Avocado Oil Benefits and Side Effects

Avocado Oil Benefits and Side Effects

Avocado oil has generated much research and commercial interest given that it contains bioactive compounds that have been linked with health benefits. It is a unique fruit in that it contains a large amount of fat - but this is in the form of healthy fat that is linked with good cardiovascular health. It is also high in antioxidants which have several health benefits. 

Another advantage is that it has a high smoke point which makes it a healthy and delicious option to cook with as well. In its raw form, avocado oil has also shown beneficial effects on the skin in terms of wound healing and psoriasis. 

The oil comes from the Persea Americana fruit which is native to South America. However, it is now cultivated across the world - more so in places that are warm and tropical. Despite its popularity, the fruit and oil are still expensive in India and it is a little challenging to find the product in the market. 

Avocado Oil Benefits and Side Effects

Here is a quick look at the nutritional information of avocado oil:

Nutritional information per 100 g

Name Amount Unit

Water 0 g

Energy 884 kcal

Fat 100 g

Monounsaturated fat 70.55 g

Saturated fat 11.56 g

Polyunsaturated fat 13.49 g

  1. Avocado Oil for Psoriasis
  2. Cardiovascular benefits of Avoacado Oil
  3. Avocado Oil for Arthritis
  4. Avocado Oil for Gums
  5. Avocado Oil for Eyes
  6. Avocado Oil for Skin
  7. Avocado Oil Neutralizes Free Radicals
  8. Avocado Oil Side Effects

Avocado Oil for Psoriasis

  • Avocado oil is used often on the skin because it has antimicrobial properties. It also has a moisturizing effect that is helpful for dry skin. 
  • A small study consisting of 13 participants investigated the impact of vitamin B(12) cream containing avocado oil on plaque psoriasis. The effects were compared with vitamin (D3) analog calcipotriol. It was found that both products had benefits but the avocado oil concoction provided protection for a longer period of time with minimal side effects.
  • The study, however, was small and more research is needed to emphasize this claim and understand the biological pathways involved.

Cardiovascular benefits of Avoacado Oil

  • The lipid content, which is mainly monounsaturated fatty acids, is associated with cardiovascular benefits. The fat composition is similar to that of olive oil, which is associated with good cardiac health as it is a better option than other types of oils. 
  • In an animal study, rats were given a diet with olive oil and avocado oil. It was found that the avocado oil reduced the levels of triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein (LDL, the ‘bad’ cholesterol) and maintained levels of HDL (the ‘good’ cholesterol). There was also a slight lowering of blood pressure. 
  • Another study in hypertensive rats found that the oil reduced blood pressure. In fact, the mechanism mimicked that of losartan, a blood pressure drug. The high amount of oleic acid, the monounsaturated fat, drove these effects.
  • A study involving 13 healthy diets who consumed a high fat diet showed that substituting avocado oil for butter had beneficial health effects. There was an improvement in cholesterol and triglyceride profiles.

Avocado Oil for Arthritis

  • Arthritis, which involves inflammation in the joints, is one of the leading causes of disability in the world. Studies have shown that a mixture of avocado oil and soybean oil can have beneficial effects. These are called avocado/soybean unsaponifiables (ASU). A randomized control study consisting of 164 participants found that those on ASU were less likely to use OTC painkillers to manage their conditions than those on placebo.
  • ASU is being pursued for its analgesic effects to reduce reliance on NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) since their overuse can cause side-effects in some people. ASU promotes cartilage strength by inhibiting enzymatic activity that causes its breakdown.

Avocado Oil for Gums

An in-vitro (test tube) study showed that Avocado/Soybean Unsaponifiables (ASU) had an inhibitory effect on IL-6, the protein that promotes periodontal or gum disease. IL-6 can trigger a cytokine storm that causes the breakdown of gum tissue. TGF-beta plays a role in regeneration, and the study showed that ASU encourages the expression of these thereby illustrating that avocado oil may be used to treat gum disease. Further evidence is required to better understand the process.

Avocado Oil for Eyes

Avocado oil contains lutein and zeaxanthin. These are antioxidants that are known to be good for eye health. Studies have shown their role in preventing cataracts and age related degradation. However, more research is needed on whether avocado oil is a functional lutein food - meaning that it is not known if it can deliver enough lutein to have an impact on eye health yet.

Avocado Oil for Skin

  • As mentioned above, avocado oil has some active ingredients that may be beneficial against plaque psoriasis. There is also some evidence that avocado oil can assist wound healing - studies in rats have been encouraging. However, this evidence is limited and another study showed the opposite effect and suggested that wound healing was actually delayed.
  • Avocado oil has beta carotene, vitamins A, D, E which give it some SPF properties and can prevent sunburns. However, this ability is limited and you should rely on commercially produced sunscreen when spending long periods of time outside. 
  • Avocado oil has a hydrating and mildly antiseptic effect so applying it across the body is soothing - especially on dry, itchy skin. 
  • The anti-oxidising properties of avocado oil appear to bolster collagen production as well. This may improve skin elasticity, and reduce the formation of lines and wrinkles.

Avocado Oil Neutralizes Free Radicals

  • Free radicals cause oxidative stress in the body. On the most basic level, they are formed as byproducts of metabolism when nutrients are converted to energy. They are basically unpaired atoms that are looking for electrons to attach to so that they become stable. In the process, they can cause an imbalance in other molecules by taking electrons from them. Fat molecules, for example, can be mutated by this process and become clogged in arteries which can lead to long-term diseases.
  • Antioxidants are chemicals that can donate electrons without becoming unstable themselves. Avocado oil is rich in antioxidants such as lutein and carotenoids such as beta-carotene and lycopene. An animal study showed that rats that were administered avocado oil for 90 days (at 1g/ 250g body weight) decreased oxidative stress in the liver.

Avocado Oil Side Effects

  • While avocado oil contains monounsaturated fats - which are supposed to be good for the body - consuming too much is not a good idea because it is still calorie-dense. As with most things, moderation is key. Overconsumption of the oil can cause you to gain weight. 
  • Those with latex allergy should not consume avocado oil since they may have allergic reactions. 
  • There have also been cases of the oil causing itchiness on topical use, but this is rare. As mentioned above, a study in rats found that the oil could also decrease the speed of wound healing.More studies are needed to understand these mechanisms. For now, it appears that avocado oil is a healthy substitute for other types of oil if used reasonably, although it may be harder to procure and can be more expensive compared to other alternatives.

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