Abokado, Aguacate, Ahuacate, Alligator Pear, Avocat, Avocato, Beurre du Marin, Laurus persea, Palto, Persea americana, Persea gratissima, Persea leiogyna, Persea persea, Poire Alligator.
Overview InformationAvocado is a tree. The fruit, a popular food, is a good source of potassium and healthy fats. The fruit, leaves, and seeds are sometimes used to make medicine. The oil from the fruit is also used as a medicine and for cooking.
Avocado is used for high cholesterol, psoriasis, arthritis, sexual desire, obesity, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
Be careful not to confuse avocado with avocado soy unsaponifiables (ASU).
How does it work?Avocado contains a lot of fiber, and this may explain its ability to lower cholesterol.
Uses & Effectiveness
Possibly Effective for
- High cholesterol. Eating a diet enriched with avocado seems to lower "bad" low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and increase "good" high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.
Insufficient Evidence for
- Memory and thinking skills (cognitive function). Early research shows that eating an avocado every day might improve a person's ability to ignore distracting information while completing a task.
- Obesity. Early research shows that eating half of an avocado with lunch might decrease hunger 3-5 hours later. But it's not clear if this will help with weight loss. Other research shows that overweight and obese people who typically eat a lot of avocados as part of the diet don't seem to lose more weight over 5 years than people who avoid eating avocados. Also, eating a lot of avocados as part of the diet over time doesn't seem to prevent people with normal body weight from becoming overweight or obese.
- Scaly, itchy skin (psoriasis). Early research shows that applying a specific cream containing avocado oil and vitamin B12 to the skin for 12 weeks reduces symptoms of psoriasis as effectively as a conventional medication called calcipotriol ointment. The avocado combination cream also causes less irritation than calcipotriol.
- A serious gum infection (periodontitis).
- Hair growth.
- Hardening of skin and connective tissue (scleroderma).
- Increasing sexual desire in healthy people.
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
- Stimulating menstrual flow.
- Wound healing.
- Other conditions.
Side Effects & SafetyWhen taken by mouth: Avocado is LIKELY SAFE for most people when the fruit is eaten in food amounts. Keep in mind that avocado has a lot of calories because of its fat content. There is not enough reliable information about the safety of avocado when taken by mouth as a medicine.
When applied to the skin: Avocado is POSSIBLY SAFE when applied to the skin for up to 3 months. It generally has few side effects, although one person who used a specific avocado oil plus vitamin B12 cream for psoriasis reported mild itching.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if avocado is safe to use as medicine when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and stick to food amounts.
Latex allergy: People who are sensitive to latex can have an allergic reaction to avocado.
Stomach allergy to certain foods that causes vomiting and diarrhea: Some infants and children have a stomach allergy to milk, oat, rice, and other foods. This allergy causes a lot of vomiting and diarrhea. Eating avocado may cause the same reaction in these infants and children.
Be cautious with this combination
Warfarin (Coumadin) interacts with AVOCADO
Warfarin (Coumadin) is used to slow blood clotting. Avocado has been reported to decrease the effectiveness of warfarin (Coumadin). Decreasing the effectiveness of warfarin (Coumadin) might increase the risk of clotting. It is unclear why this interaction might occur. Be sure to have your blood checked regularly. The dose of your warfarin (Coumadin) might need to be changed.
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
- For high cholesterol: The dose of avocado used varies, depending on the amount of other fats and calories in the diet. In some instances, eating 0.5 to 2 avocados daily in place of other fats has been used. Following a diet in which 75% of the fat intake comes from avocado has also been used.
- Appelboom, T., Schuermans, J., Verbruggen, G., Henrotin, Y., and Reginster, J. Y. Symptoms modifying effect of avocado/soybean unsaponifiables (ASU) in knee osteoarthritis. A double blind, prospective, placebo-controlled study. Scand J Rheumatol 2001;30(4):242-247. View abstract.
