Cure-All Juices: Let the Buyer Beware
I read Dr. Douglas Andersen's article, "Cure-All Juices, Part 1: Acai and Goji," in the March 11 issue (www.chiroweb.com/archives/26/06/02.html) and felt the "Let the Buyer Beware" theme needed a little more support. [Editor's note: Parts 2 and 3 of Dr. Andersen's series appeared in the April 8 and May 6 issues, respectively. See "Cure-All Juices, Part 2: Noni" and "Cure-All Juices, Part 3: Mangosteen" online.]
I looked into one company that sells acai juice and claims the powder has an ORAC of 1,026 per gram. When I asked about the ORAC per serving of juice, they eventually got back to me and said: "There are approximately 1,000 ORAC units per 1 ounce." When I asked for the Brunswick Labs document, I was informed that the Brunswick Labs test was 500 per serving and that the company had used USDA test results.
Putting this in perspective, some companies not only cherry-pick the best lab results, but also will go so far as to cherry-pick the company that does the testing! Putting the score in perspective, this particular product contains other fruit juices to make the acai taste good. Most of the 500 score probably comes from those other fruits, which would make the amount of acai in each serving, at most, a dash.
I believe the companies that make these products should test ORAC, NORAC, HORAC, TEAK, heavy metals, and have a complete nutritional analysis posted with actual independent lab documentation available to determine their real value. Human studies would be nice. With phytonutrition, however, I personally don't require human tests if the lab tests are there. Besides, every batch is different because every harvest is different. The next batch would need new human testing to validate the results of the new batch.
And there is really no dispute over the value of broad-spectrum phytonutrition. We know we should eat about 10 servings of fruits and vegetables every day, representing the full spectrum, which is achieved by including fruits and vegetables from all the colors. If we don't do this, phytonutrient supplements may be of value, especially if they represent the full spectrum and have valid tests results (like those mentioned above) to verify their content.
The point: Let's teach the importance of fruits and vegetables (phytonutrition) and how to do it right, providing alternatives when our best advice is not possible. (For example, a patient might say, "I don't have the time and money to go shopping two times per week for fresh organic produce representing all the colors.")
Thank you, Dr. Andersen, for your dedication to the chiropractic profession.
Michael Haley, DC
Pompano Beach, Fla.
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