Researchers find compounds in avocado seeds could prevent disease.

Avocado seeds contain anti-inflammatory properties and could potentially be used to create functional food ingredients or pharmaceuticals, according to Joshua Lambert, associate professor of food science, and colleagues.

The researchers originally developed an extract from avocadoes as a food colorant and wondered if the bright-orange color might have anti-inflammatory properties. When they tested it in the lab, that is what they found.

"The next step, before we can draw further conclusions about the anti-inflammatory activity of this avocado seed extract, will be to design animal model studies," said Lambert. "For example, we can look at a mouse model of ulcerative colitis where we formulate the avocado seed extract into the mice diet and look at whether it is able to reduce inflammation."

The discovery could be important because cancer, cardiovascular diseases, arthritis, colitis, and many more serious conditions are associated with chronic inflammation, explained Lambert.

He pointed out that the findings are especially encouraging because avocado seeds presently go to waste.

--Jeff Mulhollem