Avocados Treat Leukemia: Superfruit May Create AML Treatment

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    We all love avocados and know they’re good for us, but can avocados treat leukemia?

    A new study at the University of Guelph has shown that a compound in avocados may offer a way to create a better treatment for leukemia.

    This compound targets an enzyme in leukemia patients that is essential to cancer cell growth.

    The journal Blood, the official journal of Hematology, published the study, which focused on acute myeloid leukemia. AML is the most devastating form of this kind of cancer. Most cases of AML occur in patients over 65, and fewer than 10% survive more than 5 years after their initial diagnosis.

    man in white chef uniform holding purple plastic bottle, avocados treat leukemia

    AML cells have higher amounts of an enzyme called VLCAD than normal cells. These cells use VLCAD to metabolize and survive. Once scientists identified VLCAD as a target for cancer cells, they set about trying to find a substance to inhibit the enzyme. The best inhibitor they found came from one of our favorite foods: avocados treat leukemia.

    man mixing a flask inside a laboratory

    Currently, doctors treat AML with toxic drugs that might kill the patient just as quickly as cure them. Scientists relish the chance to create a less harmful drug that could help treat patients with this cancer.

    Avocados Treat Leukemia and Other Diseases

    Scientists have also experimented with using compounds from avocados to treat diabetes and manage obesity.