Last updated: August 18, 2021

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Camu-Camu is a small bushy riverside tree from the Amazon rainforest in Peru and Brazil. The main claim to fame of this fruit is its concentration of vitamin C, flavonoids (anthocyanins) and carotenoids. Camu-camu's potent antioxidant action makes it one of the best supplements for slowing the signs of aging and prevent degenerative diseases associated with oxidative stress.

You will find the supplements in the form of capsules and dehydrated powder. The use of these products not only helps you improve your overall health, but they are also an excellent complement to skincare. Throughout this guide, we will share all of our knowledge about camu-camu so that you can make the most out of its use.




Key Facts

  • Vitamin C is the star nutrient of camu-camu and is found mostly in the peel and pulp of the fruit. It also provides antioxidant pigments: anthocyanins (red-blue) and carotenoids (yellow-orange).
  • Camu-camu can be eaten fresh and, in fact, those who have access to the fresh fruit eat it this way.
  • When buying camu-camu supplements, it is very important to evaluate certain aspects that affect the final quality of the product in question. Things like taste, vitamin C content, the method of consumption and the conditions during manufacturing will all play a role in determining the quality of the product.

Our Selection: The Best Camu-Camu Products

Camu-camu is a fruit that expires quickly after being harvested. For this reason, it is not usually exported in its fresh state. Most of the camu-camu food supplements on the market come in the form of dehydrated powder or capsules. Here are some of our favourite camu-camu products:

Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Camu-Camu

For most of the population, camu-camu is an unknown fruit. Its reputation as a "superfood" is due to its high vitamin C content, but camu-camu provides other nutrients that offer great value. In this section, we go over all the amazing properties of this fruit and all of its noteworthy aspects.

Because of its high antioxidant content, camu-camu is a great immune booster.
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What is camu-camu exactly?

Camu-camu is the fruit of the Myrciaria Dubia shrub, which grows in the western Amazon (Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, and part of Brazil, Colombia, and Venezuela). It is a tropical fruit that measures between 2 and 4 centimeters in diameter. It has smooth skin and its colour varies from pink to dark purple. The flesh is yellow, juicy and acidic.

What nutrients does camu-camu provide?

Camu-camu, like most fruits, is a source of water, fiber and simple sugars (glucose and fructose). Its protein and fat content is practically nil. However, the health benefits of camu-camu come from nutrients that do not provide caloric energy, yet they are still essential for the proper functioning of the body. These nutrients are:

  • Vitamin C (or ascorbic acid)
  • Anthocyanins (flavonoid pigments responsible for the color of your skin)
  • Carotenoids (especially beta-carotene)
  • Minerals: potassium, calcium, zinc, copper, magnesium and manganese

camu-camu supplements can be consumed in either capsule or powder form.
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What are the beneficial properties of camu-camu?

Camu-camu supplements are considered nutraceuticals, which means that they are pharmaceutical alternatives which claim to have physiological benefits. This potential to contribute to our well-being is due to the high content of vitamin C and the antioxidant pigments (anthocyanins and carotenoids) present in camu-camu. The beneficial properties of this superfood are:

  • It acts as a powerful antioxidant: Neutralising free radicals, which oxidise cells and increase the risk of suffering neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer's, dementia), cardiovascular pathologies, cataracts, type II diabetes, atherosclerosis and cancer. Vitamin C, anthocyanins and carotenoids are the antioxidant compounds found in camu-camu.
  • Reduce oxidative stress among smokers: This is beneficial for smokers and those who recently quit smoking.
  • It protects the kidneys: Against toxins and drugs.
  • Decreases pain and inflammation caused by arthritis: This is due to its anti-inflammatory components.
  • Reduces the risk of cancer: This because its antioxidant properties help prevent mutations in cellular genetic material (DNA).
  • Decreases the numbers of all cholesterol: Including "bad" cholesterol (LDL) found in the blood.
  • Helps regulate blood glucose: Particularly helpful for diabetics.
  • It helps relieve migraine episodes: and headaches.
  • Reduces intensity and shortens the duration of cold symptoms: Both common and the flu.
  • Helps control complications associated with obesity: Such as, hypercholesterolemia (elevated cholesterol), hypertriglyceridemia (elevated triglycerides), hyperglycemia (blood glucose above normal values) and insulin resistance.
  • Strengthens the immune system: Due to its high concentration of antioxidants.
  • Supports the healthy formation of body structures: Since vitamin C is essential for the synthesis of collagen, which forms nails, skin, tendons, cartilage and bones.
  • Favours the absorption of non-heminic iron: Which means the ”good” iron present in plant foods and nutritional supplements.
  • Supports ocular health: It also helps prevent macular degeneration associated with aging.

