The study adds to a growing body of evidence supporting the many health benefits of the avocado, a popular addition to salads, sandwiches and California rolls. In addition to benefiting the liver, the green-skinned fruits are rich in vitamins E and C, high in fiber and potassium, and contain large amounts of folate, a vitamin that helps reduce birth defects in pregnant women.
While avocados are high in fat, much of the fat is of the monounsaturated variety, which has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels.
The study was funded by Monbu-syo (the Ministry of Education in Japan) and by Kagome Co., Ltd., a major food and beverage manufacturer in Japan. Kagome plans to patent the avocado extract and test it on humans in the near future, the researchers say.
More than 8,000 research papers will be presented during this year's International Chemical Congress, which is sponsored jointly by the American Chemical Society, the Chemical Society of Japan, the Canadian Society of Chemistry, the Royal Australian Chemical Institute and the New Zealand Institute of Chemistry.