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What makes avocado seed husks so healthy?
If you've eaten avocados so far, you've probably thrown away a very healthy portion of the fruit. The shells of avocado seeds seem to be a real gold mine for our health because they contain an as yet unknown abundance of chemical compounds that could be used to treat a variety of diseases.
The University of Texas scientists at Rio Grande Valley found that husks of avocado seeds contain many beneficial chemical compounds that are beneficial to health and prevent various diseases. The results of the study were presented at the 254th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS). ACS experts also released a press release on the results of their study.
Bowls of avocado seeds contain many healthy compounds
The shells of avocado seeds are usually simply thrown away together with the seeds. However, this could be a mistake. Medicines found many useful chemical compounds in the husk of the seeds. These could be used in the future to treat various life-threatening diseases, such as cancer or heart disease.
What can avocado seed husk compounds be used for?
It could very well be that avocado seed bowls, considered by most people to be just garbage, are in fact a real gem for human health, the scientists report. The medical compounds in the bowls could be used to treat cancer, heart disease and other conditions, explains author Dr. Debasish Bandyopadhyay. The results of their current study also indicate that the seed husks are a potential source of chemicals that could be used in plastics and other industrial products.
Avocado seed casings are almost always disposed of
The experts say that a total of almost five million tons of avocados are produced worldwide. Americans alone consume nearly £ 1.9 billion of avocados a year, the researchers say. In most cases, however, only the pulp is eaten and the seeds are thrown in the trash. There are some edible oil producers who extract the avocado oil from the seeds. However, they remove the husk of the seeds before processing.
Doctors produce pod oil and pod wax from the seed husks
The scientists produced about 21 ounces of powder from the husks of over 300 dried avocado seeds. After further processing, this amount yielded about three teaspoons of seed pod oil and a little more than one ounce of so-called seed coat wax. With the help of so-called gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis, the research team found a total of 116 compounds in the oil and 16 compounds in the wax.
What positive effects can the oil have?
Many of these compounds do not appear to be found in the seeds themselves or in the fruit. Among the components of the oil was, for example, behenyl alcohol (also known as docosanol), which is used in anti-viral medications. The oil also contained heptacosan, which can inhibit the growth of tumor cells, and dodecanoic acid, which increases healthy cholesterol (HDL) and can thus reduce the risk of atherosclerosis.
What did the wax produced contain?
The researchers discovered, among other things, benzyl butyl phthalate in the wax produced. This plasticizer is used to promote flexibility in numerous synthetic products, from shower curtains to medical devices. Other contained compounds can be used in cosmetics or as food additives, the authors say.
More research is needed
In the following studies, the scientists say they will modify some of these natural compounds so that they can be used to create better drugs with fewer side effects. (as)