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Cancer-fighting properties of avocado seeds

A team of researchers in South Texas have found new chemical compounds in avocados that could help treat cancer and other diseases. Dr. Debasish Bandyopadhyay and his research team at the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley are collecting what is usually discarded: the outer layer of the avocado pit.

Two years ago, Dr. Bandyopadhyay realized there were no studies done on the chemical compound that make up the peel of the avocado seed, also known as the husk. When they did study this, the compounds they found are the same that are used to treat debilitating diseases, including cancer and heart disease, and to create a range of consumer products.

As positive as this sounds, Dr. Bandyopadhay and his team warn that there are other compounds in the husk listed as being carcinogenic and should it only be consumed after processing. “That is the main reason why the American Chemical Society, pointed out this research as groundbreaking,” Bandyopadhyay noted. “Because this research says that it’s not a good idea. Many good molecules are there, many bad molecules are there. So, do not take these peels like ‘as is.’”

According to a article, the publishing of their findings in the journal of the ACS last summer is an accomplishment Dr. Bandyopadhyay attributes to his students. With only 30 percent of their research on avocado seed husks completed, this team of UT-RGV researchers hope to continue breaking new ground.

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