Camu camu is a type of fruit grown on shrubs in flooded and swampy areas of the Peruvian Amazon as well as Brazil, Columbia, and Bolivia.

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This fruit and products containing it have become popular due to its reported health benefits. Camu camu is typically found in supplements, pills, purees, and juices rather than eaten raw due to its tart flavor.

Read this article to learn more about the nutrients found in camu camu, its health benefits, and different ways to consume it.

Camu camu is a nutritionally dense fruit, which is why it is so popular. It contains large amounts of vitamin C, numerous minerals, antioxidants, and polyphenols.

Vitamin C

Camu camu is rich in vitamin C. In fact, it is one of the most significant sources of this vitamin among plants, containing about 877–3,133 milligrams (mg) per 100 grams (g) of fruit pulp.


Camu camu is an excellent source of a variety of minerals. The minerals found in camu camu include:

  • sodium
  • potassium
  • calcium
  • zinc
  • magnesium
  • manganese
  • copper


Antioxidants are compounds that help fight off free radicals in the body. Free radicals are compounds known to cause cellular damage and increase the risk of diseases like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

While the body has a natural defense mechanism to combat free radicals, antioxidants found in food can help decrease their numbers even further.

Powerful antioxidants found in camu camu are ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and two anthocyanin compounds: cyanidin-3-glucoside and delphinidin-3-glucoside. According to research, the ascorbic acid and antioxidant levels in camu camu are the highest among Brazilian fruits.

It is hard to determine the exact amount of these compounds found in camu camu because the levels change based on factors including where it was grown and soil composition. Regardless, camu camu appears to be a great source of antioxidants.


Polyphenols are a group of chemicals found in plants that are known to have many health benefits. Studies have shown that polyphenols have antioxidant capabilities and can help decrease inflammation, thereby reducing the risk of various inflammatory diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

Camu camu also contains numerous polyphenols, such as flavonoids, phenolic acids, tannins, stilbenes, and lignans.

The amount found in camu camu depends on how mature the fruit is when plucked from the plant and which extraction methods are used. However, experts believe that the phenolic content of camu camu is higher than that of other tropical fruits, with most of it concentrated in the seeds and peel.

While there is still much to learn about the health benefits of camu camu, recent studies show that consuming this fruit may be beneficial for overall health.

For example, one 2019 study conducted in mice showed that consuming camu camu increased energy expenditure, decreased liver and abdominal fat deposition, and caused beneficial changes in the gut microbiome.

An older study conducted in rats showed that camu camu decreased weight along with blood glucose levels, total cholesterol, triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and insulin. The authors attribute these health benefits to the antioxidant content in camu camu.

A 2018 study conducted in humans suggests that consuming 25 g of camu camu extract may help decrease blood pressure.

Lastly, a small 2017 study involving 23 participants showed that camu camu juice decreases the post-meal, or postprandial, blood glucose spike. This finding may be especially helpful for those concerned about their risk of type 2 diabetes.

To date, there are no known risks or concerns associated with consuming camu camu products.

However, ingesting too much of any food or supplement may have negative consequences. People should talk with a doctor before taking supplements.

People are unlikely to find the fruit in its original form at the grocery store. Camu camu is also very sour, so people might not enjoy the taste.

However, other forms of camu camu are available, such as the pulp, purees, pills, powder, and juice. The powdered form is most popular because a person can easily add it to smoothies, yogurt, fruit salads, oatmeal, and other foods.

Camu camu is a fruit that is gaining popularity due to its purported health benefits. It is nutritionally dense and contains high amounts of vitamin C, antioxidants, and polyphenols.

Finding this fruit in its original form is challenging, but other options are available, such as supplements, juices, pills, and purees.