An extract from the seeds of avocados exhibited anti-inflammatory properties in a laboratory study; it represents a potential source for novel anti-inflammatory compounds that could develop as a functional food ingredient; or pharmaceuticals. The researchers developed the extract over the last decade as a food colorant and it is not known whether the compounds responsible for the extract’s vibrant orange color play any role in its ability to inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory mediators.

Anti-inflammatory properties

To determine the anti-inflammatory properties of the avocado seed extract; the researchers used cell culture models and enzymes that are important in immune response and inflammatory diseases. A class of immune cells macrophages grown in Petri dishes and activated with pro-inflammatory stimuli in the presence or absence of the avocado seed extract. The researchers measured the production of important pro-inflammatory mediators and signaling pathways in the cells after treatment with the extract.
“The next step, before they can draw further conclusions about the anti-inflammatory activity; of this avocado seed extract; will to design animal model studies. co-director of Penn State’s Center for Plant and Mushroom Foods for Health. “For example, they can look at a mouse model of ulcerative colitis; they formulate the avocado seed extract into the diet and look at whether it is able to reduce inflammation.”

The bioactive compounds

Lambert believes the study lays the groundwork for more research because it provides evidence that there are bioactive compounds in avocado seeds that have anti-inflammatory activity. But examine a sample of bright orange liquid extracted from avocado seeds that have shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. “The level of activity that we see from the extract is very good.

They saw inhibitory activity at concentrations in the low microgram-per-milliliter range; which is an acceptable amount of activity to justify further studies.”So the discovery could important because cancer, cardiovascular diseases, arthritis, colitis; many more serious conditions are associated with chronic inflammation, explained Lambert, whose research group in the College of Agricultural Sciences conducted the study.

They pointed out that the findings are especially encouraging because avocado seeds presently go to waste. Also involved in the research were Deepti Dabas. In conclusion, the researchers have filed a patent application for the use of the extract as a food color additive. The identification of potential beneficial biological activity; if it is borne out in subsequent studies, may add value to the extract and provide additional avenues for development.