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Brazilian Native Fruits: Guardians of Gut Health and Chronic Disease

Brazilian Native Fruits


In a recent analysis featured in the journal “Foods,” a team of researchers delved into the impact of Brazilian Native Fruits and their derivatives on human gut microbiota. This exploration aimed to uncover their potential in combating non-communicable chronic diseases (NCDs), drawing insights from contemporary scientific literature.

Unraveling the Context

Non-communicable diseases, including hypertension, obesity, and diabetes, stand at the forefront of global mortality. Their emergence is closely tied to lifestyle choices such as poor dietary habits, sedentary living, and tobacco consumption. Recent studies underscore the nexus between NCDs and imbalances in the gut’s microbiota.

Embracing plant-based diets, teeming with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents, holds the key to preventing NCDs. Brazil’s native fruits, hailing from diverse ecosystems, are brimming with bioactive compounds. The processing of these fruits not only makes them suitable for immediate consumption but also yields by-products that are rich in valuable elements like phenolics, bestowing considerable health advantages.

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However, further investigation is warranted to fathom the precise mechanisms through which Brazilian native fruits, their by-products, and their bioactive constituents exert their influence on the intestinal microbiota and, consequently, impact the initiation and progression of non-communicable chronic diseases.

The Nexus of Gut Microbiota in NCDs

Non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular ailments, obesity, diabetes, and cancer are borne out of genetic, environmental, and behavioral factors, exacerbated by diets high in sugar and fat.

Obesity fuels chronic inflammation and cardiovascular risks, dyslipidemia disrupts lipid metabolism, elevating the peril of heart diseases, and diabetes, characterized by persistent hyperglycemia, inflicts damage on endothelial cells.

All these conditions share a deep-rooted connection with imbalances in the gut microbiota, which not only hasten the onset of NCDs but also wield a profound impact on gut health and overall well-being.

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Microbiota Imbalances and Their Ramifications

Fluctuations in microbiota composition can disturb the equilibrium within the gut, giving rise to both intestinal and systemic afflictions. Notably, unique microbiota profiles, featuring elevated levels of Firmicutes and Proteobacteria, have been observed in cases of obesity and diabetes.

Diet, Probiotics, and Wellness

Nutrition emerges as the linchpin in the management of NCDs, with probiotics and bioactive compounds from food having the potential to modulate gut microbiota, fostering overall health. Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) derived from a wholesome diet enhance a gamut of physiological processes, bolstering systemic well-being.

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Brazilian Native Fruits: Nature’s Bounty for Well-Being

Brazilian native fruits, including açaí (Euterpe oleracea Mart.), acerola (Malpighia emarginata D.C.), guava (Psidium guajava L.), jabuticaba (Myrciaria jaboticaba (Vell.) Berg), baru (Dipteryx alata Vog.), buriti (Mauritia flexuosa L.), juçara (Euterpe edulis Mart.), and passion fruit (Passiflora capsularis L.), teem with bioactive components.

These constituents wield the power to reshape intestinal microbiota, conferring a panoply of benefits such as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant prowess, enhanced insulin sensitivity, and proficient dyslipidemia management.

Furthermore, these fruits offer vital dietary fibers that facilitate lipid and carbohydrate absorption, amplify intestinal motility, and curtail food intake. Their rich phenolic content bestows upon them anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties, stimulating the proliferation of beneficial gut bacteria.

Owing to their nutritional richness, Brazilian native fruits prove to be potent instruments in staving off and alleviating the symptoms of myriad NCDs.

Brazilian Native Fruits: Transforming Intestinal Microbiota


Indigenous to the Amazon, açaí boasts anthocyanins, which drive colonic fermentation, prompting shifts in specific bacterial populations and yielding organic acids. Phenolic compounds in açaí act as guardians of DNA integrity. Remarkably, an açaí extract, rich in anthocyanins, has demonstrated its efficacy in tackling obesity-related issues in rodents. Clinical trials with overweight individuals who consumed açaí showcased diminished indicators of oxidative stress.


