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Given our experience with amazing berries that are (inaccurately) claimed to make you lose weight, should we take seriously something called Miracle Berries and which contain the magic ingredient Miraculin?

It turns out that we should, because for once, the claims for this miracle product seem to be true. Unfortunately, though, the weight loss industry, currently expanding faster than a Californian's waistline, isn't going to make a cent out of it. Not directly, anyway.

You see, what this berry does is to drastically deaden your sense of taste. I don't mean that you'll suddenly be filling your home with those ghastly Thomas Kinkade paintings of country cottages in the mist, it's not that kind of change of taste. It's the other sort, and Miraculin apparently makes unpalatable food taste good, by amongst other things, making sour things taste sweet. Suddenly you can eat lemons and think you're eating oranges.

The result of this, apparently, is that foods which you previously couldn't eat because they were cheap and nasty are suddenly acceptable, thus increasing your choices and allowing you to eat much more, if you're currently limited in what you can afford. You can also go sugar-free and not notice, since the chemical makes more or less anything taste sweet.

The original use was in Africa, by people who used these berries and were then able to eat previously unpalatable grasses - even straw - to extend their available diets when times were hard. The alternative possibilities in the west are endless, and I'm not sure whether we should be getting excited about this or very, very scared.

By the bye, I'm not endorsing the product on this site as I haven't used it and there are competing products. I just couldn't find a URL that Sitejabber could accept, that wasn't representing a retailer of some proprietary product. You should do some further research, including discussing this with your doctor, before changing your diet in any way and for any reason.

And definitely, stay off the straw and cardboard soup until you're really sure it's that good an idea for you.

Here's an interesting article suggesting this berry holds the potential to cure world hunger:

Note that the writer suggests that the effects could be "just huge" and he's not just referring to those American waistlines. Or is he ...

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