Avocado (Persea americana) may help to protect the liver from
damage, according to new research from Japan.
Researchers fed avocado and 22 other fruits to laboratory rats.
The rats were then given D-galactosamine, a substance that causes
liver damage by interfering with cell synthesis and results in cell
death. The rats fed the avocado obtained the least amount of liver
The Researchers discovered three new compounds that might
explain why the avocado is protective.
"Besides offering taste and nutrition, avocados seem to improve
liver health," said Hirokazu Kawagishi, professor of applied
biological chemistry, at Shizuoka University. "I have begun eating
avocados more myself, because of this study." He advocated that
people should try to eat an avocado a day.
Besides avocados, 8 other fruits showed a liver-protective
- Japanese Plum
Researchers are now analyzing those fruits to determine if there
are chemicals within the fruit that can explain its protective
effect and whether those compounds can be exploited to develop
drugs to treat disease. They also plan to recruit human volunteers
to determine if adding avocado to the diet can effect the outcomes
of patients with liver disease.
A spokesperson for the California Avocado Info Bureau, Jeanette
LeBlanc, said that in the US the average person eats about one
avocado every two weeks, although the numbers of people who are
eating avocados continues to rise.
The 2000 International Chemical Congress of Pacific Basin
Societies in Honolulu, Hawaii, December, 2000
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