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"Science knows no country, because knowledge belongs to humanity, and is the torch which illuminates the world." - Louis Pasteur


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Avocado: scientific review of possible health benefits

Abstract (as presented by the authors of the scientific work):

"Hass avocados, the most common commercial avocado cultivars in the world, contain a variety of essential nutrients and important phytochemicals. Although the official avocado serving is one-fifth of a fruit (30 g), according to NHANES analysis the average consumption is one-half an avocado (68 g), which provides a nutrient and phytochemical dense food consisting of the following: dietary fiber (4.6 g), total sugar (0.2 g), potassium (345 mg), sodium (5.5 mg), magnesium (19.5 mg), vitamin A (43 μg), vitamin C (6.0 mg), vitamin E (1.3 mg), vitamin K1 (14 μg), folate (60 mg), vitamin B-6 (0.2 mg), niacin (1.3 mg), pantothenic acid (1.0 mg), riboflavin (0.1 mg), choline (10 mg), lutein/zeaxanthin (185 μg), phytosterols (57 mg), and high-monounsaturated fatty acids (6.7 g) and 114 kcals or 1.7 kcal/g. The avocado oil consists of 71% monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), 13% polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), and 16% saturated fatty acids (SFA), which helps to promote healthy blood lipid profiles and enhance the bioavailability of fat soluble vitamins and phytochemicals from the avocado or other fruits and vegetables, naturally low in fat, which are consumed with avocados. There are eight preliminary clinical studies showing that avocado consumption helps support cardiovascular health. Exploratory studies suggest that avocados may support weight management and healthy aging."

Covered topics (the letter size corresponds to the frequency of mentioning in the text):

Conclusions (as presented by the authors of the scientific work):

"In the context of a healthy diet, consumption of avocados can fit into a full range of healthy eating plans (e.g., DASH diet plan). According to NHANES data, the average avocado consumption is one-half fruit, which provides for a nutrient and phytochemical dense food consisting of significant levels of the following: dietary fiber, potassium, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K1, folate, vitamin B-6, niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, choline, lutein/zeaxanthin, phytosterols, and MUFA rich oil at 1.7 kcal/g. This caloric density is medium-low because an avocado is about 80% by weight is water (72%) and dietary fiber (6.8%). Unlike the typical fruit, avocados contain a very low sugar content with only about 0.2 g sugar per one-half fruit. There are eight preliminary avocado cardiovascular health clinical studies that have consistently demonstrated positive heart healthy effects on blood lipids profiles. This is primarily because of avocado's low SFA and high-unsaturated fatty acids (MUFA and PUFA) content, but its natural phytosterols and dietary fiber may play potential secondary cholesterol lowering roles. Avocados also have a diverse range of other nutrients and phytochemicals that may have beyond cholesterol vascular health benefits. In particular, avocado's potassium and lutein may help promote normal blood pressure and help to control oxidative/inflammatory stress, respectfully. The consumption of avocados with salads or salsa increases the bioavailability of carotenoids multi-fold, which may add to the potential health benefits. More comprehensive avocado clinical research is underway to significantly expand the scientific understanding of avocados in cardiovascular health, weight management, blood glucose control and healthy living."

Full-text access of the referenced scientific work:

Dreher ML, Davenport AJ. Hass avocado composition and potential health
effects. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2013;53(7):738-50. doi:
10.1080/10408398.2011.556759. Review. PubMed PMID: 23638933; PubMed Central
PMCID: PMC3664913.


Prof. Atanas G. Atanasov (Dr. habil., PhD)


  1. From myths to sciences Avocados are worth to get a better place in agriculture and diet. Adding some medical pages to a cookbook about avocado pairing with so different partners, I discovered a treasure to prevent a great number of chronic diseases from the day of conception to the last breath.

    1. Combining medical pages with a cookbook is a very good concept... in this line, you might also find the following post interesting: http://healthandscienceportal.blogspot.com/2017/05/the-apple-walnut-cinnamon-smoothie-and.html