What are its benefits?
One remarkable feature of camu camu is its nutritional richness: it has a higher amount of vitamin C than any other plant known, having 30 to 60 times more vitamin C than an orange. This, along with camu camu’s other bioactive contents (phenolic compounds and beta-carotene) may account for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. These were noted in a study of smokers who had decreased stress-related chemical markers after drinking camu camu juice for seven days, compared to smokers who were simply given vitamin C tablets.
Furthermore, indications are that camu camu has a positive effective on gut bacteria. In a 2018 animal study, camu camu prevented fat deposits through brown adipose tissue activation and increased energy expenditure, a mechanism that is dependent on the gut microbiome and linked to improvements in bile acid levels and composition. This study also concluded that camu camu lessened metabolic inflammation and endotoxemia (bacterial toxins in the bloodstream), through drastic changes in the gut microbiome (e.g., increase of beneficial bacteria Akkermansia muciniphila and a reduction of Lactobacillus).
What is it?
The camu camu berry is the fruit of a shrub native to the Amazon rainforest. It’s about the size of a ping pong ball and has a strong sour taste. In addition to its antioxidant components mentioned above, camu camu fruit is also good source of potassium, iron, calcium, and phosphorous, as well as various kinds of amino acids such as serine (which helps digestion), valine (used by the nervous system) and leucine (which fuels muscle growth).