Richard Bird’s collection of articles on Acai/Monavie

These are my personal collection and not official publicity of Monavie.

   1. Sustainable Harvesting and Rainforest Preservation

MonaVie is committed to sustainable harvesting and preserving the Brazilian Rain Forest. It uses skilled local harvesters to gather the berries by hand. This helps to create legitimate jobs for the local people which enables them to better provide for their families and also helps to reduce poaching which destroys the rain-forest

The economy being created through the sustainable harvesting of the açai berry and production of MonaVie is stretching all the way up the Amazon river, and is helping to create education, build schools and change people’s lives.

Rainforest Preservation

Prior to the emergence of the açai harvesting industry the ‘hearts of palm’ or ‘palmito’ would have been harvested from the trees by poachers. This small section of the tree would then be sold for a small sum. Whilst helping the local people to survive the harvesting of the heart of palm also kills the whole tree and contributes significantly to the destruction of the rain-forest. MonaVie are committed to reducing this practice and helping the preserve the rain forest through both sustainable harvesting of the açai berry and education.

In May 2009, Randy Larsen, Executive Vice President and Cofounder of MonaVie, visited the city of Brasilia to execute the Sustainable Harvesting and Rainforest Preservation Education Agreement between MonaVie and the Ministry of the Environment, Chico Mendes Institute (a branch of the Brazilian government). The unique partnership will further help preserve the Amazon Rainforest and promote sustainable harvesting of the açai berry.


 2. The M.O.R.E. Project addition to their sustainable harvesting and rain-forest preservation initiatives, MonaVie’s primary charitable cause is the M.O.R.E. Project, which stands forMonaVie Operation REscue.

The M.O.R.E. Project has a number of aspects to it’s work. These are focused primarily in into 4 areas:

  • Hope and Dignity – helping to restore the hope and belief of the people living in the Favelas, or slums, so that they can make more of their lives.

  • Education – providing education and building schools so that both children and adults can learn trades and skills so they can get a good job and provide for their families.

  • Sheltered Homes – these are safe havens for children who would otherwise be on the streets, most likely involved in drug trafficking or prostitution. Instead they are cared for by trained foster parents and receive love, care, education and have access to medical care.

  • Home Repair – helping to repair the homes of the people living in the Favelas, or slums, so that they they have basic amenities and a more habitable living environment.


3.  General literature & Articles


Acai (Euterpe oleracea): An Extraordinary Antioxidant-Rich Palm Fruit from the Amazon

By: Alexander G. Schauss, PhD, FACN

Acai (Euterpe oleracea): An Extraordinary Antioxidant-Rich Palm Fruit from the AmazonDr. Alex Schauss’ discovery of a previously little known palm fruit’s remarkable antioxidant activity, led to publication in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry that confirmed it had the highest peroxyl radical scavenging activity of any food in the world. Since his discovery numerous authors have referred to it as a “super food.”

In the new edition of this book, the author details the pathway to discovery and recounts the findings of numerous laboratories that collaborated in studying this fruit, now known worldwide as “Acai.”

The impact of the author’s discovery has led to government protection of millions of acres of palm trees in the delicate rain forest of Amazonia. Today over 400,000 liters of acai is consumed a day by nearly 1.2 million inhabitants that live in the floodplains of the Amazon River near Belem, owing to the growing body of information about its nutritional content and antioxidant activity. In addition, it has become a major export food of Brazil and resulted in one of the fastest growing network marketing companies in the world. However, not all “acai” products are the same; many contain a fraction of the antioxidant activity of a proprietary freeze-dried acai that has been the subject of extensive research by numerous scientists and laboratories.

ISBN: 978-0-9814906-4-9,
Published by BioSocial Publications, Tacoma, WA.                                                   Published September, 2009.


NaturalNews Nov 2006) New research appearing in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry has found that although the Amazonian acai berry has the highest antioxidant content of any food, certain commercial processing methods  [i.e. companies other than Monavie]  may strip the fruit of much of its nutrition.

Two studies led by Alex Schauss from AIBMR Life Sciences -- along with colleagues from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the University of California and other institutions -- examined the antioxidant properties of OptiAcai-brand freeze-dried acai fruit pulp and skin powder, as measured by the powder's oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC).

Schauss and his team found that the OptiAcai product had a 1026.9 ORAC score, compared to an ORAC score of 155 for other commercially available freeze-dried acai samples.

