Friday, September 21, 2007

Avocados Have Health Benefits

Avocados were once a luxury food reserved for the tables of royalty but now avocados are enjoyed around the world by people from all walks of life.

Research published in the January 2005 issue of the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry indicates that nutrients in avocados can work together to inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells. The analysis was conducted at UCLA where researchers discovered that avocados are the richest source of lutein among commonly eaten fruits. Lutein is a carotenoid that acts as an antioxidant and has been linked to a reduced risk of prostate cancer in previous studies.

According to Dr. David Heber, director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition, the study focused on inhibition of human prostate cancer cell growth when exposed to an extract of whole avocado fruit versus treatment with pure lutein. UCLA lab tests showed that when avocado extract was added to two types of prostate cancer cells, cell growth was inhibited by up to 60%, whereas purified lutein alone was ineffective.

In other words, when a single nutrient, lutein, was extracted from avocados it did not offer the same anti-cancer results as the whole avocado extract. Dr. Heber commented: "What's really exciting about this study is that the results indicate that the carotenoids, vitamins, and diverse compounds in avocados might have additive or synergistic effects against prostate cancer compared with pure lutein alone”.

In this story as it is in others, it seems to be that
whole foods in their original whole form, offer the best nutrition possible for the human body.