Avoid Cancer by Eating Avocados I'll take any excuse to eat an avocado, so I am always happy to see research identifying yet another virtue of this delicious fruit (and yes, it's a fruit!). I just saw a new study reporting that plant chemicals in avocados are effective in killing certain cancer cells in the laboratory and also in preventing particular precancerous cells from developing into actual cancers. For this study, Steven D'Ambrosio, PhD, professor at Ohio State University and his research team published a review of previous studies where a chemical extraction process was used to isolate six compounds in avocado meat, which were then injected into a petri dish containing human cells. These were either normal, precancerous or actively cancerous (in this case, oral cancer) in order to ascertain how the cells would react to the isolated avocado compounds. One of the six extracts (they called it D003) was found to have an effect -- it reduced the growth of some pre-cancerous and cancerous cells while also killing other ones outright. Based on these study results, Dr. D'Ambrosio speculates that "as part of a healthy diet, a cup of avocado may have some cancerprevention effect." This adds to other research pointing to some cancer-fighting benefits of avocado as well. A 2005 study done at UCLA found that the growth of human prostate cancer cells was inhibited by 60% when exposed to avocado extracts. But keep one caveat in mind: Each of these studies used an extract from only a single type of avocado whereas there are actually hundreds of avocado varieties. The studies Dr. D'Ambrosio reviewed involved only Haas avocado extracts. Why does this matter? Because, according to Jonny Bowden, author of The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth, the nutritional value of an avocado varies by type and growing location. For example, 100 g of a California avocado has about 28% fewer calories, 35% less fat and about 10% fewer carbohydrates than a Florida avocado. He believes nutrient values may vary as well, although the California Avocado Commission says there is likely only a slight difference. In addition to potential for cancer prevention, avocados are a source of lutein, zeaxanthin, beta carotene and folate, among other nutrients. So it looks like avocados are worth incorporating into your diet for lots of reasons. Bring on the guacamole! Source(s): Steven D'Ambrosio, PhD, professor, Ohio State University. Dr. D'Ambrosio's area of research and interest is natural preventatives for cancer. Jonny Bowden, CNS. Bowden, the popular "Weight Loss Coach" on iVillage.com, is a contributing writer to AOL.com and a frequent Daily Health News contributor. His free mini-course "7 Super Foods That Could Change Your Life" is available at www.feelyourpower.com. A radio talk-show host, he's the author of the bestselling Living the Low Carb Life and, most recently, The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth.
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