Uncategorized — September 1, 2017 at 10:08 am

Husks from avocados, normally discarded, yield plethora of medicinal compounds used to fight cancer & other illnesses


Sometimes we need to take a break from politics to marvel at how badass science is. And, given the current situation, there’s no time like NOW!

Plus I’m a scientist so I just can’t help myself.

Last week, scientists from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley presented a paper at the 254th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society that describes research they did into the chemical make up of avocado seed husks. The husks are the brown, paper-thin covering over the avocado’s large seed. They are normally discarded as a waste. However, Dr. Debasish Bandyopadhyay and his team have made some astonishing discoveries:

The researchers ground about 300 dried avocado seed husks into 21 ounces of powder. After additional processing, the powder yielded about three teaspoons of seed husk oil and slightly more than an ounce of seed husk wax. Using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry analysis, the research team found 116 compounds in the oil and 16 in the wax. Many of these compounds do not appear to be found in the seeds themselves.

Among the constituents in the oil was behenyl alcohol (also known as docosanol), an important ingredient used in anti-viral medications; heptacosane, which might inhibit the growth of tumor cells; and dodecanoic acid, which increases high density lipoprotein (known as HDL) and, as a result, could reduce the risk of atherosclerosis. […]

Moving forward, Bandyopadhyay says his team will modify several of these natural compounds so that they can be used to create better medications with fewer side effects.

The results of this study will very likely lead to repurposing a former waste product from a renewable resource into a source of inexpensive medicines.

Like I said: Science is badass.