Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Avocados Contain Potent Liver Protectants

Date:
December 20, 2000
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Researchers in Japan have discovered that avocados contain potent chemicals that may reduce liver damage. The finding could lead to the development of new drugs to treat liver disease, the researchers say.

HONOLULU, Dec. 18 - Researchers in Japan have discovered that avocados contain potent chemicals that may reduce liver damage. The finding could lead to the development of new drugs to treat liver disease, the researchers say. They presented their findings today during the 2000 International Chemical Congress of Pacific Basin Societies.

The weeklong scientific meeting, held once every five years, is hosted by the American Chemical Society, in conjunction with its counterparts in Australia, Canada, Japan and New Zealand.

To evaluate the protective activity of food against liver injury, the researchers fed 22 different fruits to a group of rats with liver damage caused by galactosamine, a powerful liver toxin. As measured by changes in the levels of specific liver enzymes, the avocado showed the most potent activity among these fruits in slowing liver damage, according to the lead researchers, Hirokazu Kawagishi, Ph.D., and Kimio Sugiyama, Ph.D., professors at Shizuoka University in Shizuoka, Japan.

"Besides offering taste and nutrition, avocados seem to improve liver health," says Kawagishi. "People should eat more of them."

Five compounds appear to be active in reducing liver damage. Each was tested in rats with chemically induced liver injuries. The injuries resembled those caused by viruses, suggesting that avocado extracts may be especially promising for the treatment of viral hepatitis, according to the researchers.

The investigators do not know whether the results from the rat studies will translate into liver protection among humans, how much avocado extract it will take to have a beneficial effect, or how the active chemicals work. Further studies are needed, they say.

The leading producer of avocados worldwide is Mexico. In the United States, California is the leader, followed by Florida and Hawaii.

The study adds to a growing body of evidence supporting the many health benefits of the avocado, a popular addition to salads, sandwiches and California rolls. In addition to benefiting the liver, the green-skinned fruits are rich in vitamins E and C, high in fiber and potassium, and contain large amounts of folate, a vitamin that helps reduce birth defects in pregnant women.

While avocados are high in fat, much of the fat is of the monounsaturated variety, which has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels.

The study was funded by Monbu-syo (the Ministry of Education in Japan) and by Kagome Co., Ltd., a major food and beverage manufacturer in Japan. Kagome plans to patent the avocado extract and test it on humans in the near future, the researchers say.

More than 8,000 research papers will be presented during this year's International Chemical Congress, which is sponsored jointly by the American Chemical Society, the Chemical Society of Japan, the Canadian Society of Chemistry, the Royal Australian Chemical Institute and the New Zealand Institute of Chemistry.

Hirokazu Kawagishi and Kimio Sugiyama are both professors in the department of applied biological chemistry at Shizuoka University in Shizuoka, Japan.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Avocados Contain Potent Liver Protectants." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 December 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/12/001219074822.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2000, December 20). Avocados Contain Potent Liver Protectants. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/12/001219074822.htm
American Chemical Society. "Avocados Contain Potent Liver Protectants." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/12/001219074822.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan

Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) A 111-year-old Japanese was certified as the world's oldest man by Guinness World Records on Wednesday. Sakari Momoi, a native of Fukushima in northern Japan, was given a certificate at a hospital in Tokyo. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) Residents of Sierra Leone's capital voice their fears as the Ebola virus sweeps through west Africa. Duration: 00:56 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
101-Year-Old Working Man Has All The Advice You Need

101-Year-Old Working Man Has All The Advice You Need

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) Herman Goldman has worked at the same lighting store for almost 75 years. Find out his secrets to a happy, productive life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins