The Weston A. Price Way

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Superfood Wednesday: Acerola Powder - Natural C with Bonuses

I know. We've been told you can't get too much vitamin C. I, personally, 'drown' myself in C tablets, C tea, C lozenges, and C foods whenever I think I'm getting cold symptoms. What can it hurt? It helps heal wounds, keeps our bones healthy, and forms muscles, blood vessels, skin and collagen.  According to the 'Superfoods Index' in Nourishing Traditions, Vitamin C is the most important dietary antioxidant. So, isn't more better?

Vitamin C comes to us through ascorbic acid, but unfortunately, our kidneys are susceptible to damage from too much. It also can cause a deficit of bioflavinoids, which are needed to help our bodies assimilate the vitamin C.  Great. I didn't know that. Linus Pauling is credited with recommending up to 15 grams daily of pure ascorbic acid for an array of illnesses, and indeed, large doses do combat much of 'what ails us'. But then, there are those pesky side effects. We need a 'fix' to our Vitamin C fix. And of course, the fix comes in a natural packaging of food.

First, the immediate fix is in knowing that small amounts of C found in whole foods protect us as well as large amounts of ascorbic acid and offer no side effects in the process. Acerola Powder from the acerola berry, or 'cherry', offers not only Vitamin C, but the bioflavinoids previously discussed that are erased when we take large amounts of pure ascorbic acid. Inherent within the cherry are a number of other benefits as it contains anthocyanins. This bonus helps our bodies fight free radicals that cause cancer. It also helps lower heart disease risks, protects fetal brain tissue, helps with blood sugar regulation as well as obesity problems, is anti-inflammatory and even helps out in the area of memory.

Can one overdo acerola? Yes. You don't just run out, buy the powder and drown yourself in it anymore than I should drown myself in other vitamin C sources. Acerola contains much greater amounts of vitamin C than the typical orange...I guess you could consider it a very highly concentrated orange, and too much can cause problems. Follow your natureopathic or medical doctor's recommendation regarding dosage and be sure to alert them as to what other medications you may be taking. Acerola can interfere with the work of estrogens, (like birth control), and cause false negatives in some tests. One type of acerola cherry, when the cherries themselves are eaten, has caused intestinal inflammation and obstruction in children. Do note that this is only one of the three types of acerola cherry and that it is when eaten as a berry. has additional information on the benefits of acerola as well as the possible side effects from over-consumption.

A good source for quality acerola powder is Radiant Life.

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