about the safety of use of acerola extract, there is some concern that oral intake of acerola may cause certain side effects (including nausea, diarrhea, headache, redness of skin and kidney stones).

Where to Find It

Widely available for purchase online, acerola can also be found in many natural-foods stores and in stores specializing in dietary supplements.

Using It for Health

Due to the lack of supporting research, acerola cannot currently be recommended as a principal standard treatment for any health problem. It's important to note that using acerola as substitute for standard treatment of a chronic condition may have serious health consequences.

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Article Sources
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