- Camu Berry
For Patients & Caregivers
Bottom Line: Camu-camu has not been shown to prevent or treat cancer in humans.
Camu-camu is a small plant that grows in South America. Laboratory studies and a small study in humans have shown that the fruits have anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties. More research is needed.
Because camu-camu has high amounts of vitamin C, it can interfere with certain chemo drugs.
In a small study conducted in Japan, twenty male smokers were allotted to two groups, one receiving 70 ml of camu-camu juice (containing approximately 1050 mg vitamin C) and the other vitamin C tablets (1050 mg) daily for 7 days. Urine and serum samples were collected at baseline and after treatment. Oxidative stress and inflammatory markers decreased significantly in the camu-camu group but not in the vitamin C group. Researchers concluded that camu-camu may help protect against inflammatory disorders. More research is needed.
For Healthcare Professionals
Camu-camu is a shrub native to the Amazon region of South America. Due to its sour taste, it is not generally consumed as food. However, following recent reports of high vitamin C content in the fruit, camu-camu is being marketed as a dietary supplement for many purported uses including diabetes and cancer.
Camu-camu fruits have antioxidative and anti-inflammatory effects (5)(6). Pharmacological activity was exhibited by the leaves as well (4). Large scale clinical studies have not been conducted to study these effects in humans.
Due to it high vitamin C content, camu-camu may interfere with certain chemotherapy drugs; however, the vitamin C content in frozen camu-camu pulp was shown to decrease progressively (1).
The compounds isolated from the leaves, ellagic acid, 4-O-methylellagic acid and 4-(alpha-rhamnopyranosyl) ellagic acid were found to exhibit noncompetitive inhibition of aldose-reductase, a possible target for diabetes mellitus (4).
Camu-camu juice decreases inflammatory and oxidative stress markers such as 8-hydroxy-deoxyguanosine, total reactive oxygen species, C reactive protein, IL-6, and IL-8 in smokers (5).
Inoue T, Komoda H, Uchida T, Node K. Tropical fruit camu-camu (Myrciaria dubia) has anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties. J Cardiol. Oct 2008;52(2):127-132.
In a study conducted in Japan, 20 male smokers were randomized to receive 70 ml of camu-camu juice (containing approximately 1050 mg Vitamin C) or 1050 mg Vitamin C tablets daily for 7 days. Urine and serum samples were collected at baseline and after treatment. Oxidative stress and inflammatory markers decreased significantly in the camu-camu group but not in the Vitamin C group. Data suggest that Camu-camu may have a protective role against atherosclerosis. Further research is warranted.