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Home » EFFECTS OF AVOCADO ON HEALTH, WEIGHT LOSS, CANCER, INFLAMMATION, AND CHOLESTEROL – 2 OF 3

EFFECTS OF AVOCADO ON HEALTH, WEIGHT LOSS, CANCER, INFLAMMATION, AND CHOLESTEROL – 2 OF 3

Avocado can enhance weight loss and reduce inflammation as it is a good source of fiber, Vitamin C, and other nutrients.
EFFECTS OF AVOCADO ON HEALTH, WEIGHT LOSS, CANCER, INFLAMMATION, AND CHOLESTEROL 2 OF 3

Table of Contents

Summary Of Researches

  1. Avocado has potent anti-inflammatory effects. 
  2. Adding ½ avocado to a meat hamburger may reduce the negative pro-inflammatory effect of meat-eating. 
  3. Avocado extract can extinguish the growth of oral cancer cells and appears to inhibit cancer cell growth in colon and esophageal tissues.
  4. Eating avocado fights the formation of breast cancer cells and can be used as chemo itself.
  5. Fats and fiber in avocado can increase gut microbes that break down fiber and produce metabolites that keep the gut healthy. 
  6. One medium avocado provides 30-50% of the recommended amount of soluble fiber per day.
  7. Avocado consumption alters the increase of good gastrointestinal bacteria and microbial metabolism among adults with obesity. 
  8. Adding ½ avocado to a meat hamburger may reduce the negative pro-inflammatory effect of meat-eating.
  9. Eating avocado reduces bile acid and chain fatty acids.
  10. Eating avocado have beneficial effects on colonic and epithelial lining cells.

Definitions

What is inflammation, and why is it bad?

Inflammation is the body’s immune system’s reaction to infection, irritation, or injury that causes redness, swelling, and pain. When you don’t eat healthily, don’t get enough exercise, or have too much stress, the body responds by triggering inflammation. Early symptoms of chronic inflammation may be vague, with subtle signs and symptoms that may go undetected for an extended period. You may just feel slightly fatigued or even normal. As inflammation progresses, however, it begins to damage your arteries, organs, and joints. If left unchecked, it can contribute to chronic diseases, such as heart disease, blood vessel disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and other conditions.

Immune system cells that cause inflammation contribute to the buildup of fatty deposits in the lining of the heart’s arteries. Dr. Marcus Free states that these plaques can eventually rupture, which causes a clot to form that could potentially block an artery. When a blockage happens, the result is a heart attack.

Does Eating Avocado Fight Cancer?

Thanks to NutritionFacts.org and Dr. Michael Greger

It was 1975 when a pesticide naturally produced by the avocado tree was discovered, explaining why lactating livestock suffered mammary gland damage nibbling on the leaves. The toxin, named persin, was also found to be damaging to the heart.

In 2010, there was an evaluation of the genotoxicity (the toxicity to human chromosomes) of avocado extract on human white blood cells. Typically, less than 10% of our dividing cells have any chromosome abnormalities but drip some avocado fruit extracts on them, and up to half come out defective somehow. The study concluded that there’s something in avocado fruit that can potentially induce significant genomic instability and genetic damage in human white blood cells in a petri dish. If the same effect occurs in actual people, it could, for example, result in transforming cells into cancer. However, for anything to get into our bloodstream, it first has to survive our stomach acid, get absorbed through our intestines, and then sneak past our liver’s detoxification enzymes. And indeed, persin may be affected, changed by acidic conditions. At high enough concentrations, avocado extracts can harm the growth of the kinds of cells that line our mouths but damage oral cancer cells even more. 

Can eating avocado prevent cancer cell growth?

Research had found that avocado fruit extract appeared to inhibit cancer cell growth more than average cell growth when it came to colon cancer cells or esophageal cancer cells. The fermentation of carbohydrates in the colon, like fiber, is considered beneficial, whereas fermentation of protein, called putrefaction, is deemed detrimental. Switch people to a high protein diet and the excess protein putrefying in their gut leads to a doubling of levels in ammonia and p-cresol within a week. Phytonutrient-rich plant foods, like apples, cranberries, grapes—or avocados, may protect the cells lining our colon from the harmful effects of p-cresol in terms of cell viability, mitochondrial function, and epithelial integrity, meaning like protection against gut leakiness. Bottom line, avocados appear to have beneficial effects on colon lining cells. Now, let’s look for a link between avocado consumption, actual human beings eating avocados, and prostate cancer. Do avocado eaters have more cancer risk or less cancer risk? Men who ate more than about a third of an avocado a day reduced their risk of prostate cancer: in fact, less than half the odds.

