The avocado seems to be an uncommon fruit. Compared to others, it contains a lot of healthy fats and is mostly used in oil production (1).
There’s no doubt that olive oil is more popular than avocado oil, but then, it is equally delicious.
Avocado oil has many health benefits. This is not surprising considering that it has plenty of healthy fats and antioxidants. In this article, we’ll look at some of the health benefits of avocado oil, based on research.
Avocado oil is enriched with oleic acid
Avocado oil is obtained from the pulp of avocado fruit. Over 70% of the oil is enriched with oleic acid, a heart-friendly fatty acid. Oleic acid is a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid.
Oleic acid is the primary component of olive oil and contributes to its immense health benefits (2).
It is also important to note that over 12% of avocado oil is made up of saturated fat, while polyunsaturated fat makes up 13% of it.
Although there’s a high omega-6 to omega-3 ratio in avocado oil, this shouldn’t be a major problem considering that the amount of omega-6 in avocado oil is on the low side.
It reduces cholesterol and boosts heart health
Some animal studies suggest that avocado oil benefits the heart.
A study conducted on rabbits found that avocado oil was more effective on blood cholesterol levels compared to corn oil, coconut oil, and olive oil (3). According to the study, olive and avocado oil were very effective in boosting HDL cholesterol levels.
It contains lutein, an antioxidant that improves eye health
There’s plenty of lutein in avocado oil. Lutein is a carotenoid that occurs naturally in the eyes (6).
It works as an antioxidant that contributes immensely to eye health (7).
It is important to note that the human body is not capable of producing lutein, so you can only get it from your diet (10).
It enhances nutrient absorption
You see, some nutrients can only be absorbed in the presence of fat. A good example is a carotenoid antioxidant. Carotenoid antioxidants are pigments that are found in plant foods.
But the many vegetables and fruits that contain plenty of carotenoids tend to be low in fat.
A study found that topping a carrot salad with avocado oil, spinach, and romaine lettuce stimulated carotenoid absorption (11).
Of course, this was a substantial increase when compared to a fatless salad.
It may ease the symptoms of arthritis
Arthritis is a condition that causes intense pain. It is an inflammation of the joints. It is a common condition affecting people in their millions.
It is important to note that there are many forms of arthritis. However, osteoarthritis is the most common form. Osteoarthritis is associated with the degeneration of cartilage in the joints.
Studies suggest that avocado/soybean unsaponifiables benefit people with osteoarthritis of the knee and the hip (16).
It prevents gum disease
Soybean and avocado oil extracts are beneficial against other conditions apart from arthritis. An example is gum disease, known clinically as periodontal disease.
Gum disease is an inflammatory condition whose symptoms include bleeding gums, red gums, bad breath, and degeneration of tissue and bone around the teeth (17).
In extreme cases, the patient may suffer tooth loss. A 2006 study published in the Journal of Periodontology found that avocado/soybean unsaponifiables may act as a barrier against a protein called IL1B (18).
IL1B has pro-inflammatory characteristics and is the main trigger for bone loss and tissue destruction in gum disease.
Enhances the healing of wounds and improves skincare
Avocado oil contains healthy fatty acids which are beneficial to your skin.
A study involving 13 patients found that an avocado oil-based cream was effective against the symptoms of psoriasis. The effects were seen just within 12 weeks of treatment (19).
Avocado oil has a neutralizing effect on free radicals
Antioxidants are important compounds that fight free radicals and protect the body from the potential damages caused by these compounds. Free radicals are waste metabolic products.
Antioxidants donate electrons to free radicals which leads to their neutralization, and of course, prevention of harm.
There are many types of free radicals in the human body. however, the most concerning are the oxygen-derived radicals (reactive oxygen species).
Most reactive oxygen species are produced in the mitochondria (24).
A study involving diabetic rats found that avocado oil has protective effects against the damaging effects of free radicals (25). Avocado oil exerts this effect by getting into the mitochondria.
Once it gets into the mitochondria, it neutralizes free radicals and prevents them from exerting their damaging effects on the mitochondria.