By TAP Integrative

Avocados, the fruits of the avocado tree (Persea americana), are native to central Mexico. The flesh and oil of the avocado fruit are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, phytosterols, polyphenolic compounds, and carotenoids. Avocados also provide calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin K1, and mixed tocopherols.

A comprehensive review of 129 studies, published in Phytotherapy Research (2017), evaluated the effects of avocado consumption on components of metabolic syndrome, including hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and obesity. The majority of included studies were animal studies, some were in vitro studies, and a small number were human clinical trials. In this summary, we focus specifically on the human clinical trials.

Three clinical trials evaluated the effect of avocado consumption on glycemic control. Eating avocado with lunch attenuated the rise in 30-minute postprandial blood insulin when compared with eating a control lunch in overweight adults; consumption of half of a Hass avocado per day significantly reduced blood insulin and glucagon-like peptide-1 in healthy overweight subjects; and a 4-week diet rich in avocado oil and olive oil decreased fasting blood glucose in women with type 2 diabetes.

Nine clinical trials evaluated the effect of avocado consumption on dyslipidemia. The study durations and avocado dosages varied, but all of the studies showed some benefit. Avocado-enriched diets resulted in lower total cholesterol, lower LDL-cholesterol, lower triglycerides, and higher HDL-cholesterol. One study detected a decrease in small dense LDL-cholesterol, and another study detected a decrease in apolipoprotein B (ApoB).

One clinical trial measured the effect of avocado consumption as a part of an energy-restricted diet on weight loss and found that consumption of 1 avocado per day for 6 weeks as a substitute for mixed dietary fats such as margarine or oil, produced significant reductions in body weight and percent body fat in overweight and obese subjects.

Taken together, this review provides support for a role of avocados in managing dyslipidemia and some evidence to support a role for avocados in managing glycemic control and body weight in patients with metabolic syndrome.

Reference

Tabeshpour J, Razavi BM, Hosseinzadeh H. Effects of Avocado (Persea americana) on Metabolic Syndrome: A Comprehensive Systematic Review. Phytother Res. 2017.


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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease