Avocado may help to protect the liver from damage, according to new research from Japan. Researchers fed avocado and 22 other fruits to laboratory rats. The rats were then given D-galactosamine, a substance that causes liver damage by interfering with cell synthesis and results in cell death. The rats fed the avocado obtained the least amount of liver damage.
The Researchers discovered three new compounds that might explain why the avocado is protective. "Besides offering taste and nutrition, avocados seem to improve liver health," said Hirokazu Kawagishi, professor of applied biological chemistry, at Shizuoka University. "I have begun eating avocados more myself, because of this study." He advocated that people should try to eat an avocado a day.
Also, the researchers in this case are looking to identify the active compounds in the fruit so that they can be produced as a drug or a supplement. However, this is not the best way to get these nutrients.
It is nearly always better to get them by using the whole food, since there are likely many beneficial substances working synergistically. Watermelon, which was also found to be protective of the liver, is also a good source of the carotenoid lycopene.