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 2, 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 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Quintuplets Head Home

Texas Quintuplets Head Home

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 1, 2014) After four months in the hospital, the first quintuplets to be born at Baylor University Medical Center head home. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Patient Coming to U.S. for Treatment

Ebola Patient Coming to U.S. for Treatment

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 1, 2014) A U.S. aid worker infected with Ebola while working in West Africa will be treated in a high security ward at Emory University in Atlanta. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Health officials are working to fast-track a vaccine — the West-African Ebola outbreak has killed more than 700. But why didn't we already have one? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Previous studies have made the link between birth control and breast cancer, but the latest makes the link to high-estrogen oral contraceptives. Video provided by Newsy
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