"What mystifies me is that the acai products we tested in the commercial marketplace had a fraction of the antioxidant activity reported in our paper for OptiAcai," Schauss said.

The OptiAcai product also demonstrated "extraordinarily high" peroxyl scavenging activity -- the highest of any food researched so far -- as well as high superoxide scavenging activity. According to Schauss, the ability of acai berries to halt the formation of damaging free radicals could have profound implications for treatment of a wide range of diseases.

Schauss says that although the OptiAcai product was impressive in its antioxidant content, not all acai products available on the market are as effective.

"We believe there are many reasons for the lower ORAC values of various acais that have been on the market for some time," Schauss said. "First, freeze-drying is superior to spray drying or air drying in retaining phytochemicals and nutrients, but more expensive. We believe that other suppliers have not considered the issue of enzymatic degradation of the fruit."

Much of the acai shipped from Brazil to the United States or Europe is sent in large frozen blocks that fail to prevent nutritional degradation, Schauss said. For that reason, many commercially available acai products have low ORAC levels.

Consumer advocate Mike Adams, author of "The Seven Laws of Nutrition," said acai berries have a pleasant taste and provide high-density natural medicine to consumers.

"As with many of the smaller berries such as blueberries, sea buckthorn and goji berries, acai berries pack a potent nutritional punch in a tiny package," Adams said. "I recommend them to anyone interested in improving their health."

Date: February 12, 2006 01:38 PM
VitaNet ® Staff (
Subject: Acai is an exotic palm fruit from the Amazonian rain forest.

Beneficial Antioxidant Protection*

Our body produces free radicals as a byproduct of many metabolic processes. Free radicals are molecules with unpaired electrons that have the potential of causing harm if not adequately neutralized by the body’s antioxidant system. While some free radical production is necessary for metabolism and detoxification, excessive amounts of free radicals may lead to compromised health.

Acai is a rich source of anthocyanins and other phenolics. Anthocyanins are compounds that have potent antioxidant activity, allowing for the neutralization of potentially harmful free radicals. By neutralizing these free radicals, anthocyanins from acai may serve to maintain the healthy function of numerous systems and organs. Some of the anthocyanins that have been found in acai include cyanidin-3-glucoside and cyanidin-3-glucoside-coumarate. Other phenolics include catechin and epi-catechin (the same compounds in green tea), quercetin derivatives and other flavonoids.1 It is likely that the synergistic effects of these compounds as present in acai fruit are responsible for its potent antioxidant activities.

OptiAcai™ freeze-dried acai fruit powder has undergone numerous assays to assess its in vitro antioxidant capacity. One of the assays considered to be a standard measure of antioxidant capacity is known as the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity). This test measures how much a particular food can inhibit free radical activity. Numerous foods have been tested using this assay by the USDA Agricultural Research Service to develop standard in vitro measures of antioxidant capacity. Of the foods USDA tested, the results show that cranberries had the highest ORAC values per gram. The units are given as Trolox Equivalents (TE). Trolox is a water-soluble analogue of vitamin E. When whole cranberries were tested, the results indicate that their ORAC value was 94 TE per gram. When OptiAcai™ freeze-dried acai fruit powder underwent ORAC testing, the results showed that it had the ORAC activity of 610 TE per gram, the highest of any fruit or vegetable. What is truly amazing is that these numbers represent the ORAC value of the unaltered freeze-dried fruit, as OptiAcai is pure freeze-dried acai. There are no added preservatives or antioxidants that would artificially inflate the ORAC value of this product. The process of freeze-drying helps to strongly preserve the antioxidant compounds in the fruit, contributing to its remarkable ORAC activity.2

Other assays performed on acai pulp include the in vitro TOSC (Total Oxidant Scavenging Capacity) assay. In a Brazilian study, eleven commercially available acai pulp samples were analyzed for antioxidant potential using this assay. It was found that all eleven of the samples performed very well for the ability to scavenge peroxyl and peroxynitrite radicals. The researchers also concluded that the activity of the anthocyanins alone could not account for the free radical scavenging actions of the acai fruit pulp. Other compounds, many of which are possibly yet to be identified, make significant contributions to the remarkable oxidant scavenging capacity seen with the fruit.3

