Before you start taking acai, warnings concerning the safety of taking the product medicinally should be reviewed. It is important to know that as a dietary supplement or food, acai can be marketed without any proof that it is either safe or effective. If you have a chronic or severe medical condition, check with your healthcare provider before taking this supplement.
As a fruit, the acai berry is assumed to be safe for most people. However, some people may be more likely to experience problems. Therefore, you should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking acai medicinally if you have:
- Any chronic or severe medical condition
- Any allergies, including allergies to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatments for cancer
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
You should also be sure to tell your healthcare provider about all of the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Warnings and precautions to be aware of concerning the safety of acai include the following:
- As dietary supplements or foods, acai products are not as closely regulated as prescription or nonprescription drugs. They can be marketed without any proof that they are either safe or effective. Do not assume that just because a product is sold or advertised in the United States that it is automatically safe or effective. Be sure to look for acai products from a reputable manufacturer.
- Although it is usually assumed that acai is safe, since it is a fruit, it is important to understand that acai has been studied very little in humans, far too little to know for sure if medicinal use of the fruit is safe.
- Many acai products contain other ingredients, such as vitamins, nutrients, or other juices. Other warnings may apply, depending on the other ingredients.
- Acai has a high antioxidant content. It has been suggested that antioxidants might interfere with chemotherapy or radiation treatments. If you are being treated with chemotherapy or radiation, check with your oncologist before taking acai.
- It is unknown if acai is safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women (see Acai and Pregnancy and Acai and Breastfeeding).
- Acai may theoretically interact with some medications (see Acai Drug Interactions).
- If you have a chronic or severe medical condition, it is always a good idea to check with your healthcare provider before taking any supplement, including acai supplements.