Tuesday, April 23, 2013 [Boston, MA] –The scientific poster session, Interventions for the Treatment and Prevention of Nutrition-Related Diseases, included the poster that won first prize in two American Society for Nutrition Scientific Sessions at Experimental Biology (EB) contests— the Student Interest Group (SIG) Travel Award competition and the Aging and Chronic Disease Research Interest Section (RIS) Graduate Student Poster competition. The winning poster is based on a clinical study that investigated the effects of eating one Hass avocado every day on risk factors for cardiovascular disease compared to a similar moderate fat diet without avocados, an average American diet and a low-fat diet. The study was conducted by Pennsylvania State University researchers Penny Kris-Etherton, PhD, RD, and Li Wang, PhD Candidate, and supported by the Hass Avocado Board (HAB).
The SIG and RIS awards are annual prizes awarded to PhD students based on their abstracts and presentations at EB. Abstracts were assessed on scientific merit, research design, experimental methodology, conclusions, and significance of findings to scientific knowledge.
Although this was a small-scale study, "Initial findings from our research shows that inclusion of one avocado a day, as part of a healthy moderate fat diet, may contribute to greater benefits on cardiovascular risk factors than a moderate fat diet that provides the equivalent fatty acid profile," said Wang. "While more studies are needed, this research suggests that there may be something unique about the avocado, beyond its monounsaturated fat content."
Additionally, Maxwell Johnson, MS, and Bonny Burns-Whitmore, MPH, DrPH, RD, California State Polytechnic University, presented findings from their investigation on the effects of daily intake of avocados on body composition and blood cholesterol levels in healthy college students during the poster session, Energy Balance, Macronutrients and Weight Management.
"Our research findings showed that eating an avocado a day did not negatively alter body composition," said Burns-Whitmore.
HAB is supporting research to improve understanding of the unique, positive benefits of consuming fresh Hass avocados to human health and nutrition. Clinical studies are currently underway to investigate the relationship between avocado consumption and risk factors for cardiovascular disease, avocados' potential positive role in weight management and diabetes, and avocados' ability to enhance nutrient absorption. For more information, visit http://www.avocadocentral.com/nutrition.
About the Hass Avocado Board
The Hass Avocado Board was established in 2002 to promote the consumption of Hass avocados in the United States. A 12-member board representing domestic producers and importers of Hass avocados directs HAB's promotion, research and information programs under supervision of the United States Department of Agriculture. Hass avocados are grown in California and imported into the US from Mexico, Chile, Peru, Dominican Republic and New Zealand.
AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert! system.