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Source: Thailand Medical News   Oct 29, 2019  3 years ago
Study Shows Daily Avocado Intake Lowers Bad Cholesterol and Enhances Heart Health
Study Shows Daily Avocado Intake Lowers Bad Cholesterol and Enhances Heart Health
Source: Thailand Medical News   Oct 29, 2019  3 years ago
A new study by Pennsylvania State University indicates that eating one avocado daily help keep "bad cholesterol" at bay. Bad cholesterol refers to both oxidized low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and small, dense LDL particles. In a randomized, controlled study, the medical researchers found that eating one avocado a day was associated with lower levels of LDL in adults with overweight or obesity.

Dr Penny Kris-Etherton, distinguished professor of nutrition commented in a phone interview with Thailand Medical News, “We were able to show that when people incorporated one avocado a day into their diet, they had fewer small, dense LDL particles than before the diet. Small, dense LDL particles are particularly harmful for promoting plaque buildup in the arteries. Consequently, people should consider adding avocados to their diet in a healthy way, like on whole-wheat toast or as a veggie dip."

The study found that avocados helped reduce LDL particles that had been oxidized. Similar to the way oxygen can damage food like a cut apple turning brown the researchers said oxidation is also bad for the human body.

Dr Kris-Etherton further added, ”A lot of research points to oxidation being the basis for conditions like cancer and heart disease. We know that when LDL particles become oxidized, that starts a chain reaction that can promote atherosclerosis, which is the build-up of plaque in the artery wall. Oxidation is not good, so if you can help protect the body through the foods that you eat, that could be very beneficial."

Despite previous research demonstrating that avocados could help lower LDL cholesterol, Dr Kris-Etherton and her colleagues were curious about whether avocados could also help lower oxidized LDL particles.

The team recruited 45 adult participants with overweight or obesity for the study. All participants followed a two-week "run-in" diet at the beginning of the study. This diet mimicked an average American diet and allowed all participants to begin the study on similar nutritional "footing." Next, each participant completed five weeks of three different treatment diets in a randomized order. Diets included a low-fat diet, a moderate-fat diet, and a moderate-fat diet that included one avocado a day. The moderate-fat diet without avocados were supplemented with extra healthy fats to match the amount of monounsaturated fatty acids that would be obtained from the avocados.

After five weeks on the avocado diet, participants had significantly lower levels of oxidized LDL cholesterol than before the study began or after completing the low- and moderate-fat diets. Participants also had higher levels of lutein, an antioxidant, after the avocado diet.

Dr Kris-Etherton said there was specifically a reduction in small, dense LDL cholesterol particles that had become oxidized. "When you think about bad cholesterol, it comes packaged in LDL particles, which vary in size.All LDL is bad, but small, dense LDL is particularly bad. A key finding was that people on the avocado diet had fewer oxidized LDL particles. They also had more lutein, which may be the bioactive that's protecting the LDL from being oxidized."

The researchers added that because the moderate-fat diet without avocados included the same monounsaturated fatty acids found in avocados, it is likely that the fruit has additional bioactives that contributed to the benefits of the avocado diet.

Avocados are also high in healthy fats, carotenoid, which are important for eye health and other nutrients. They are basically a nutrient-dense packages. Dr Kris-Etherton said that while the results of the study  published in the Journal of Nutrition are promising, there is still more research to be done.

Reference: A Moderate-Fat Diet with One Avocado per Day Increases Plasma Antioxidants and Decreases the Oxidation of Small, Dense LDL in Adults with Overweight and Obesity: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Li Wang, Ling Tao, Lei Hao, Todd H Stanley, Kuan-Hsun Huang, Joshua D Lambert, Penny M Kris-Etherton. The Journal of Nutrition. doi: 10.1093/jn/nxz231.


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