One of the properties of camu-camu is that it acts as a potent antioxidant.
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How much vitamin C does camu-camu provide?

The concentration of vitamin C varies as the fruit ripens. On average, 100 grams of mature camu-camu provide 2780 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C. The capsules and powder of camu-camu provide much higher amounts of this vitamin, and can even reach 6000 or 12000 mg per 100 grams of the product.

Camu-camu, even in its fresh state, possesses unsurpassed levels of vitamin C, especially when compared to other fruits that are known to be sources of this nutrient, such as lemon and orange. Camu-camu provides 50 times more vitamin C than an orange and 70 times more than the content of this vitamin in lemons.

Sharon O’BrienRegistered Dietitian
"The high antioxidant content of camu-camu may particularly benefit those who smoke cigarettes, as smoking creates excessive amounts of free radicals, leading to oxidative stress."

Who can benefit from camu-camu supplementation?

Although fresh camu-camu is a very healthy fruit and suitable for people of all ages, the same can’t be said about its supplements. High doses of vitamin C are favourable in certain circumstances, but unfavourable in other cases. This is a list of some of the people who can benefit from camu-camu supplements:

  • Smokers and those who recently quit smoking: Smoking is known to deplete your vitamin C reserves, increasing your need for this vitamin.
  • People who want to strengthen their immune system.
  • Individuals with a history of macular degeneration: A known symptom of aging.
  • Obese people or those looking to manage their weight: More specifically, those want to prevent the complications associated with being overwheight, such as high cholesterol, diabetes, atherosclerosis, and many more.
  • Individuals who are prone to colds and getting the flu: Camu-camu can help mitigate symptoms.
  • Those who want to improve the look of their skin: Antioxidants help delay the appearance of wrinkles and the loss of tightness in the skin.
  • People who want to increase their intake of antioxidants: Particularly in a natural way.
  • Subjects with a family history of cardiovascular disease.

What is the recommended daily dose of camu-camu supplements?

When taking capsules, tablets or gummies of camu-camu extract, the recommended dosage usually varies from 1 to 4 units per day, depending on the concentration of vitamin C in each one. As for the proper ration of camu-camu powder, manufacturers usually recommend taking 1 scoop daily, which equals about 5 grams of the product.

camu-camu has a high vitamin C content, which plays a role in the synthesis of collagen for nails, skin, tendons, cartilage and bones.
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What are some things to consider when supplementing with camu-camu?

Although camu-camu supplements are generally safe, it is always advisable to keep in mind certain precautions for proper consumption. There are 4 basic aspects that should be taken into consideration when taking camu-camu supplements:

  • Do not exceed the recommended dose for the supplement, either camu-camu powder or capsules.
  • Limit the period of consumption to no more than 2 or 3 consecutive months.
  • Avoid storing it in high temperatures because it will destroy the vitamin C (which is thermosensitive).
  • Do not consume large amounts of alcohol with it, as it can reduce the body's capacity for vitamin C absorption.

Is camu-cumy good for the skin?

Yes, camu-camu is rich in vitamin C, a vitamin that acts as a powerful antioxidant in your body and is vital for the health of your skin and immune system. On the one hand, it slows down the aging of the skin, while preventing the appearance of spots and wrinkles. On the other hand, it promotes collagen synthesis, which contributes to the firmness and smoothness of the dermis.

