Sunday, May 9, 2010

Grow Taller with Acai Berry and Lithium?

A lot of times where the weight loss community goes, the height increase community follows.  One of the things hot in the weight loss community is Acai Berry.  Does Acai Berry have any possible usefulness for height gain?

Antioxidant, mutagenic, and antimutagenic activity of frozen fruits.

"Fresh fruits [may inhibit] reactive species and free radicals. 23 samples of frozen fruits were analyzed for their nutritional composition, total polyphenols, total carotenoids, and vitamin C content. Antioxidant, mutagenic, and antimutagenic effects were also evaluated. Antioxidant assays included 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radical (DPPH(.)) scavenging activity and determination of superoxide dismutase (SOD)- and catalase (CAT)-like activities. Mutagenic and antimutagenic evaluations were performed in eukaryotic cells of Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast. Most samples (74%) showed antioxidant activity similar to vitamin C in the DPPH(.) assay, and this activity was positively correlated (r = 0.366; P Only four fruits (acai, cashew apple, kiwi fruit, and strawberry) showed mutagenic activity when tested in high (5%, 10%, and 15% [wt/vol]) concentrations. Twelve samples presented antimutagenic effects against hydrogen peroxide, and this effect was positively correlated with CAT-like activity (r = 0.400; P)."

Mutagenic refers to a substances ability to cause a mutation in the genetic code.  Obviously this effect is very powerful but we need to cause a specific mutation in order to influence height.  The ability of acai berry to fight free radicals can have a positive effect on free radicals too as it is a possibility that free radicals might negatively affect chondrocytes in the growth plate.

Antioxidant capacity and other bioactivities of the freeze-dried Amazonian palm berry, Euterpe oleraceae mart. (acai).

"The fruit of Euterpe oleraceae, commonly known as acai, has been demonstrated to exhibit significantly high antioxidant capacity in vitro, especially for superoxide and peroxyl scavenging, and, therefore, may have possible health benefits. The antioxidant capacities of freeze-dried acai fruit pulp/skin powder (OptiAcai) were evaluated by different assays with various free radical sources. [Acai has] exceptional activity against superoxide in the superoxide scavenging (SOD) assay, the highest of any food reported to date against the peroxyl radical as measured by the oxygen radical absorbance capacity assay, and mild activity against both the peroxynitrite and hydroxyl radical by the peroxynitrite averting capacity (NORAC) and hydroxyl radical averting capacity (HORAC) assays, respectively. The SOD of acai was 1614 units/g, an extremely high scavenging capacity for O2*-, by far the highest of any fruit or vegetable tested to date. Total phenolics were also tested as comparison. In the total antioxidant (TAO) assay, antioxidants in acai were differentiated into "slow-acting" and "fast-acting" components. An assay measuring inhibition of reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation in freshly purified human neutrophils showed that antioxidants in acai are able to enter human cells in a fully functional form and to perform an oxygen quenching function at very low doses.  Acai was found to be a potential cyclooxygenase (COX)-1 and COX-2 inhibitor [and] showed a weak effect on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced nitric oxide but no effect on either lymphocyte proliferation and phagocytic capacity."

Acai berry inhibits Cox2 and Cox2 affects height growth. Cox2 is biphasic so there is an equilibrium quantity involved. Fighting free radicals would help if the levels of free radicals are above an equilibrium threshold.

Conclusin, Acai Berry is one of the best sources of anti-oxidants with which to fight free radicals. Acai berry has mutagenic effects but these mutagenic effects may not increase height.  One mutagenic substance that may increase height could be Lithium:

Review of lithium effects on brain and blood.

"Lithium acts through multiple pathways to inhibit glycogen synthetase kinase-3beta (GSK3 beta). This enzyme phosphorylates and inhibits nuclear factors that turn on cell growth[including possibly growth plate cells] and protection programs, including the nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) and WNT/beta-catenin. In animals, lithium upregulates neurotrophins, including brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), nerve growth factor, neurotrophin-3 (NT3), as well as receptors to these growth factors in brain. Lithium also stimulates proliferation of stem cells, including bone marrow and neural stem cells in the subventricular zone, striatum, and forebrain. The stimulation of endogenous neural stem cells may explain why lithium increases brain cell density and volume in patients with bipolar disorders. Lithium also increases brain concentrations of the neuronal markers n-acetyl-aspartate and myoinositol. Lithium also remarkably protects neurons against glutamate, seizures, and apoptosis due to a wide variety of neurotoxins. The effective dose range for lithium is 0.6-1.0 mM in serum and >1.5 mM may be toxic. Serum lithium levels of 1.5-2.0 mM may have mild and reversible toxic effects on kidney, liver, heart, and glands. Serum levels of >2 mM may be associated with neurological symptoms, including cerebellar dysfunction. Prolonged lithium intoxication >2 mM can cause permanent brain damage. Lithium has low mutagenic and carcinogenic risk."

Lithium is not available in foods as far as I know so it may be valuable if you happen to have a prescription for it.

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