The avocado trend is steadily rising, with this superfood now in high demand all across the country. Along with other benefits, researchers have found that this green fruit can also help to treat metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome affects nearly 23 percent of the population in the United States. This condition is defined as a cluster of metabolic disorders, which include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high levels of triglycerides, a high fasting glucose level and abdominal obesity. These separate afflictions are all dangerous in their own right, and when combined, they put the patient at very high risk for heart disease and other cardiovascular issues. Metabolic syndrome occurs when there are at least three of these factors present at the same time.
Avocados may help to treat this common health condition. The best treat for metabolic syndrome, in general, is to begin eating a healthy, balanced diet. By adding avocados to this diet, it is possible that it may have an even greater effect in treating metabolic syndrome. According to a study published in Phytotherapy Research, avocados have the greatest effect on treating cholesterol levels and other metabolic disorders.
By analyzing the research from in vivo, in vitro, and clinical studies, a team from the Mashhad University of Medical Sciences in Iran sought to determine how avocados could help in cases of metabolic syndrome. They found several studies supporting the health benefits of avocados, including the effect of avocados on weight loss.
In these studies, the team found that avocados had the greatest effect on lipid levels. Lipid levels help to maintain healthy levels of cholesterol, particularly in “bad” cholesterol. In a study of 67 people who were given an avocado-enriched diet, all of them showed significant reduction in lipid levels, despite whether they had healthy or unhealthy levels prior to the experiment.
“The reported mechanism of this effect was regulating of the hydrolysis of certain lipoproteins and their selective uptake and metabolism by different tissues such as liver and pancreas,” the authors wrote in their report. “Another possible mechanism could be related to the marked proliferation of the liver smooth endoplasmic reticulum which is known to be associated with induction of enzymes involved in lipid biosynthesis.”
In addition to reducing cholesterol levels, the group also found that eating this fatty and fibrous fruit can aid in weight loss, therefore staving off the threat of type II diabetes. In a group of 61 volunteers, a study revealed that a person who ate one avocado every day reduced their body fat percentage and body mass index (BMI) after six weeks. In overweight and obese people, there was a significant change in their body composition when they followed an energy-restricted diet that included avocados as a daily source of fat.
In conclusion, the authors of the review state that “satisfactory clinical evidence suggested that avocado can be used as herbal dietary supplements for treatment of different components of [metabolic syndrome].” However, they hope to see further research to expose the effects of high avocado consumption if contaminants are present, or if the other parts of the avocado have a greater effect in treating these conditions.