FILED IN: Health

Avocados: The next health craze?

A new study reveals the benefits of using avocado oil to combat free radicals

Don’t like avocados? It might be time to rethink your diet and incorporate some of the mushy, green fruit in whatever manner you can stomach.

Free radicals, those rogue particles in a body that damage cells and speed up everything from cancer to aging, are surprisingly neutralized by the oil from an avocado.  Unlike other fruits and vegetables that combat free radicals, avocado oil is able to penetrate the mitochondria of a cell, where most of the damaging particles seek refuge.  This is particularly beneficial because the mitochondria supply the cell with energy. If free radicals are wreaking havoc inside the energy center, the cell eventually dies.

(Photo via Grant Cochrane)

Avocado oil speeds up the energy activity in the mitochondria, allowing the cell to function properly even under the stress of extreme free radical attacks. This ability sets the green fruit apart from carrots and blueberries, foods which can’t penetrate through to the energy houses of cells.

Christian Cortes-Rojo, a researcher from the Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo in Morelia, Michoacán, México, and author of the study compared the effects of avocado to that of other antioxidants saying, “An analogy would be that, during an oil spill, if we cleaned only the spilled oil instead of fixing the perforation where oil is escaping, then the oil would go on spilling, and fish would die anyway.”

While free radicals are a natural occurrence within a body, external factors such as smoking, pollution, or radiation can increase their number.

During the research, experts discovered avocado oil was impressively effective in keeping cells healthy while under attack by large quantities of free radicals, results gleaned from test specimens of yeast. The results have yet to be reproduced in human subjects, but people are already calling avocado oil the ‘olive oil of the Americas’.

Traditionally, Mediterranean countries with high consumption of olive oil—another antioxidant—have much lower instances of disease than countries lacking the oil in the population’s diet.

“Our results are promising because they indicate that avocado consumption could improve the health status of diabetic and other patients through an additional mechanism to the improvement of blood lipids,” Christian said in a statement to RedOrbit. “We’ll need to confirm that what has been observed in yeasts could occur in higher organisms, such as humans. We hope this will be the case, because there are many vital processes conserved in organisms that seem very dissimilar to humans.”