Avocado oil may hold the key to anti-aging, as well as fighting heart disease and cancer.
Avocados look set to become the latest super-food, after a new study has discovered that oil from the fruit, as well as protecting against heart disease and cancer, also has anti aging properties.
The magic ingredient in avocados is antioxidants, which help combat free radicals that damage the cells in our bodies. This damage causes us to age and may also cause illnesses including cancer. Free radicals get into our bodies in everything from pollution to ‘bad’ foods. Though avocados aren’t the only food to contain antioxidants (most fruit and veg does), the research suggests that the good-fat properties of avocado oil may help our cells better utilise antioxidants.
New research in Mexico, one of the biggest producers and consumers of avocados, looked at the effect of avocado oil on yeast cells. The next step is to use human cells.
"Avocado oil caused accelerated respiration in mitochondria [inside the cells],” explained Christopher Cortes-Rojo, who led the research team in Michoacan. “This indicates that the use of nutrients for producing energy for cell functions remains effective even in cells attacked by free radicals.”
He added that avocado oil is similar to olive oil, which is renowned for its health benefits and used to explain the low incidence of chronic diseases in the Mediterranean.
“Olive oil has a fat composition similar to that in avocado oil, which could eventually be referred to as the olive oil of the Americas,” Cortes-Rojo said.