University of Illinois Study Shows That Daily Consumption Of Avocados Help Females With Waistline Fat Issues And Also Help With Insulin Health
Diets And Nutrition
: A new study led by researchers from the University of Illinois, Urbana-USA along with scientists from the University of Florida-USA and the University of Roehampton-UK have found that daily consumption of avocados by females helps them redistribute abdominal body fat and also helps them maintain insulin sensitivity and proper insulin health.
Though the consumption of avocados have been cross-sectionally linked to lower abdominal obesity, detailed mechanisms and understanding of the effects of avocado consumption on abdominal adiposity and glycemic outcomes remains limited.
The study team planned to analyze the effects of avocado consumption on abdominal adiposity, insulin resistance, oral-glucose-tolerance test (OGTT), and estimated β-cell function were evaluated.
For the study, a total of 105 adults aged 25–45 y (61% female) with BMI ≥25 kg/m2
were randomly assigned to an intervention (N = 53) that received a daily meal with 1 fresh Hass avocado or a control (N = 52) that received an isocaloric meal with similar ingredients without avocado for 12 wk. DXA was used to assess the primary outcomes of abdominal adiposity [visceral adipose tissue (VAT), subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue (SAAT), and the ratio of VAT to SAAT (VS Ratio)]. Fasted glucose and insulin were used to assess the primary outcomes of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), and insulin sensitivity (Matsuda index) and β-cell function (Insulinogenic index) were estimated using an OGTT. Changes between groups were compared using an ANCOVA. Secondary analyses were conducted based on sex.
The study findings showed that the control group exhibited a greater reduction in SAAT [–54.5 ± 155.8 g (control) compared with 17.4 ± 155.1 g (treatment), P
= 0.017] and increase in VS Ratio [0.007 ± 0.047 (control) compared with –0.011 ± 0.044 (treatment), P
However among females, the treatment group exhibited a greater reduction in VAT [1.6 ± 89.8 g (control) compared with –32.9 ± 81.6 g (treatment), P = 0.021] and VS Ratio [0.01 ± 0.05 (control) compared with –0.01 ± 0.03 (treatment), P = 0.001].
However among males, there was no significant difference between groups in changes in abdominal adiposity or glycemic outcomes.
The study findings showed that daily consumption of 1 fresh Hass avocado changed abdominal adiposity distribution among females but did not facilitate improvements in peripheral insulin sensitivity or β-cell function among adults with overweight and obesity.
The study findings were published in the peer reviewed Journal of Nutrition.
The study findings shows that an avocado a day could help redistribute belly fat in women toward a healthier profile.
A total of one hundred and five adults with overweight and obesity participated in a randomized controlled trial that provided one meal a day for 12 weeks.
The study found that women who consumed avocado as part of their daily meal had a reduction in deeper visceral abdominal fat.
The Diets And Nutrition
study was led by Dr Naiman Khan, a Professor of Kinesiology and Community Health at the University of Illinois, Urbana.
Dr Khan told Thailand Medical News, “The goal wasn’t weight loss; we were interested in understanding what eating an avocado does to the way individuals store their body fat. The location of fat in the body plays an important role in health.”
He further added, “In the abdomen, there are two kinds of fat: fat that accumulates right underneath the skin, called subcutaneous fat, and fat that accumulates deeper in the abdomen, known as visceral fat, that surrounds the internal organs. Individuals with a higher proportion of that deeper visceral fat tend to be at a higher risk of developing diabetes. So we were interested in determining whether the ratio of subcutaneous to visceral fat changed with avocado consumption.”
The study participants were divided into two groups.
The first group received meals that incorporated a fresh avocado, while the second group received a meal that had nearly identical ingredients and similar calories but did not contain avocado.
The study team measured participants’ abdominal fat and their glucose tolerance, a measure of metabolism and a marker of diabetes at the beginning and end of the 12 weeks.
Interestingly, it was found that female participants who consumed an avocado a day as part of their meal had a reduction in visceral abdominal fat ie the hard-to-target fat associated with higher risk, and experienced a reduction in the ratio of visceral fat to subcutaneous fat, indicating a redistribution of fat away from the organs.
The study however showed that fat distribution in males did not change, and neither males nor females had improvements in glucose tolerance.
Dr Khan added, “While daily consumption of avocados did not change glucose tolerance, what we learned is that a dietary pattern that includes an avocado every day impacted the way individuals store body fat in a beneficial manner for their health, but the benefits were primarily in females. It’s important to demonstrate that dietary interventions can modulate fat distribution. Learning that the benefits were only evident in females tells us a little bit about the potential for sex playing a role in dietary intervention responses.”
The study team said they hope to conduct a follow-up study that would provide participants with all their daily meals and look at additional markers of gut health and physical health to get a more complete picture of the metabolic effects of avocado consumption and determine whether the difference remains between the two sexes.
Study coauthor Dr Richard Mackenzie, a professor of human metabolism at the University of Roehampton in London commented, “Our research not only sheds a valuable light on benefits of daily avocado consumption on the different types of fat distribution across genders, it provides us with a foundation to conduct further work to understand the full impact avocados have on body fat and health. By taking our research further, we will be able to gain a clearer picture into which types of individuals would benefit most from incorporating avocados into their diets and deliver valuable data for health care advisers to provide patients with guidance on how to reduce fat storage and the potential dangers of diabetes.”
The study was founded by the Hass Avocado Board.
For more about the health benefits of avocados
, keep on logging to Thailand Medical News.