A new study says the compounds found in avocados may eventually provide a way to better treat leukemia. Dr. Paul Spagnuolo, Department of Food Science, says the compound targets an enzyme that experts first recognized as essential for cancer cell growth.
(Photo: Daria Shevtsova)
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML)
A study recently published in the journal Blood focused on acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a the most dangerous type of leukemia.
Many cases occur in people over the age of 65, and less than 10 percent of patients live up to five years after diagnosis. Spagnuolo reported that leukemic cells have a number of enzymes known as VLCAD that are involved in their metabolism. He said the cell depended on this path to life, and explained that the compound was probably a candidate for pharmacotherapy. This is the first time VLCAD has been recognized as a target for any cancer.
His colleagues studied nutraceutical compounds among countless compounds and looked for any substance that could stop the enzyme. Spagnuolo said the best was surprisingly obtained from avocado. Previously, his laboratory observed avocatin B – a fat molecule that can only be observed in avocados, for future use in diabetes prevention and obesity management. He is now looking forward to witnessing it being used in patients with leukemia.
“VLCAD can be a useful marker that can be used to identify patients suitable for this form of treatment. It can also be a marker used to measure drug activity, “said Spagnuolo. “This will prepare the environment for the possible use of this molecule in human clinical trials.”
Recently, approximately half of the patients more than 65 identified with AML go to palliative care. Others undergo chemotherapy, but drug treatment is dangerous and can lead to killing patients. “There was a need to find drugs that are less toxic and can also be used.” Referring to earlier work using avocatin B for diabetes, Spagnuolo said.
He added that they had completed the human study and used it as an oral supplement and were able to show that measurable amounts were quite well allowed.
Avocado is a fruit that is scientifically called Persea americana. This fruit is prized for its high nutrient content and is included in various dishes due to its rich structure and good taste. It is the main ingredient in guacamole.
Recently, avocados have become an incredibly familiar food among individuals who are aware of your health. It is usually referred to as a superfood, which is not very surprising due to its health properties. There are different types of avocados that vary in color and shape – from pear-shaped to round and green to black. They can also weigh anywhere from 220 grams (8 ounces) to 1.4 kg (3 pounds).
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