Maintains Cellular Health*

Acai’s deep purple coloration makes it a rich source of beneficial polyphenols. While these compounds are potent antioxidants as outlined above, they also confer benefits beyond their free radical scavenging activity. A number of these phytochemicals are known to have beneficial effects on cellular health. Some mechanisms employed by polyphenols include the induction or inhibition of enzyme function and alteration of signal transduction, enhancing the ability of cells to communicate more effectively with each other. Many polyphenols are considered “biological response modifiers”, since they possess multiple effects, including the ability to decrease oxidative stress to cells. Since polyphenols are water soluble, they are also well-absorbed and assimilated, allowing them to efficiently promote cellular health.4


Because of the health benefits associated with a high intake of polyphenols it is crucial to get an adequate number of servings of fresh fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. Best Acai featuring OptiAcai™ freeze-dried acai fruit powder with its high polyphenol content can provide an invaluable supplemental source of these health-promoting compounds to a normal diet.

Scientific References

1. Del Pozo-Insfran D, Brenes CH, Talcott ST. Phytochemical composition and pigment stability of Acai (Euterpe oleracea Mart.). J Agric Food Chem. 2004 Mar 24;52(6):1539-45.

2. Schauss, Alexander G. Acai (Euterpe oleracea): The Nutritional and Antioxidant-rich Amazonian Palm Tree Fruit. Sound Concepts, 2005.

3. Lichtenthaler R, Rodrigues RB, Maia JG, Papagiannopoulos M, Fabricius H, Marx F. Total oxidant scavenging capacities of Euterpe oleracea Mart. (Acai) fruits. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2005 Feb;56(1):53-64.

4. Ronzio, RA. "Naturally occurring antioxidants" The Textbook of Natural Medicine. Second edition. Ed. Joseph E. Pizzorno, Jr. and Michael T. Murray. Churchill Livingstone, 1999. 831-846.

(NaturalNews) The laundry list of acai berry benefits to the body just got a bit longer. According to a recent study published in the journal Nutrition, the awkward-to-pronounce berry is great for cholesterol regulation.

There's no shortage of health claims when it comes to the acai berry (pronounced ah-sigh-EE, not ack-EYE), the berry that's been billed as the "Superfood of superfoods" by doctors and nutritionists alike. From better digestion to improved circulation, the acai berry could very well be the "berry best" in a family that's already bursting with nutritional heavyweights.

The latest study to tout the acai berry's benefits comes out of Brazil, the berry's native land, where the pulp of acai was fed to two groups of rats. One of the groups had a standard rat diet, while the other had a high fat diet. The remaining rats had high fat diets but without the accompanying acai (there were four groupings of rats).

After six weeks of observation, the researchers found distinct differences in the blood work of the rats that supplemented with the acai and those that didn't. Both acai supplementing groups had improvements in their cholesterol profile, but what really took the researchers by surprise was that the high fat rats had the best cholesterol profile (i.e., total cholesterol levels AND non-HDL levels dropped).

The researchers believe the acai berry was the catalyst, but it could also have been due to the fact that those fed the high fat diet consumed less food in terms of quantity (i.e., less food consumed, but more calories consumed).

Granted, this test was performed on rats, but observers of the study have every reason to suspect that the results can be translated to humans. More long-term studies are in the offing.

NaturalNews) Acai May Kill Cancer Cells

A study at The University of Florida discovered that acai berries caused human cancer cells to self destruct 86% of the time in a culture. While this research has only been shown in a cell culture model, it is likely that it will have the same effect on human beings.

The researchers plan to continue identifying how acai berries can prevent cancer. The assistant professor Talcott says "We are just beginning to understand the complexity of the acai berry and its health-promoting effects."

“Acai berries are already considered one of the richest fruit sources of antioxidants,” Talcott said. “This study was an important step toward learning what people may gain from using beverages, dietary supplements or other products made with the berries.”

He cautioned that the study, funded by UF sources, was not intended to show whether compounds found in acai berries could prevent leukemia in people.

“This was only a cell-culture model and we don’t want to give anyone false hope,” Talcott said. “We are encouraged by the findings, however. Compounds that show good activity against cancer cells in a model system are most likely to have beneficial effects in our bodies.”

Other fruits, including grapes, guavas and mangoes, contain antioxidants shown to kill cancer cells in similar studies, he said. Experts are uncertain how much effect antioxidants have on cancer cells in the human body, because factors such as nutrient absorption, metabolism and the influence of other biochemical processes may influence the antioxidants’ chemical activity. Another UF study, slated to conclude in 2006, will investigate the effects of acai’s antioxidants on healthy human subjects, Talcott said. The study will determine how well the compounds are absorbed into the blood, and how they may affect blood pressure, cholesterol levels and related health indicators. So far, only fundamental research has been done on acai berries, which contain at least 50 to 75 as-yet unidentified compounds.

