Review: Optima™ Healthcare Acai Berry Juice

Since I reviewed this product on my products review page I’ve had a lot of people contact me regarding this product. It’s available in all the health stores, cheap and from a very reputable manufacturer. All the marketing material sounds very good; what isn’t there to like about this product? It’s really been confusing everyone. So much so that people have asked me to go into a more detailed review of this product. So I have. I’ve left my earlier review intact on my products review page and will touch on some of the same information I mentioned before. I’ve collected together a lot more information and will detail it all here. As this is a detailed review I’ll also touch on how this compares to other products on the markets, such as freeze dried products so you can make a much more educated decision when purchasing this product. So here’s the review.

Optima Healthcare Acai Berry Juice

Optima Healthcare Acai Berry Juice

‘Optima™ Healthcare Acai Super Fruit Juice’ to give it’s correct name is not an acai berry fruit juice. It is in fact a blend of different ingredients, one of which is acai berry juice. The name on the bottle, in my opinion, is very misleading. I think a lot of people who buy this product – even though the back of the label says otherwise – believe they are buying pure acai berry juice and hence all the nutritional benefits that this juice offers.

A number of consumers have commented on the benefits of this juice which, once I’ve gone in more detail through the compositon of this product, you will understand why these comments are so valid:

“… it tastes good but I haven’t noticed any difference in my health or in my wellbeing.”

“…I did not notice any difference in my well being what so ever; no energy boost, no detox-nothing. Rather than aiding my weight loss- it probably added to my calorie in take…”

“Its not as powerful as other acai berry juice i have bought but then the other product was also much more expensive.”

The common thread throughout these comments is that (a) the juice tastes nice, and (b) it isn’t very powerful in producing a positive detox or weightloss.

You may be thinking that this is because the product is all hype and no substance. I’ll get onto that.

‘Optima™ Healthcare Acai Super Fruit Juice’ comes in a 500ml bottle and retails for just under £8.00 (GBP). The recommended dose is 20ml (equivalent to two desertspoons) each day. This would give the average user 25 days supply per bottle.

‘Optima™ Healthcare Acai Super Fruit Juice’ contains about about 75-85% acai berry juice and 10% OXY3™. This is it’s own antioxidant product which is actually a unique combination of three naturally occuring compounds rich in free radical scavenging antioxidants; Red Grape, Lycopene and Resveratrol. It uses these ‘antioxiant products’ products for a number of reasons. The properties of these three products I detail below:

  • Red Grape has numerous health benefits, particularly due to the dark skin that contains high levels of flavonoids and anthocyanins which are a potent source of antioxidants.
  • Lycopene is the main carotenoid found in tomatoes giving the distinctive red colour. Lycopoene contains a high level of antioxidants.
  • Resveratrol naturally occurs in some plants and fruits in response to injury or fun gal infection. Resveratol is high in antioxidants and has also been shown to help reduce cholesterol in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle.

The reason these products are used is threefold:

  1. It makes the product cheaper. Pure acai berry juice is more expensive than a mixture.
  2. The sum of the parts. By making a mixture the consumer is getting the benefit of a multitude of products which ‘may’ be more beneficial than a pure product, though highly unlikely.
  3. It makes the product taste nice without having to resort to adding sugars, etc.

Unfortunately, as consumers have noted, the product doesn’t really deliver on the ‘acai berry’ promise. This is because, although it does contain almost 85% acai berry juice, the actual quality of this juice is really an unknown.

Juicing is big business and the quality of juice can vary immensely from one manufacturer to the next. You only have to go into any supermarket and look at the large array of orange juice on the shelves and compare the price difference between the cheapest and the most expensive. It is huge. But surely they’re all the same product? They all contain orange juice – don’t they?

The answer is yes. They all contain orange juice. But they are not all the same. Some are organic pure orange juice made from freshly squeezed oranges with nothing added or taken away. Others are made from orange concentrate. This is orange juice that has been filtered, pasturised, had the water and most of the naturally occurring oils removed, and then frozen. Water is later added at the final destination of the product before it goes on sale. It is cheaper than fresh juice because it is cheaper to transport concentrate (which contains no water) than fresh orange juice (which is mostly water). The downside of fruit concentrate is that it has gone through a chemical process which has altered it’s original composition and lost some of the benefits and nutrients that came with the original fruit.

The acai berry juice in ‘Optima™ Healthcare Acai Super Fruit Juice’ is a ‘juice complex’. This is not pure acai berry juice but juice which has gone through a chemical process to produce. How much of the original nutrients and complex chemicals which came with the fresh fruit remain is questionable. This would go a long way to explaining why many consumers have found the product has had little effect on their detox or weight loss diets. I’ve written in detail here about the effect of juice extraction on a fruit’s nutrients.