Would camu-camu be beneficial for obese people or those looking to lose weight?

While supplementing with this superfood will not result in weight loss, it is advisable for those who suffer from obesity. This is because supplements are concentrated sources of antioxidants that help prevent the metabolic complications associated with obesity, including type 2 diabetes and dyslipidemia (high cholesterol and/or triglycerides).

What are the adverse effects associated with camu-camu consumption?

Although rare, there can be complications associated with the consumption of camu-camu supplements. For instance, secondary reactions can come after the ingestion of camu-camu if there is an excess of vitamin C in the body.

Even though vitamin C does not often cause toxicity, even at doses of 10 grams daily, people who consume large amounts of this nutrient over very long periods of time may experience certain adverse effects:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Constipation
  • Kidney stones
  • Gout arthritis (in people predisposed to this condition)

Does camu-camu consumption have contraindications?

Yes, all supplements have contraindications because not every product may be beneficial for every person or condition. It is always advisable to consult your doctor before incorporating any supplement into your routine. More specifically, these are some situations in which the consumption of camu-camu dietary supplements is discouraged:

  • Pregnancy, breastfeeding and children under 12 years.
  • Hemochromatosis (a disease caused by excess iron in the body), vitamin C increases the assimilation of iron and would aggravate this condition.
  • Those with predispositions to forming of kidney stones.
  • Severe renal disease.
  • Taking any of the following medications: anticoagulants, antacids with aluminum, Deferoxamine, Indinavir, or Cyclosporine.

Camu-camu has been shown to reduce inflammatory markers.
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Buyer's Guide

The main attraction of camu-camu, is it’s dense antioxidant and vitamin C content. When looking to supplement with camu-camu, it is important to consider the following set of criteria in order to purchase the best quality supplement. Make sure not to overlook these aspects and you’ll be sure to find the right supplement for your needs:

Vitamin C Content

Camu-camu powder supplements should provide between 300 and 600 milligrams of vitamin C per 5-gram serving. Camu-camu capsules normally supply between 80 and 400 mg of this vitamin per serving. Keep in mind that the vitamin C content varies greatly from product to product, so it is very important to look at the label of each product carefully.

camu-camu is very sour, so the most common way of adding it to your diet is through a powder or a supplement.
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Method of Consumption

Capsules, tablets, and gummies will be the most practical method of intake since all you’ll need is a small sip of water in order to swallow the product. Powder, on the other hand, must be dissolved in liquid before ingesting.

Presence of Allergens

Camu-camu is naturally gluten-free and vegan. However, it is common for supplements to be made in facilities that also process nuts, seeds, soybeans, or wheat. This means that those who are celiac or suffer from another food allergy should carefully read the list of ingredients on the nutrition label.

Certifications

Vegans should look for a seal of vegan certification, which will guarantee that the supplement is free of animal by-products. For their part, those who only consume organic products should seek certification of organic or ecological production, for instance, USDA certification.

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Manufacturing Conditions

Most manufacturers will describe how the raw fruit is processed into the final product. Where camu-camu is concerned, it is important to ensure that the fruit has been handled at low temperatures, both during drying and crushing in order to best preserve all the nutrients. Keep in mind that vitamin C is Thermo-reactive and it will disintegrate in high temperatures.

Summary

In short, camu-camu is a superfood. Its recent popularity has stemmed from its various health benefits. Among them, its high content of vitamin C makes it an excellent supplement for those who wish to strengthen their immune system or promote the synthesis of collagen in the skin.

Camu-camu supplements are easy to ingest, affordable, and effective at increasing overall health and wellness while helping prevent diseases related to oxidative damage. Last but not least, camu-camu has very few contraindications and its supplements rarely produce adverse effects.

If you found this information useful, be sure to leave us a comment with your thoughts or share this knowledge with your loved ones!

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