Camu-Camu Fruit – A Treatment for Asthma Symptoms?
The Brazilian superfruit camu camu, also known by its Latin name Myrciaria dubia, has been touted as a natural treatment for a variety of conditions and diseases, including asthma. However, large scientific studies investigating the protective effects of camu camu against many of these conditions, including asthma, are still lacking. But that doesn't mean you should ignore this South American fruit if you're interested in foods with anti-asthmatic properties.
You see, the camu camu fruit is loaded with vitamin C, and a large and rather convincing body of scientific evidence suggests that vitamin C might have a protective effect against asthma attacks that are caused by physical exercise or a bout of the common cold or flu. Below, we take a look at some of the most interesting studies investigating the effects of vitamin C on asthma symptoms, provide information about the vitamin C content of camu camu powder (the most commonly available form of camu camu outside of South America), share tips on where you can buy camu camu powder if you live in the US, Canada.
Studies on Vitamin C and Asthma
A systematic review published in the November 2014 edition of Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology analyzed nine previous studies investigating the effects of vitamin C on exercise-induced narrowing of the airways that carry air to and from the lungs. The results were startling: all nine studies support the idea that vitamin C might have beneficial effects on respiratory symptoms caused by heavy physical exercise. The researchers concluded that, while further studies investigating the topic are still needed, it seems reasonable for physically active people with exercise-induced narrowing of the airways to test whether vitamin C might bring relief on an individual basis.
Another systematic review examined whether administration of vitamin C could help prevent or relieve asthma attacks that are triggered by the common cold. Three previous studies investigating the topic were identified. The three studies had nearly 80 participants in total, and two of the studies were placebo-controlled. All three studies included in this review indicated that vitamin C supplementation might have a protective effect against asthma attacks or bronchial hypersensitivity which, as you may know, is a characteristic of asthma.
An intriguing cross-over trial published in the August 2011 edition of the journal Clinical and Translational Allergy investigated the effects of vitamin C in 60 Egyptian children with asthma. All of the study participants were 7 to 10 years old. The study was split into 6 week trial periods, and during each trial period, the children received either 0.2 grams of vitamin C daily, or a placebo supplement.
While vitamin C was found to have a protective effect against childhood asthma, the magnitude of the protective effect varied significantly depending the the child's age and exposure to dampness or molds in his or her bedroom. The greatest benefit of vitamin C was observed in the younger children aged with mild asthma symptoms; older age and more severe asthma symptoms appeared to reduce the protective effect of vitamin C.
Camu-Camu Contains About 40 Times as Much Vitamin C as Orange Juice
Camu camu has earned its superfood status mainly because of the extremely high levels of vitamin C it contains. In fact, when it comes to the best natural sources of vitamin C, it is hard to beat the camu camu fruit. Even well-known vitamin C champions like citrus peels, guava, and bell peppers cannot beat camu camu in terms of vitamin C content.
But how much vitamin C does this Brazilian superfood contain then? According to a review published in the journal Food Research International, the vitamin C content of camu camu has been shown to range from about 1,882 milligrams to about 2,280 milligrams per a 100-gram serving of fresh camu camu fruit. To put this into perspective, orange juice, which is often touted as an excellent source of vitamin C, contains 50 milligrams per 100 grams.
Where to Get Camu Camu Powder
If you're looking to add camu camu to your anti-asthma diet but don't happen to live in South America, don't worry – you can today buy dried camu camu powder in many health food stores in North America and the UK. Camu camu powder is great in smoothies, but there are also many other ways you can incorporate this superfood powder into your diet (for details, check out these tips on how to use camu camu powder). If you like the convenience of online shopping, you can also buy camu camu powder online, for example through Amazon here if you live in the US, here if you want to order through Amazon's UK site, or here if you want to use Amazon's Canadian store. When adding camu camu powder to smoothies and other drinks and foods, keep in mind that you're using an extremely concentrated source of vitamin C, so make sure you don't exceed the recommended dose indicated by the supplier of the product.
Don't Miss ThisComparison of Deli Meat Slicers (Models Ideal for Small Spaces)
Thinking about getting an electric food slicer to make your own additive-free deli meats?