Slimming Avocado

The fattest food may cause weight loss and ease diabetes



Your guacamole may hold the key to managing obesity and helping delay or prevent diabetes, according to University of Guelph researchers in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research.

In the study, mice treated with avocatin B (AvoB), a fat molecule found only in avocados, weighed significantly less than those in the control group, showing slower weight gain. More importantly, said study co-author Paul A. Spagnuolo, the treated mice showed greater insulin sensitivity, meaning that their bodies were able to absorb and burn blood glucose and improve their response to insulin.

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In a human clinical study, AvoB given as a dietary supplement to participants eating a typical western diet, was absorbed safely into their blood without affecting the kidney, liver or skeletal muscle. The team also saw reductions in weight in human subjects, although Spagnuolo said the result was not statistically significant.

Having demonstrated its safety in humans, they plan to conduct clinical trials to test AvoB’s efficacy in treating metabolic ailments in people.

Avocados contain fiber, lutein, vitamin E, monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), and a completely unique compound found only in avocados that can inhibit cellular processes that normally lead to diabetes.

Mitochondrial Burn Failure

About one-third of Americans are obese, a chronic condition that is a leading cause of Type 2 diabetes. Insulin resistance in diabetic patients means their bodies are unable to properly remove glucose from the blood. Those complications can arise when mitochondria, energy powerhouses in the cells, are unable to burn fatty acids completely. Normally, fatty acid oxidation allows the body to burn fats. Obesity or diabetes hinders that process, leading to incomplete oxidation.

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The researchers discovered that avocatin B counters incomplete oxidation in skeletal muscle and the pancreas to reduce insulin resistance.

Having received Health Canada approval for the compound as a human supplement, AvoB could be offered in powder and pill forms as soon as 2020 through SP Nutraceuticals Inc., a Burlington, Ont.-based natural health products company.

In earlier work funded by the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, Spagnuolo has studied the potential use of avocatin B for treating acute myeloid leukemia.

Referencesi Nawaz Ahmed, Matthew Tcheng, Alessia Roma, Michael Buraczynski, Preethi Jayanth, Kevin Rea, Tariq A. Akhtar, Paul A. Spagnuolo. Avocatin B Protects Against Lipotoxicity and Improves Insulin Sensitivity in Dietā€Induced Obesity. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, 2019; 1900688 DOI: 10.1002/mnfr.201900688
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