A new Canadian study found that a compound in avocados may reduce type 2 diabetes.
This type of diabetes, the most common one, occurs when the body becomes resistant to insulin, and loses its capacity to produce enough of the hormone in the pancreas, which is primordial to maintain healthy sugar levels in the blood.
However, the study carried out by the University of Guelph, in Canada, and published in the latest issue of the Molecular Nutrition & Food Research journal, found that a compound called "avocatin B" (AvoB) found in avocados, may forestall or prevent the hallmark of type 2 diabetes.
"Insulin resistance occurs when mitochondria in cells cannot burn fatty acids via oxidation sufficiently. In diabetes, that oxidation is incomplete. AvoB worked against incomplete mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation in the skeletal muscle and pancreas, ensuring the complete oxidation of fats, and thus leading to improved glucose tolerance and utilization, enhancing the rodents' insulin sensitivity," said Nawaz Ahmed, lead author of the paper in a report published by the Medical News Today website on Sunday.
During their experiment, Dr. Nawaz and his colleagues fed mice a high-fat diet for eight weeks to promote obesity and insulin resistance. Then, the team added AvoB to the diet of half the mice for the next five weeks. At the end of the 13 weeks, the mice that had ingested AvoB had gained weight at a slower rate than their counterparts, and their insulin sensitivity had increased.
In a separate, clinical study in humans, the researchers investigated the effects of an AvoB supplement coupled with an average Western diet for 60 days.
Dosages were either 50 or 200 milligrams. At the end of the trial, the researchers determined that the participants had tolerated the compound well. The team found no negative effects in the liver, muscles, or kidneys.
The team is designing clinical trials to assess AvoB's effectiveness in people, and they have already received clearance from Health Canada to sell AvoB in powder and pill forms, perhaps by next year, said Nawaz.