The avocado tree (Persea americana) produces a fruit with a creamy texture covered by a thick, green skin. It's a good source of potassium and healthy fats.
Avocado contains a lot of fiber, which might be the reason for its cholesterol-lowering effects. It's also rich in monounsaturated fats and is a good source of linoleic acid.
People use avocado for high cholesterol. It is also used for memory and thinking skills, aging skin, obesity, psoriasis, heart disease, and many other purposes, but there is no good scientific evidence to support most of these uses.
Don't confuse avocado with avocado soy unsaponifiables (ASU). These are not the same.
When taken by mouth: Avocado is commonly consumed as food. There isn't enough reliable information to know if avocado is safe to use as medicine.
When applied to the skin: Avocado oil is possibly safe when used for up to 3 months. It's usually well-tolerated. Some people might experience itching after using a cream containing avocado oil and vitamin B12.
Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Avocado is commonly consumed as food. There isn't enough reliable information to know if avocado is safe to use in larger amounts as medicine when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and stick to food amounts.
Latex allergy: People who are sensitive to latex can have an allergic reaction to avocado.
Stomach allergy to certain foods that causes vomiting and diarrhea: Some infants and children have a stomach allergy to milk, oat, rice, and other foods. This allergy causes a lot of vomiting and diarrhea. Eating avocado may cause the same reaction in these infants and children.
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High cholesterol. Eating an avocado-rich diet seems to lower total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad") cholesterol. It also seems to increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL or "good") cholesterol.
There is interest in using avocado for a number of other purposes, but there isn't enough reliable information to say whether it might be helpful.
Avocado is a popular fruit that's commonly eaten as food. It's most often consumed in amounts of 0.5-2 fruits daily. Speak with a healthcare provider to find out what dose might be best for a specific condition.
Interactions with pharmaceuticals
Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Warfarin is used to slow blood clotting. Avocado has been reported to decrease the effects of warfarin. Decreasing the effects of warfarin might increase the risk of clotting. It is unclear why this interaction might occur. Be sure to have your blood checked regularly. The dose of your warfarin might need to be changed.
Interactions with herbs & supplements
Beta-carotene: Avocado can increase the absorption of beta-carotene. This might increase the effects and side effects from beta-carotene.
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The Natural Medicines Effectiveness Ratings are assigned for specific indications. A product might be rated "Possibly Effective" for one condition, but be rated "Likely Ineffective" for another condition, depending on the evidence. For more info click here.