11 Amazing Benefits of Camu Camu

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

The most interesting benefits of camu camu include its ability to aid in weight loss, boost the immune system, protect against liver injuries and chronic diseases, and reduce inflammation. It is rich in vitamin C which helps to detoxify the body and prevent viral infections. It is also good for reducing mood swings, promoting eye health, improving sexual health, and preventing cognitive disorders.

About Camu Camu Tree

While the scientific name of this riverside tree is Myrciaria dubia, most of the world knows its fruit as camu camu or cacari or camocamo. It is most commonly found in the Amazon rainforests in Peru and Brazil, and the fruit is a small, cherry-like drupe. [1]

These fruits weren’t known to the rest of the world until recently, and the major importer is actually Japan, but as more and more is discovered about their remarkable nutritional composition, the demand is increasing. While the fruit is relatively easy to harvest, there is still no large-scale cultivation outside South America, making it a very important crop.

Interestingly enough, the amount of vitamin C (about 2-3% of the total volume) begins to diminish as the fruit reaches maturity, which is when the top flavors emerge. Therefore, harvesters have to forge a delicate balance between flavor and nutritional benefit, which is why some people prefer slightly less ripened camu camu fruit.

Camu Camu Uses

In terms of uses, camu camu lacks an overwhelming flavor, so it is commonly used in ice creams or sweets, but little else. The dried powder of camu camu has also been sold as a dietary supplement, given its rich nutrient content, including some antioxidants and essential amino acids like valine for human health. [2]

A white bowl filled with fresh camu camu fruits placed on a white table

Camu camu is a berry that has gained popularity due to its many purported beneficial effects on health. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Health Benefits of Camu Camu

Let’s take a closer look at the health benefits of this fruit.

Vitamin C Content

There’s no way to talk about camu camu without first mentioning the massive amount of vitamin C found in this remarkable little drupe. It has one of the highest concentrations of vitamin C of any food source, and since vitamin C is not only vital for human health but also impossible to naturally create in our body, having a rich source like camu camu is a huge advantage. Also, the synthetic vitamin C that has recently been injected into foods to boost their potency is not nearly as beneficial as naturally occurring vitamin C. Ascorbic acid stimulates white blood cell production, which significantly boosts the immune system, and is also a key component in collagen production, which helps to repair and develop cells, tissues, and organs. Just as a comparison, camu camu has 200 times more vitamin C than a banana in terms of vitamin C per ounce.

Liver Health

Camu camu is known to improve liver health. Research at The United Graduate School of Agricultural Science, Japan states that the presence of a compound called 1-methylmalate in it aids in treating a liver injury. [3]

Weight Loss

According to a recent study conducted on the effects of camu camu in a weight loss diet, the fruit has actually exhibited many beneficial properties. It has the ability to help you maintain healthy gut bacteria, which plays a key role in metabolism. Moreover, adding camocamo to your diet will not only help you in shedding extra kilos but also help in lowering your risk of chronic diseases that are linked to obesity. [4] [5]

Improves Cognitive Ability

The various antioxidant effects of camu camu, some of which are derived from the huge amount of vitamin C, also help to eliminate plaque build-up in the cognitive pathways, often caused by free radicals and oxidative stress. It has been linked to preventing certain cognitive disorders. It can also boost cognitive ability in younger people, increasing focus, memory, and concentration skills. [6]

Anti-inflammatory Property

Vitamin C is a natural anti-inflammatory substance, but the other nutrients and amino acids found in camu camu, such as anthocyanins, catechins, and flavonols, are also potent anti-inflammatory agents. For people who suffer from arthritis and gout, to hemorrhoids and headaches, it can offer pain relief and soothe inflammation. [7] [8]

Reduces Mood Swings

Research has indicated that camu camu can have a relaxing effect on the body, acting almost like a sedative, which can certainly help to balance mood swings and soothe mental anxiety. Although the exact pathway isn’t completely clear, the high levels of magnesium and other vitamins that reduce inflammation and calm the body are likely the cause behind this important health benefit, particularly for people suffering from menopausal mood swings.

Antiviral & Antibacterial Properties

The natural antiseptic qualities of camu camu make it ideal for fending off bacterial and viral infections, including E. coli and various sexually transmitted diseases, such as herpes. This makes it a powerful dietary supplement for everyone, as our immune systems are constantly attacked by these foreign agents. [9]

Prevents Infertility

Camu camu has been shown to prevent infertility by specifically protecting the health of sexual organs and ensuring the proper functioning of those systems. [10]

Tones Muscle

The diverse blend of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and organic compounds found within camu camu make it one of the complete health foods out there, but this combination also facilitates the growth and protection of muscles. If you are looking to boost your metabolism and increase your muscle tone, eating it can be an ideal workout complement.

Improves Vision

Carotenoids are primarily praised for their ability to protect eye health as an antioxidant, although they do have other important roles in the body. By eliminating oxidative stress in the ocular system, camu camu’s carotenoids can prevent the onset of macular degeneration and the development of cataracts, allowing you to see clearly well into your old age. [11]

Aids in Digestion

The dietary fiber content of camu camu isn’t as remarkable as its vitamin C content, but it is still significant and can help to boost your overall health by optimizing your digestive processes and even protecting your heart from the dangers of unbalanced cholesterol levels. Fiber also regulates the activity of insulin receptors in the body, thereby helping to manage conditions like diabetes. [12]

Word of Caution: Camu camu is not known as an allergenic food and can be taken in conjunction with other pharmaceuticals and supplements. If you suffer from gout or other uric acid-related conditions, camocamo may exacerbate the symptoms, so be sure to consult a medical professional before adding it to your diet.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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