Acai berries have a reputation as a superfood, with trendy supermarkets promising anti-aging and weight loss properties. Yet there may be some merit to the marketing. Researchers from the University of Toronto have tested the berry, which is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, on osteoclastogenesis in vitro and have found it may inhibit bone loss.
The researchers stimulated cells from the RAW 264.7 line with receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa-B ligand and treated with various concentrations of acai berry extract to verify cell viability, total protein concentration, osteoclast differentiation and activity, and cytokine secretion.
Cell viability and protein assays showed no toxicity to RAW cells for the tested extract concentrations. Also, the extract showed a dose-dependent inhibition of osteoclastogenesis and osteoclast activity evaluated by tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase and hydroxylapatite resorption assay, respectively.
Additionally, the extract decreased the secretion of interleukin (IL)-1a, -6, and tumor necrosis factor a while increasing the secretion of IL-3, -4, -13, and interferon gamma compared to the control group. The researchers concluded, then, that acai berry extract inhibits osteoclast differentiation and activity possibly due to the modulation of a vast number of cytokines produced by osteoclast precursor cells.
The study, “Extract of Acai-Berry Inhibits Osteoclast Differentiation and Activity,” was published by the Archives of Oral Biology.