Avocados May Hold Key to Leukemia Treatment

Could avocados be the key to fighting leukemia? That’s the finding of a recent study.

It’s no secret that avocados are healthy foods: they’re not only loaded with healthy fats, but they’re also good sources of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fiber and a noteworthy amount of plant protein (about 3 grams per serving).

Now, Canadian researchers out of the University of Waterloo, say they’ve identified a component in avocados that may be able to target acute myeloid leukemia (AML) stem cells, making this super food a potential life saver. The researchers published their findings in the recent issue of the journal Cancer Research.

The researchers say they’ve developed a drug derived from a fat in the creamy green fruit. The research team has filed for a patent on the drug, which they’re calling avocatin B. The drug reportedly targets the leukemia stem cells.

"The stem cell is really the cell that drives the disease," pharmacy professor Paul Spagnuolo said in a press release.

"The stem cell is largely responsible for the disease developing and it's the reason why so many patients with leukemia relapse. We've 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."

While the research is still in its early stage, and drugs that include (or are based on) avocation B are years from being market ready, Spagnuolo says it could bring a marked improvement to the quality of life and the life expectancy of those suffering from AML.

As to whether or not eating avocados can help to prevent the onset of cancers such as leukemia, the research is still out on that one. But with so many health benefits in avocados, there’s no reason not to take your chances and eat plenty of them.

Image: threelayercake

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