Can Eating Avocado Reduce Inflammation? 

Thanks to NutritionFacts.org and Dr. Michael Greger

Research indicates that calorie-dense foods increase inflammation and oxidation, thereby contributing to the development of artery disease. However, it is not clear whether the high-calorie load alone, irrespective of the ingested food’s nutritional content, produces an entire postprandial after-the-meal oxidative and inflammatory activity. So, what this study did was compare the impact of high-calorie junk, high-fat, high-sugar ice cream, a “phytonutrient-reduced food”—that’s an understatement­—compared to the effects of the same number of calories from a calorie-dense, phytonutrient-rich, whole plant food: avocado. If it’s just the concentration of calories, the concentration of fat should have the same effect. They tested reactions to four different meals: ice cream versus avocado, versus just the fat and protein from the ice cream to separate the sugar, and then only the amount of sugar in the ice cream, to separate the effects of the saturated butterfat. People who eat avocado are adding fat and calories in the form of whole plant food. Whole plant foods tend to be packed with antioxidants, which can inhibit oxidized fats formed when meat is cooked and when it hits your stomach acid. 

Thanks to NutritionFacts.org and Dr. Michael Greger

Can avocado reduce meal-induced inflammation?


Graph 1: Adding avocado to meat meal reduces inflammation within hours after eating.

A  whole plant food source of sugar can decrease inflammation response to an “inflammatory stressor” meal. What about a whole plant food source of fat? If you eat a burger with half an avocado on top, within hours, the level of an inflammatory biomarker goes up in your blood, but not as high as eating the burger without the avocado. This may be because all whole plant foods contain antioxidants, which decrease inflammation and fiber, which is why even high-fat whole plant foods like nuts can lower cholesterol. Eating avocados resulted in a  significant drop in cholesterol levels, especially in high cholesterol, with even a reduction in triglycerides.

Is Avocado Probiotic?

Thanks to Plant Based Science London

Researchers from the University of Illinois looked at the effect of avocado on our gut microbes and the consequences of daily avocado intake on 163 overweight or obese adults between 25 and 45 who were otherwise healthy. Subjects received one meal per day as a replacement for either breakfast, lunch, or dinner. One group consumed an avocado with each meal, while the control group consumed a similar meal without the avocado. The participants gave blood, urine, and stool samples throughout the 12-week study. They also reported how much of the provided meals they consumed every four weeks. Participants were told not to restrict or change what they ate; instead, they consumed their regular diets except replacing one meal per day with the meal the researchers provided. 

The research has found that those in the avocado group saw an increase in gut microbes that break down fiber and produce metabolites that keep the gut healthy. They also had greater microbial diversity than people who did not receive the avocado meals in the study. Bile acid was also reduced, and short-chain fatty acids increased. “These changes correlate with beneficial health outcomes,” Hannah Holscher, senior author of the studies, said.

They wanted to test the idea that the fats and fiber in avocados positively affect gut microbes. Avocados are high in fat. However, the researchers found that while the avocado group consumed more calories than the control group, more fat was excreted in their stool. Greater fat excretion means the research participants were absorbing less energy from the foods that they were eating. This was likely because of reductions in bile acids (molecules secreted by our digestive system to absorb fat). “We found that the amount of bile acids in store was lower, and the amount of fat in the stool was higher in the avocado group,” Holster explained.

Is avocado a good source of fiber?

A medium avocado provides around 12 grams of fiber which can help to meet the recommended amount of 28 to 34 grams of fiber per day. Not only is fiber healthy for us it’s also critically important for our microbiome. We can’t break down dietary fibers, but certain gut microbes can. When we consume dietary fiber, it’s a win-win for gut microbes, and just like we think about hot healthy meals, we also need to be thinking about gut healthy meals and how to feed the microbiota. The whole research explains that avocado is just a nicely packaged fruit that contains important nutrients for health.

Clinical References

Hass avocado inclusion in a weight-loss diet supported weight loss and altered gut microbiota: a 12-week randomized, parallel-controlled trial 

Avocados contain fiber, lutein, and vitamin E, and they are a rich source of MUFAs. The effect of including an avocado daily as part of a hypocaloric weight-loss diet on weight loss is not known. In this randomized, parallel-controlled, open-label, 2-arm intervention study, 51 healthy overweight/obese women and men were assigned to a hypocaloric diet with 1 Hass avocado daily (AVO; n = 24) or a hypocaloric diet (CTRL; n = 27) without daily avocado for 12 wk. Serum markers and intestinal microbiota were analyzed at baseline and week 12. Read the full medical research.