How avocatin-B, the FAO inhibitor in avocado, protects against type 2 diabetes

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    How avocatin-B, the FAO inhibitor in avocado, protects against type 2 diabetes

    How avocatin-B, the FAO inhibitor in avocado, protects against type 2 diabetes

    Avocados contain fatty acids that you will not find in other foods. Avocatin-B, chemists call those fatty acids. According to Canadian researchers, avocatin-B can prevent overweight and obese people from getting diabetes. Next year the first products with avocatin-B should hit the market.

    Avocatin-B is a container term for the fatty acids avocadene and avocadyne and their metabolites. In 2018 the Canadians published a series of analyzes that showed that in an average avocado about 12 milligrams of avocadene and avocadyne are present in free form. [J Nat Prod. 2018;81(4):818-24.]

    However, most avocadene and avocadyne molecules in avocados are attached to other molecules. If you include those bound fatty acids, you will come to nearly 180 milligrams of avocatin-B per avocado. It is not clear whether people can absorb bound avocatin-B.

    According to a press release from the University of Guelph [ October 30, 2019], research team leader Paul Spagnuolo wants to market avocatin-B supplements in 2020 through SP Nutraceuticals. []

    Spagnulo and his colleagues have been studying avocatin-B for several years. In previous publications they described how avocatin-B sabotages the oxidation of fatty acids in the mitochondria of leukemia cells, and as a result causes the mitochondria to produce so many free radicals that the leukemia cells die. [Cancer Res. 2015;75(12):2478-88.]

    Avocatin-B is therefore a fatty acid oxidation [FAO] inhibitor. For the doping experts among us: the mechanism of action of avocatin-B is reminiscent of the Russian doping agent meldonium. Although we do not want to admit that avocatin-B is interesting for athletes, we would appreciate it if some of our academic readers on the Asian continent would be willing to test the anti-fatigue and ergogenic properties of avocatin-B in a relevant animal model.

    Animal study
    In October 2019, the Canadians published a series of studies in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research in which the researchers mapped out the anti-diabetes effect of avocatin-B. For example, in an animal study the researchers gave a group of mice 13 weeks of standard food. After week 8, the animals in this group received a placebo twice a week via the oral route. [STD]

    After week 8, the researchers divided the fattened mice into two groups. The animals in one group received a placebo twice a week for oral administration [HFD] for 5 weeks, the animals in the second group received an oral dose of avocatin B [Avo-HFD] twice a week.

    If the mice were adult humans, they would have received a dose of 600-800 milligrams of avocatin B twice a week.

    The supplement slightly inhibited the growth of fat mass. The effect on insulin resistance was even clearer: avocatin-B prevented it from decreasing.

    The theory behind avocatin B is that obesity and obesity cause type 2 diabetes when the mitochondria oxidize more fatty acids than they can handle. The oxidation proceeds incompletely, and toxic fatty acid metabolites are released. These substances make the cell insensitive to insulin, inhibit muscle building and kill the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. In in vitro experiments, the researchers were able to demonstrate that avocatin B inhibits those processes.

    Human research
    In their publication in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, Canadians also describe a small human study. It was intended to demonstrate the safety of avocatin B supplementation.

    Although the subjects were lean, the researchers nevertheless saw a - not significant - trend that supplementation reduced body weight.

    Serious side effects did not occur. A few test subjects who used a high dose of avocatin B did get a skin rash, which disappeared within a week after the test subjects stopped taking the supplement.

    Source: Mol Nutr Food Res. 2019;e1900688.
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