Hailing from the tropical terrain of Brazil, acerola has a favorable impact on probiotic proliferation. Studies reveal that acerola by-products stimulate the growth of select probiotics, leading to enhanced carbohydrate utilization, a reduction in pH levels, and heightened organic acid production. Fermented acerola by-products modify the composition of intestinal bacteria, ushering in metabolites conducive to health. Acerola is also endowed with dietary fiber and phenolic compounds, including myricetin, salicylic acid, 2,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid, catechin, and rutin, which bestow favor upon gut microbiota.


Native to the Americas, guava stands as a culinary staple in Brazil. Guava by-products foster probiotic expansion, culminating in the production of health-beneficial metabolites. Additionally, guava supplements have exhibited prowess in bolstering colon health, curtailing fat absorption, and supporting metabolic activities in rats. Guava-leaf extract has unveiled anti-diabetic properties in mouse studies. The therapeutic qualities of guava, encapsulated in polysaccharides and other compounds, have been scrutinized for their applicability in managing conditions such as diabetes, obesity, and diarrhea, underscoring their potential in modulating intestinal microbiota for health dividends.


The processing of jabuticaba, a Brazilian Native Fruits, yields by-products that, upon fermentation, exert a positive influence on gut microbes, promoting the proliferation of beneficial strains like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Furthermore, jabuticaba by-products undergo modifications in phenolic compounds due to factors like pH levels and enzymatic action. The inclusion of jabuticaba peel and seeds in a high-fat diet for mice results in notable improvements in weight control and glucose regulation. Jabuticaba peel extract proves efficacious in aiding rats with colitis, fostering a healthier gut microbiome. Additionally, when incorporated into yogurt, jabuticaba seed extract diminishes inflammation and enhances gut health in rats afflicted with colon cancer, shedding light on its potential as an anti-cancer agent with antioxidant properties.


Hailing from the Cerrado biome, baru yields pulp and peel by-products. Research indicates that baru pulp exhibits potential prebiotic effects, serving as a viable carbon source for select probiotic strains and modulating pH levels and organic acid production. In vitro fermentation studies corroborate the capacity of baru pulp to enhance the abundance of beneficial gut bacteria. The pulp’s high fiber content, coupled with its phenolic compounds, may underlie these effects. Additionally, baru nut oil imparts health benefits, including the reduction of thrombus formation in rats and heightened antioxidant activity in obese women.

That’s Buriti!

The pulp of the buriti fruit is quite popular in certain Brazilian regions. Researchers have investigated the effect that its oil has on the intestinal microbiota of young adults, particularly when paired with fermented milk and certain kinds of bacteria. The milk modified the microbial composition in a way that suggests there may be possible health benefits, and it exhibited an increased cell count of some beneficial bacteria. It’s possible that the dietary fiber and numerous other phenolic chemicals found in the pulp are what are responsible for these effects. In addition, a study conducted on Wistar rats revealed that the oil extracted from buriti pulp possesses qualities that reduce the risk of oxidative damage.

The jucara

The fermentation process that occurs in jucara, which is endemic to the Atlantic Rainforest in Brazil, results in an increase in the relative abundance of certain beneficial bacteria. Phenolic chemicals found in its pulp may have an effect on microbial equilibrium, and the presence of these compounds is altered when the pulp is exposed to a simulation of gastrointestinal digestion. The use of Juara has been associated with a number of positive health effects, including a slower rate of weight gain and an increased tolerance to glucose, according to research. A study with obese adults found that consuming jucara pulp was associated with a significant increase in the relative abundance of beneficial bacteria and short-chain fatty acids in the feces.


Fruit of the Passion

The addition of fermented milk to fermented passion fruit pulp resulted in a rise in the amounts of acetic and butyric acid. In a similar vein, fermented goat milk that was combined with the by-products of passion fruit revealed an increase in particular beneficial bacteria as well as a positive correlation with butyric acid. When tested on mice with colitis, the soluble dietary fiber in the fruit prevented weight loss, restored beneficial chemicals, reduced inflammation, and improved intestinal health. Additionally, the mice had less weight loss.