AVOCADO

OTHER NAME(S):

Abokado, Aguacate, Ahuacate, Alligator Pear, Avocat, Avocato, Beurre du Marin, Laurus persea, Palto, Persea americana, Persea gratissima, Persea leiogyna, Persea persea, Poire Alligator.<br/><br/>

Overview

Overview Information

Avocado is a tree. The fruit, a popular food, is a good source of potassium and healthy fats. The fruit, leaves, and seeds are used to make medicine.

Avocado fruit is used to lower cholesterol levels, decrease hunger, to increase sexual desire, and stimulate menstrual flow. The seeds, leaves, and bark are used for dysentery and diarrhea.

Avocado oil is applied directly to the skin to soothe and heal skin and to treat thickening (sclerosis) of the skin, gum infections (pyorrhea), and arthritis. Avocado oil is used in combination with vitamin B12 for a skin condition called psoriasis. The fruit pulp is used topically to promote hair growth and speed wound healing. The seeds, leaves, and bark are used to relieve toothache.

How does it work?

Avocado contains a lot of fiber, and this may explain its ability to lower cholesterol.

Uses

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

  • A skin condition called 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.
  • Weight loss. Early research shows that eating half an avocado with lunch might decrease hunger 3-5 hours later. It’s not known if this helps with weight loss.
  • Healing wounds.
  • Sclerosis.
  • Promoting hair growth.
  • Stimulating menstrual flow.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Toothache.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of avocado for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

Avocado is LIKELY SAFE for most people when the fruit is eaten in food amounts. 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.

Keep in mind that avocado has a lot of calories because of its fat content.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking avocado as medicine if you are 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.

Interactions

Interactions?

Moderate Interaction

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.

Dosing

Dosing

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

ADULTS

BY MOUTH:

  • 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.

View References

REFERENCES:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

More Resources for AVOCADO

CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

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