Clinical Trial Reveals Potential Benefits of Avocado for Weight Loss and Other Benefits

Nov 1, 2019 | Diet, Lifestyle, Metabolism, Weight Loss

Clinical Trial Reveals Potential Benefits of Avocado for Weight Loss and other Benefits

The University of Guelph’s Paul Spagnuolo conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled study to determine the health benefits of a property associated with avocados called avocatin. The results bode well for the potential use of this substance in what we would hope would be FDA-approved nutraceuticals. This study was conducted in Canada.

The Context

In this study, investigators from the University of Guelph are concerned with obesity and diabetes as they are a significant global burden and there is an immediate need for novel treatments as well as management strategies.

The University of Guelph laboratory determined that avocado derived 17 carbon polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols (PFAs) are inhibitors of fatty acid oxidation (FAO) that impart minimal toxicity in mice. FAO is altered in numerous disease states including obesity and diabetes. In these chronic diseases, excessive FAO in muscle and liver mitochondria causes metabolic overload and inefficiency which drives obesity-associated glucose intolerance and insulin insensitivity. The increase FAO that occurs in obese and diabetic individuals depletes several substrates and intermediates of the Krebs cycle, making them less efficient at using oxidative phosphorylation for energy, which can ultimately lead to glucose insensitivity and weight gain.

For these reasons, inhibition of FAO is now an established therapeutic approach for the treatment of type II diabetes as reducing FAO 1) improves cellular metabolism to shift towards the more thermogenic oxidative phosphorylation and glycolysis and 2) reduces hyperglycemia via inhibiting liver gluconeogenesis while improving glucose homeostasis.

The Study

In collaboration with an industry partner, Advanced Orthomolecular Research (AOR; Calgary, AB), the investigators have developed a supplement containing a blend of 17-carbon PFAs found inside the commercially available food-grade avocado powder. The primary objective of this clinical trial is to determine if the avocado derived supplement is safe for oral consumption compared to a placebo-controlled group. The study sponsor selected Fundamentals of Health Naturopathic Medicine clinic as the site.

An early Phase I single-center, double-blind placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial, 30 healthy subjects were targeted for recruitment. After screening and recruitment, subjects will be randomly allocated to treatment groups (low dose avocado powder or high dose avocado powder) or placebo control group. Once recruitment, randomization, baseline measurements as well as treatment allocation is completed (on the first site visit), each subject will orally consume one scoop (30-35g of material) of the avocado supplement, blended in 12-16 ounces of a smoothie like diluent, once per day for 60 days. The placebo group will also consume one scoop (30-35g of material) containing only non-medicinal ingredients used in the test product. Primary and secondary endpoint evaluations will be taken at baseline (site visit 2), day 30 (site visit 3) and day 60 (site visit 4) at each of the 3 study site visits as well as via weekly telephone calls to participants. The total duration of subject participation will be 60 days. Total duration of the study is expected to be 61 days.

Results Look Good for Avocatin

Professor Paul Spagnuolo and researchers indeed found that avocatin B not only slowed down weight gain and prevent diabetes but also found that the substance absorbs into the bloodstream with absolutely no adverse effects in the kidney, liver or muscle. The study was recently published in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research.

Lead Research/Investigator

Paul Spagnuolo, Assistant Professor, University of Guelph

Call to Action: For all interested in avocation and how it can impact weight loss, these study results merit more review of information. TrialSite News will invite Paul Spagnuolo to participate in our weekly TrialSite News Podcast to discuss this study in more detail.

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