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Mechanism

Avocado pits - yes or no

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I'm curious how practices vary.  For fun I ate an avocado seed the other day and found it has quite a nutritional boost - I would not have guessed about 100 calories.  The seed apparently has  70% of the acocado's antioxidant punch.  The avocado board advises against consumption though: I haven't seen any toxicity studies unless it is the absence of adequate research to rule out harm that prompted this, based on a Penn State 2013 study?  

 

PS - I have tried the peel too which if soft has an enjoyable chewiness.  I don't have the citation off hand but I recall reading the black outside has not been found to be nutritionally very beneficial but the dark green pulp it encompasses has the densist nutritional benefits save for the seed.

 

PPS- another avocado matter, CRON-o-meter has a category avocado black peeled where you can specify grams.  I've always assumed this means the pulp, no seed though it does not specify.  The seed has a bit of weight to it so for accurate readings if I interpreted correctly, I shell out before weighing.

 

Edited by Mechanism

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Mechanism,

 

If even the California Avocado board isn't touting the benefits of eating the seed/pit and advocates against it, and both researchers and nutritionists are recommending against it too due to the very poorly understood risk/reward tradeoff, I'm personally sticking with eating only the flesh of my avocados.

 

--Dean

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Thanks for your thoughts Dean.  While not universal consensus (what ever is), with quite a few articles like this touting it's potential benefits, I agree with your sentiment on risk / reward and don't forsee this being a regular staple for me either anytime soon. 

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Thank you drewab,

 

I clicked on the link expecting Greger's video to focus on the avocado seed, but discussed the avocado in general, and it was quite eye opening.  Your link led me to the next part of his series here , where he presented concerning data on avocado consumption, leading Dr. Gregor to conclude with the statement:

 

"The bottom line: we don’t know what avocado consumption can do inside the body, but until the jury is in, I think it’s reasonable, given these new data, for people to consider reducing their intake."

 

I was surprised by the data, which I was not previously aware of.  Most nights a week I have half to a full avocado with dinner - a good 300-400 grams worth.

 

This was based on an ( albeit in vivo) study with rather dramatic chromosomal alterations with avocado extract. 

 

 

 

 

One limitation, besides it being in vitro and therefore without digestion and hepatic detoxification which may mitigate or nulify  the effects, is that the doses were 100-300 mg/kg.  I do not have a lot of experience with animal model research: Is it general practice to extrapolate the doses to a 75 (or whatever your own weight is) human, or is some mathematical transformation ( above and beyond multiplying by the ratio) needed to derive the human equivalent?  I don't know, for example, how potent detoxification is in rodents compared to humans, circulating volume, etc.

 

Have others considered moderating / reducing avocado consumption also due to this research?  Click on the image to enlarge ( source here). 

 

 

post-7245-0-48154000-1467414134_thumb.jpg

Edited by Mechanism

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Mechanism,

 

 

 

Have others considered moderating / reducing avocado consumption also due to this research? 

 

Once again you didn't read carefully enough. If you had, you'd have seen in the "Doctor's Notes" section of the Dr. Greger avocado video page you linked this statement:

 

"To follow-up, see: Any update on the scary in vitro avocado data?"

 

in which Dr G. discusses an in vivo test of avocado flesh on prostate cancer risk in men, which found avocado to be quite beneficial rather than detrimental. He summarizes it as:

 

I’m happy to report that a new study [PMID 21984307] this year found avocado consumption associated with significantly reduced prostate cancer risk (a third cup of avocado a day or more associated with 60% decreased odds of prostate cancer compared to men eating less than a daily tablespoon). Holy guacamole!

 

As a result, Dr. Greger retracted his concern over avocados. In fact, he's gone further. In his book How Not To Die, and in this article, he includes avocados as one of "other fruit" in his Daily Dozen of foods to eat every day.

 

So once again it appears your alarmist concern over potential harm from fruits and vegetables is misplaced.

 

Regarding the rarely eaten pits and skins of fruits like avocado, all bets are off. I'm steering clear until more is known about risks vs. benefits.

 

--Dean

 

 

 

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Hi Dean, your commitment to scientific rigor and fidelity of logic / evidence is appreciated. I have been perusing several of Dr. Greger's videos on and off for a couple months now, but not systemically and moreover have not dug deep into the website links / resources (just point and click play on the video). Thank you for pointing out the "Doctor's Note" section. The update was indeed helpful. I'll address the "once again" in the other post ;)xyz . I'm looking forward to seeing Dr. Greger in person at a talk he'll be giving in August ( http://engine2diet.com/eatstrongplant-stock/ ).

 

It actually touches upon why we agree on being conservative with regard to avocado peel and pit. In contrast, I think we are both fans of consuming organically grown orange / lemon zest/peel which has a ton of antioxidants and fewer concerns on toxicity after a good wash.

Edited by Mechanism

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