The importance of the bioactive compounds of avocado fruit (Persea americana Mill) on human health

Ana L. Ramos-Aguilar, Juan Ornelas-Paz, Luis M. Tapia-Vargas, Saul Ruiz-Cruz, Alfonso A. Gardea-Béjar, Elhadi M. Yahia, José de Jesús Ornelas-Paz, Jaime D. Pérez-Martínez, Claudio Rios-Velasco, Vrani Ibarra-Junquera

Resumen


Mexico is the largest producer, exporter and consumer of avocados (Persea americana Mill) in the world. The demand for this fruit in some non-producing countries is currently high. The main motivation for this fruit’s consumption is its exquisite taste and pleasant texture. However, recent research has suggested that this fruit can exert protective effects on human health, as empirically determined centuries ago by the inhabitants of pre-Hispanic Mexico. These effects have been attributed to the high content of health-related compounds, including unsaturated fatty acids, acetogenins, phytosterols, tocopherols, tocotrienols, carotenoids, chlorophylls, phenols, organic acids and sugars of seven carbons. Avocado is one of the few fruits in the human diet with a high content of both water-soluble and fat-soluble health-related compounds. The main protective effects attributed to avocados include the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and some forms of cancer, which are diseases considered in many countries as public health problems. Unfortunately, there is little research demonstrating the protective effects of avocados on human health. The aim of this work was the systematical analysis of the health-protective effects, both objectively regarded to avocado fruit, as well as those inferred from the avocado chemical composition.

Palabras clave


Nutrients; Phytochemicals; Antioxidants; Nutraceutical; Disease prevention

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18633/biotecnia.v21i3.1047

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