The other fact about the ingredients is that they are not organic. Some people may think ‘organic’ is just a buzz word but when it comes to suppliments it is extremely important. The reason is threefold.

  1. An organic product, in this case a berry, throughout its lifespan has not been in contact with any chemicals (some potentially very toxic). When the berry is processed (freeze dried, pulped, juiced) none of these chemicals find their way into the final product.
  2. By exposing a fruit to chemicals they can have an adverse effect on the chemical compisition and nutrients of the original fruit. This may mean that beneficial nutrients that once existed in the berry are destroyed or degraded.
  3. A berry is very small, so the surface area (i.e. the area that is on contact with potentially lethal chemicals) is high in relation to it’s volume. It stands to reason that some of these chemicals will very easily find their way into the final product.

It becomes obvious that for a health suppliment (which is usually concentrated) you really should insist on organic. Anything other than organic means that you really do not know what you are fully consuming. Non organic suppliments also, by their very nature, do not contain as much of the original health benefits as their organic cousins.

‘Optima™ Healthcare Acai Super Fruit Juice’ also falls down on the fact that it contains juice and not pulp. The acai berry juice contains a small part of the nutrients found in the acai berry. The pulp (skin, flesh and juice) of the acai berry contains all the nutrients. This is why the detox and weight loss potentail of this product is so limited. It really is missing many of the nutritional benefits that exist in the original fresh acai berries.

This finally leads me to the price. Go on the web and search for acai berry products and you will be inundated with products. Many of them very unreputable. ‘Optima™ Healthcare Acai Super Fruit Juice’ is very reputable and sold in very reputable shops. So you really needn’t worry on this score. However, back to price.

As I mentioned earlier a bottle of 25 servings is around £8.00 (GBP). This is £0.32 per serving. Compare this to the leading freeze dried organic product Pure Acia Berry. For a box of 90 pills it retails at around £34.60. This is £0.38 per serving or 6 pence sterling dearer than ‘Optima™ Healthcare Acai Super Fruit Juice’. However, if you factor in the fact that ‘Optima™ Healthcare Acai Super Fruit Juice’ contains no more than 85% acai berry juice then it actually works out that a serving of ‘Optima™ Healthcare Acai Super Fruit Juice’ costs £0.38 also (£0.32 / 85 * 100).

So pricewise ‘Optima™ Healthcare Acai Super Fruit Juice’ is really no cheaper than other acai berry products on the market. One could say it is actually a lot dearer than other products.

Why? Because, for example, Pure Acai Berry is made from 100% organic freeze dried acai berries. This means that 100% of the original nutrients contained in the original fresh berry are kept. Without more information we really do not know how much of the acai berry nutrients from the original fresh acai berry fruit actually exist in ‘Optima™ Healthcare Acai Super Fruit Juice’. What we do know is that it will be less (if not substantially less) than the original fresh berries. What we also do not know is the quality or ORAC rating of ‘Optima™ Healthcare Acai Super Fruit Juice’. Pure Acai Berry happily tell us in their merchandising – they have nothing to hide. ‘Optima™ Healthcare Acai Super Fruit Juice’ does not go into this detail so we can assume it is not something worth publicising too much.

In conclusion, yes ‘Optima™ Healthcare Acai Super Fruit Juice’ is cheap and reputable. However, as I’ve detailed, and as have other consumers, its benefits are limited. You would be much better served purchasing a high quality product such as Pure Acai Berry which on the face of it seems much more expensive but on closer investigatuon is actually a lot cheaper than ‘Optima™ Healthcare Acai Super Fruit Juice’.

“One Review: Optima™ Healthcare Acai Berry Juice”

  1. Louise responded on 29 Apr 2010 at 1:12 am #

    I tried this the end of last year. I bought two bottles as my local store had a special offer and I’d heard so much about Acai berries and this seemed quite a cheap product compared to some on the market.

    I didn’t find anything wrong with the juice. It tasted very nice and I enjoyed using it. After a week I felt that I had a lot more energy, but this may have also been the placebo effect as this didn’t last.

    I used the two bottles and didn’t really change anything about my daily routine, i.e. I ate and exercised the same as usual. Unfortunately I put on a 3 pounds! After I stopped, a couple of weeks later, I went back to normal. I can’t think what else may have contributed to the weight gain.

    I’m thinking of trying a purer supplement for the coming summer. Maybe this will work better?

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