Avocados can help to treat metabolic syndrome, says review

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A new review of studies looking at
the health effects of avocados
finds that there is “satisfactory clinical evidence” that the fruit can help to treat metabolic syndrome.
Researchers suggest that avocado may help to tackle metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is defined as a cluster of risk factors that can raise the risk of other health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
Risk factors include abdominal obesity, low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol – or “good” cholesterol – high triglyceride levels, high blood pressure, and high fasting blood sugar.
The presence of at least three of these risk factors warrants a diagnosis of metabolic syndrome. According to the American Heart Association, metabolic syndrome affects around 23 percent of adults in the United States.
Adopting a healthful diet is considered one of the best ways to prevent or treat metabolic syndrome. The new review – recently published in the journal Phytotherapy Research – suggests that avocados should form a part of this diet.
Avocados are a fruit from the avocado tree, or Persea americana, which is native to Mexico and Central and South America. A number of studies have documented the possible health benefits of avocado. A study reported by Medical News Today in 2014, for example, found that eating half an avocado with lunch may aid weight loss, while more recent research linked the fruit to reduced levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, known as “bad” cholesterol.
These benefits have been attributed to the bioactive components of avocados, which include carotenoids, fatty acids, minerals such as calcium, iron, and zinc, and vitamins A, B, C, and E.
For their review, co-author Hossein Hosseinzadeh, of Mashhad University of Medical Sciences in Iran, and colleagues set out to determine how these components might help to combat the risk factors of metabolic syndrome.
Avocado has strongest effect on cholesterol levels To reach their findings, the researchers analyzed the results of various in vivo, in vitro, and clinical studies that investigated the effects of avocado on metabolic health.
Hosseinzadeh and colleagues found that the fruit has the strongest impact on lipid levels – that is, levels of HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglycerides.