In a study of various fruits containing vitamin C and their relative amounts, acerola outperformed the rest, especially when grown organically. The fruit reportedly has higher amounts of vitamin C than even oranges and strawberries, second only to rosehips. The berry was also found to be a very important source of vitamin A.
Vitamin C is a required nutrient and a water-soluble vitamin and is not stored in the body, so you should take a source of water-soluble vitamins daily. Along with vitamin A, vitamin C is a known antioxidant, helping to prevent free radical damage and certain diseases. Recent studies claim that acerola is quite rich in antioxidants.
Vitamin C also builds collagen, protects mucous membranes, and prevents scurvy.
Vitamin C is important for keeping the immune system functioning and helping the body fight infections, viruses, and even cancer. While more research is needed, one study showed that in the laboratory, cherries rich in antioxidants and vitamin C had the ability to help the body stop the growth of colon cancer.
Of all the research on the acerola cherry, the studies that focus on vitamin C are the most comprehensive. This confirms its place as an all-natural vitamin C supplement, which can be used for cold and flu. As for its other health benefits, more research is needed.
Acerola, when consumed as food, also contains good amounts of the following nutrients:
- of iron
- niacin (vitamin B-3)
- riboflavin (vitamin B-2)
- thiamin (vitamin B-1)
Does acerola cherry have any side effects?
It is possible to take too much acerola cherry. As with a vitamin C supplement, if you take too much, you may experience digestive upset. To avoid problems or discomfort, take milligram doses of acerola as you would any vitamin C supplement. If there are instructions on the supplement label, follow them. Please note that the Food and Drug Administration does not control the quality, purity, packaging, or dosage of supplements. Always choose supplements from a reputable manufacturer.
Do not take large doses of any vitamin C product and gradually decrease the amount if you are already taking large doses. Rebound scurvy can occur when the body has become accustomed to a higher dose.
If you take too much, you may experience:
- digestive cramps
- dizziness or fainting
- flushed appearance
- frequent urination
- headache (including migraine)
These symptoms tend not to need medical attention and are relatively infrequent or rare. Just lower the dose and they will probably go away. Contact your doctor if you have questions.
Very high amounts of Vitamin C Cherry Powder over a long period of time can cause kidney stones. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience side or lower back pain, which could be a symptom.
If you grow an acerola cherry plant, there have been reports of contact dermatitis during harvest. Otherwise, the berry is non-toxic and safe for consumption.
The bottom line
Acerola is used as a home remedy for a variety of ailments. The research supporting it as a source of vitamin C and a natural supplement is strong. Acerola also contains other important vitamins and minerals, and is an important source of antioxidants.
Consuming it as a food or supplement can help you meet your vitamin C needs. It could also be a big help during cold and flu season. As for its other claimed benefits, for example, digestive aid, antidepressants, and athletic endurance, research is not yet available and more studies are needed to support these uses.