- Blanco, C., Carrillo, T., Castillo, R., Quiralte, J., and Cuevas, M. Avocado hypersensitivity. Allergy 1994;49(6):454-459. View abstract.
- Blotman, F., Maheu, E., Wulwik, A., Caspard, H., and Lopez, A. Efficacy and safety of avocado/soybean unsaponifiables in the treatment of symptomatic osteoarthritis of the knee and hip. A prospective, multicenter, three-month, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Rev Rhum Engl Ed 1997;64(12):825-834. View abstract.
- Carranza-Madrigal, J., Herrera-Abarca, J. E., Alvizouri-Munoz, M., Alvarado-Jimenez, M. R., and Chavez-Carbajal, F. Effects of a vegetarian diet vs. a vegetarian diet enriched with avocado in hypercholesterolemic patients. Arch.Med.Res. 1997;28(4):537-541. View abstract.
- Crisi, G. and Belsito, D. V. Contact urticaria from latex in a patient with immediate hypersensitivity to banana, avocado and peach. Contact Dermatitis 1993;28(4):247-248. View abstract.
- de Groot, A. C., van der Meeren, H. L., and Weyland, J. W. Contact allergy to avocado oil in a sunscreen. Contact Dermatitis 1987;16(2):108-109. View abstract.
- Ernst, E. Avocado-soybean unsaponifiables (ASU) for osteoarthritis - a systematic review. Clin.Rheumatol. 2003;22(4-5):285-288. View abstract.
- Henrotin, Y. E., Labasse, A. H., Jaspar, J. M., De Groote, D. D., Zheng, S. X., Guillou, G. B., and Reginster, J. Y. Effects of three avocado/soybean unsaponifiable mixtures on metalloproteinases, cytokines and prostaglandin E2 production by human articular chondrocytes. Clin.Rheumatol. 1998;17(1):31-39. View abstract.
- Mauviel, A., Loyau, G., and Pujol, J. P. [Effect of unsaponifiable extracts of avocado and soybean (Piascledine) on the collagenolytic action of cultures of human rheumatoid synoviocytes and rabbit articular chondrocytes treated with interleukin-1]. Rev.Rhum.Mal Osteoartic. 1991;58(4):241-245. View abstract.
- Zusman, I., Gurevich, P., Madar, Z., Nyska, A., Korol, D., Timar, B., and Zuckerman, A. Tumor-promoting and tumor-protective effects of high-fat diets on chemically induced mammary cancer in rats. Anticancer Res. 1997;17(1A):349-356. View abstract.
- Ahlroth, M., Alenius, H., Turjanmaa, K., Makinen-Kiljunen, S., Reunala, T., and Palosuo, T. Cross-reacting allergens in natural rubber latex and avocado. J.Allergy Clin.Immunol. 1995;96(2):167-173. View abstract.
- Alvizouri-Munoz M, Carranza-Madrigal J, Herrera-Abarca JE, et al. Effects of avocado as a source of monounsaturated fatty acids on plasma lipid levels. Arch Med Res 1992;23:163-7. View abstract.
- Blanco C, Diaz-Perales A, Collada C, et al. Class I chitinases as potential panallergens involved in the latex-fruit syndrome. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1999;103(3 Pt 1):507-13.
- Blickstein D, Shaklai M, Inbal A. Warfarin antagonism by avocado. Lancet 1991;337:914-5.
- Carranza J, Alvizouri M, Alvarado MR, et al. [Effects of avocado on the level of blood lipids in patients with phenotype II and IV dyslipidemias]. Arch Inst Cardiol Mex 1995;65:342-8. View abstract.
- Cherian S, Neupert K, Varshney P. Avocado as an emerging trigger for food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2018;121(3):369-71. View abstract.
- Colquhoun DM, Moores D, Somerset SM, Humphries JA. Comparison of the effects on lipoproteins and apolipoproteins of a diet high in monounsaturated fatty acids, enriched with avocado, and a high-carbohydrate diet. Am J Clin Nutr 1992;56:671-7. View abstract.
