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Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Avocados and health?

@HealthMed Prompted by a press enquiry about strength of evidence for 'healthy' foods:

Avocados are a high calorie food. They also contain over 200 types of plant steroids, the actions of many of which are still unclear. In laboratory studies, extracts of avocado, and some of the individual bioactive chemicals present in avocados, appear to reduce the growth of certain types of cells.

This supports the idea that there may be actions of avocado and its constituents against inflammation and cancer, and other disorders in which abnormal cell growth and activity occur, although this is yet to be tested on humans.

There is also theoretical evidence that plant steroids present in avocados could help to reduce pain and inflammation caused by joint diseases such as osteoarthritis.

We know enough about these avocado constituents to know that they have very powerful properties in the test-tube. There appears to be sufficient evidence to suggest that rigorous studies should be carried out in humans to see if these effects are relevant outside the laboratory.