It turns out avocados aren’t just a delicious treat for health-conscious shoppers who enjoy fruit with a creamy texture and a nutty flavor. A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Waterloo in Canada has found that they also help treat leukemia.
Avocados aren’t exactly known for being an unhealthy snack. They’re fruit full of nutrients, and thanks to their taste they can be consumed in a great variety of combinations – with cake, with salads, with sandwiches, with smoothies. Dr. Gargi Sharma, weight-management expert, even informs that they’re rich in fiber and have even more potassium than bananas.
While Dr. Sharma recommends avocados to people affected by diabetes, high cholesterol and various heart conditions, and beauty experts recommend avocados to those looking to have smooth, healthy-looking skin, Professor Paul Spagnuolo an his team from University of Waterloo recommend avocados to cancer patients.
The new study, published in the journal Cancer Research, informs that a certain compound derived from avocados, avocatin B, is very likely to be effective in fighting off cancer of the blood cells, as well as acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The properties of the fruit are believed to target leukemia stem cells, which are the root cause of the disease.
Professor Spagnuolo explained that “The stem cells are largely responsible for AML and it is the reason why so many patients with leukemia relapse. We have performed many rounds of testing to determine how this new drug works at a molecular level and confirmed that it targets stem cells selectively, leaving healthy cells unharmed”.
He went on to stress that not only does avocatin B remove the root source of acute myeloid leukemia, but it also makes is less toxic for the patient’s body by targeting stem cells selectively and leaving healthy cells unharmed.
It is a much needed medical advancement as there are currently only a handful of drug treatments that target leukemia stem cells available to patients worldwide.
For those that don’t know, acute myeloid leukemia is a horrible disease that kills 90 percent (90%) of elders over the age of 65 within five (5) years. An avocado-derived drug could save many of these patients from dying before their time, as well as improve their overall mood and quality of life while fighting the disease.
Professor Spagnuolo also wants to use the compound itself, avocatin B, to treat acute myeloid leukemia. He has already filed a patent application.
He shares that he and his team are currently pursuing commercial partnership, which is expect to be the first step in taking avocatin B into the clinical trails faze.
Unfortunately the drug is still years away from finishing clinical trials and being approved for wide-spread use in oncology centers, but progress is being made.
Image Source: sciencedaily.com