Avocados may prevent mouth cancer and reduce the rate of cancer cell growth, new research suggests.
Extracts from Hass avocados, readily available in supermarkets, were able to kill some oral cancer cells and prevented pre-cancerous cells from developing, according to scientists at Ohio State University.
They believe the fruit works because of its high level of phytochemicals - plant compounds thought to have health-protecting qualities, and often found in dark coloured fruit and vegetables.
Lead author, Steven D'Ambrosio, said their study was the first of its kind.
"We think these phytochemicals either stop the growth of precancerous cells in the body or they kill the precancerous cells without affecting normal cells," he said.
Avocados are also full of beneficial antioxidants, including vitamin C, folate, vitamin E and unsaturated fats.
Mr D'Ambrosio said more research was needed into the benefits of avocados and other fruits on cancer cells.
"The future is ripe for identifying fruits and vegetables and individual phytonutrients with cancer preventing activity," he said. The study will be published in the journal Seminars in Cancer Biology.
Avocados 'could prevent mouth cancer' | the Daily Mail