Background: Oxidative stress as well as inflammation plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. Although, various anti-oxidative dietary supplements have been evaluated for their ability to prevent atherosclerosis, no effective ones have been determined at present. "Camu-camu" (Myrciaria dubia) is an Amazonian fruit that offers high vitamin C content. However, its anti-oxidative property has not been evaluated in vivo in humans.
Methods: To assess the anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties of camu-camu in humans, 20 male smoking volunteers, considered to have an accelerated oxidative stress state, were recruited and randomly assigned to take daily 70 ml of 100% camu-camu juice, corresponding to 1050 mg of vitamin C (camu-camu group; n=10) or 1050 mg of vitamin C tablets (vitamin C group; n=10) for 7 days.
Results: After 7 days, oxidative stress markers such as the levels of urinary 8-hydroxy-deoxyguanosine (P<0.05) and total reactive oxygen species (P<0.01) and inflammatory markers such as serum levels of high sensitivity C reactive protein (P<0.05), interleukin (IL)-6 (P<0.05), and IL-8 (P<0.01) decreased significantly in the camu-camu group, while there was no change in the vitamin C group.
Conclusions: Our results suggest that camu-camu juice may have powerful anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties, compared to vitamin C tablets containing equivalent vitamin C content. These effects may be due to the existence of unknown anti-oxidant substances besides vitamin C or unknown substances modulating in vivo vitamin C kinetics in camu-camu.