- Diaz-Perales A, Collada C, Blanco C, et al. Cross-reactions in the latex-fruit syndrome: A relevant role of chitinases but not of complex asparagine-linked glycans. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1999;104:681-7. View abstract.
- Dreher ML, Davenport AL. Hass avocado composition and potential health effects. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 2013;53(7):738-50.View abstract.
- Edwards CG, Walk AM, Thompson SV, et al. Effects of 12-week avocado consumption on cognitive function among adults with overweight and obesity. Int J Psychophysiol. 2020;148:13-24. View abstract.
- Galindo-Tovar ME, Arzate-Fernandez AM, Ogata-Aguilar N, Landero-Torres I. The avocado (Persea Americana, Lauraceae) crop in Mesoamerica: 10,000 years of history. Harvard Papers in Botany 2007;12(2):325-34.
- Green HS, Wang SC. First report on quality and purity evaluations of avocado oil sold in the US. Food Control 2020;116:107328.
- Henrotin YE, Sanchez C, Deberg MA, et al. Avocado/soybean unsaponifiables increase aggrecan synthesis and reduce catabolic and proinflammatory mediator production by human osteoarthritic chondrocytes. J Rheumatol 2003;30:1825-34. View abstract.
- Heskey C, Oda K, Sabaté J. Avocado intake, and longitudinal weight and body mass index changes in an adult cohort. Nutrients. 2019;11(3):691. View abstract.
- Kopec RE, Cooperstone JL, Schweiggert RM, et al. Avocado consumption enhances human postprandial provitamin A absorption and conversion from a novel high-ß-carotene tomato sauce from carrots. J Nutr 2014;144(8):1158-66. View abstract.
- Lequesne M, Maheu E, Cadet C, Dreiser RL. Structural effect of avocado/soybean unsaponifiables on joint space loss in osteoarthritis of the hip. Arthritis Rheum 2002;47:50-8.. View abstract.
- Lerman-Garber I, Ichazo-Cerro S, Zamora-Gonzalez J, et al. Effect of a high-monounsaturated fat diet enriched with avocado in NIDDM patients. Diabetes Care 1994;17:311-5. View abstract.
- Lopez Ledesma R, Frati Munari AC, Hernandez Dominguez BC, et al. Monounsaturated fatty acid (avocado) rich diet for mild hypercholesterolemia. Arch Med Res 1996;27:519-23. View abstract.
- Maheu E, Mazieres B, Valat JP, et al. Symptomatic efficacy of avocado/soybean unsaponifiables in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee and hip: a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter clinical trial with a six-month treatment period and a two-month followup demonstrating a persistent effect. Arthritis Rheum 1998;41:81-91. View abstract.
- Naveh E, Werman MJ, Sabo E, Neeman I. Defatted avocado pulp reduces body weight and total hepatic fat but increases plasma cholesterol in male rats fed diets with cholesterol. J Nutr 2002;132:2015-8.. View abstract.
- Park E, Edirisinghe I, Burton-Freeman B. Avocado fruit on postprandial markers of cardio-metabolic risk: a randomized controlled dose response trial in overweight and obese men and women. Nutrients. 2018;10(9):1287. View abstract.
- Sousa FH, Valenti VE, Pereira LC, et al. Avocado (Persea americana) pulp improves cardiovascular and autonomic recovery following submaximal running: a crossover, randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled trial. Sci Rep. 2020;10(1):10703. View abstract.
- Stucker M, Memmel U, Hoffmann M, et al. Vitamin B(12) cream containing avocado oil in the therapy of plaque psoriasis. Dermatology 2001;203:141-7. View abstract.
- Wien M, Haddad E, Oda K, Sabate J. A randomized 3x3 crossover study to evaluate the effect of Hass avocado intake on post-ingestive satiety, glucose and insulin levels, and subsequent energy intake in overweight adults. Nutr J 2013;12:155.View abstract.
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