While the acai berry hasn't been proven to cure cancer, the research certainly looks promising and at the very least it is helpful in preventing cancer and other illnesses.


The product and the company

Condensed and updated version of talk by Jeff Graham on MonaVie and Acai, given in 2005.  [Edtied by RB]

Who is Jeff Graham? 

In 2000-2001, Jeff Graham, Dr. Alexander Schauss and Ken Murdock started a company called K2A for the purpose of searching the world for unique natural products and ingredients with a potential for impact the wellness of humanity -- and then bringing those products to the marketplace. 

Decades ago, Ken Murdock became the founder of herbal giant Nature's Way, which he sold to a large, German pharmaceutical company in 2001. It remains the world's largest herbal company. Ken is highly regarded throughout the industry for his insistence upon quality and science behind every product with which he has worked. In early 2001, these men became aware of Acai fruit during a trip to Brazil. There ensued a  great deal of scientific research by K2A, deemed necessary because very little documented science on Acai existed at that time. 

They learned that the natives of northern Brazil had eaten this wild grown fruit for hundreds of years as a mainstay of their diets. Interestingly, these natives, despite much poverty in the area, have an intense amount of energy, excellent health and a very low incidence of skin cancer -- in spite of great exposure to the relentless rays of the equatorial sun. 

The K2A scientific work is ongoing, and in 2005, the K2A principals crossed paths with Dallin Larsen and the MonaVie research team. Although K2A had entertained thoughts of bringing an Acai formula of their own to market, they found a great synergy with MonaVie's administration, integrity, product quality and purpose -- and made a decision to align themselves with MonaVie. With the vast majority of the world's body of science behind the Acai berry having been done by K2A, much of it now in conjuction with the United States Department of Agriculture, K2A filed [and has since received grant of –ed.]  two separate patent applications related to Acai -- the exact Acai that is only available through MonaVie  1) a specific CLAIMS patent 2)  a PROCESS patent.

There is now a variety of Acai-based products sold in assorted retail stores (and already by various and sundry MLM companies trying to capitalize on MonaVie's success) ... but the superior quality Acai that distinguishes  MonaVie is exclusively available to MonaVie and NO other company.   

As their own Acai production plans had earlier evolved, K2A built a state-of-the-art Acai processing plant at the edge of the rain forest near Belem, Brazil. Their studies revealed that precious phytonutrients in the Acai berries began degrading and breaking down very shortly after harvest, so it was crucial to begin preserving and processing them immediately after the berries were harvested. The K2A freeze-drying process (now patented) is exclusively for MonaVie's products. 

The modern school built by K2A to provide quality education for the many children of the plant workers was recently renamed the MonaVie School. 

From the rain forest of northern Brazil, Acai fruit is harvested in "clusters" on stems that grow at the top of three different varieties of palm trees. Only ONE Acai palm (Euterpe Oleracea) produces fruit with a level of nutritional value that makes it highly commercial.  Only the ripest and peak quality Acai berries from each cluster are selected and used for MonaVie.  Berries that are less ripe and of lesser quality are sold to other companies who use conventional processing methods. 

It was MonaVie's scientifically-formulated blend of 19 powerful and healing fruits of the world that originally captured the attention of K2A. Other Acai formulas that surfaced in 2005 seemed hastily blended with little more than ACCEPTABLE TASTE guiding them. (Acai alone is bitter and must be blended with other ingredients for palatability.) 

To further distinguish MonaVie from other products, Dr. Alexander Schauss (now the world's #1 scientific expert on Acai and recipient of the coveted, 2005 Linus Pauling Lecture Award)  has been working tirelessly with the USDA in documenting the efficacy of FREEZE DRIED Acai that is covered under the recent patent applications and used in MonaVie. 

Dr. Schauss is the lead author  of numerous scientific paper s dealing with nutrition, health and behavior.  His works on acai (along with 11-12 other authors, including Dr. Wui, one of the USDA's own top specialists on antioxidants) will soon be [have been –ed]  published in the U.S. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry [and are now freely available online at]


Jeff Graham also noted the manipulation of published ORAC scores by many companies who "spike" their formulas with Vitamin C or Vitamin E (and are not legally required to disclose such spiking!) in order to artificially inflate their scores.  END