Acai Berry Cleansing: Why Is It a Dangerous Trend?

A lot of people swear by this therapy, but there are reasons why it's not a good idea. Find out why.
Acai Berry Cleansing: Why Is It a Dangerous Trend?
Saúl Sánchez Arias

Written and verified by the nutritionist Saúl Sánchez Arias.

Last update: 10 January, 2023

Acai berry cleansing is a dangerous trend that is becoming fashionable and could be detrimental to the normal functioning of the body. After all, the body doesn’t need any more cleansing than it’s already able to perform through organs such as the kidney and liver.

Before we begin, it’s important to note that many of the detox diets that promise a cleansing process fail in the medium term. They aren’t sufficient in essential nutrients and don’t cover the daily requirements. They cause the person to go hungry and this isn’t positive either.

What does acai berry cleansing consist of?

Acai berry cleansing is carried out through the intake of acai berry supplements. A 2 or 3-week timeline is usually proposed, with a daily consumption of these products in the form of a detox drink.

Its followers claim that through this mechanism inflammation is reduced and swelling is regularized, although there’s no solid scientific evidence in this regard. They also claim that it would be positive for weight loss.

What is clear is that most acai supplements are unregulated, so they can contain harmful or toxic elements. In fact, they frequently include laxatives to speed up bowel movements, which is not at all positive.

These types of cleansing guidelines are usually accompanied by a restrictive dietary plan, which is based on the almost exclusive consumption of plant foods. If this isn’t followed correctly, nutrient deficits can be experienced.

Acai berry cleansing.
It’s common for acai berry cleansing to be carried out with a vegetarian or vegan diet.

The risks are greater at certain stages in life

It’s important to be clear that these types of depurative and restrictive mechanisms are especially dangerous in stages such as pregnancy or breastfeeding. Not only because the insufficient supply of nutrients can condition the development of the fetus, but also because a possible contamination with unwanted compounds in the supplement could generate toxicity.

Neither in the case of the elderly are these types of diets or processes recommended. In old age, it should be kept in mind that protein requirements increase. If these aren’t met, an even more rapid destruction of muscle mass may occur, which is associated with a higher risk of death from any cause.

Healthy ways to lose weight

If your goal is to reduce bloating or lose weight efficiently, there are better alternatives than starting an acai berry cleansing. For example, regular physical activity will be crucial, as evidenced by research published in the journal Progress in Cardiovascular Disease. In this way, muscle mass is created and daily energy expenditure is increased.

It will also be necessary to modify your diet, but ensuring that nutritional requirements are always met. In the case of opting for a restrictive mechanism, the best option is intermittent fasting. This has proven benefits on the state of body composition and on the functioning of the metabolism. However, after a while, the proposed diet should be balanced again.

A woman running.
Physical activity will always be recommended for weight loss plans that aim to be healthy.

Beware of acai berry cleansing

Acai berry cleansing is considered dangerous to health, as well as inefficient.

The body has a high capacity for self-purification, so there’s no need to support this function other than by promoting good lifestyle habits. In this sense, avoiding toxic substances such as alcohol or tobacco will be decisive.

Acai berries have properties that are still being researched. However, most of them are linked to long-term cardiovascular protective effects, and not to weight loss.

It should be noted that diets and miracle protocols often have side effects. They should always be avoided.

When looking for health benefits or an improvement in body composition, it’s best to consider changes in routines and a varied and balanced diet. Meeting the nutritional requirements will avoid alterations in the normal function of the organs.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Martone AM, Marzetti E, Calvani R, et al. Exercise and Protein Intake: A Synergistic Approach against Sarcopenia. Biomed Res Int. 2017;2017:2672435. doi:10.1155/2017/2672435
  • Swift DL, McGee JE, Earnest CP, Carlisle E, Nygard M, Johannsen NM. The Effects of Exercise and Physical Activity on Weight Loss and Maintenance. Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2018;61(2):206-213. doi:10.1016/j.pcad.2018.07.014
  • Welton S, Minty R, O’Driscoll T, et al. Intermittent fasting and weight loss: Systematic review. Can Fam Physician. 2020;66(2):117-125.
  • Gonçalves Jr, A. C., Schwantes, D., Campagnolo, M. A., Dragunski, D. C., Tarley, C. R. T., & Silva, A. K. D. S. (2018). Removal of toxic metals using endocarp of açaí berry as biosorbent. Water Science and Technology77(6), 1547-1557.
  • Kang, M. H., & Kim, B. H. (2018). Oral wound healing effects of acai berry water extracts in rat oral mucosa. Toxicological research34(2), 97-102.
  • de Moura, R. S., & Resende, Â. C. (2016). Cardiovascular and metabolic effects of açaí, an Amazon plant. Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology68(1), 19-26.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.