“We know that eating avocados helps increase satiety and lowers blood cholesterol levels, but we did not know that it affects intestinal microbes and microbial metabolites,” said Sharon Thompson, lead researcher at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
The researchers found that people who ate avocados daily were more likely to have intestinal microbes, which break down fiber and produce metabolites that support intestinal health. Also, this group of people had more microbial diversity in the intestines.
“Microbial metabolites are compounds that produce health-affecting microbes,” Thomson said. Consumption of avocado reduces bile acids and increases short-chain fatty acids. These changes are associated with beneficial health outcomes.
In this study, 163 adults in the age group of 25 to 45 years who were overweight or obese were examined. One group of participants received a meal with avocado and the control group received the same meal without avocado. Blood, urine and fecal samples were collected during the 12-week study.
Avocados are high in fat. However, the researchers found that although the avocado group consumed more calories than the control group, a small amount of fat was excreted in the feces.
According to researchers, more fat elimination means that participants absorb less energy from the foods they eat. This is probably due to a decrease in bile acids, molecules that the digestive system secretes that allow us to absorb fat.
Different types of fats have different effects on microbiomes. The fats in avocados are unsaturated, which is good for heart health.