Avocado Fruit – Cancer Caution for Some?


How many of you love avocadoes?

My wife and I do! With our family cancer history of hormone cancers, we will still enjoy but limit our avocado or guacamole to less than once a week.

Previous laboratory cancer cell studies have shown purified nutrients and plant chemicals in avocadoes suggests this fruit has anticancer activities. But actual human intake and cancer risk have not been evaluated until recently.

In April 2023 a research study of data from 45,289 men in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (HPFS) and 67,039 women in the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) evaluated avocado consumption and the risk of cancer.

In the HPFS, consuming more than 1 avocado a week was associated with a decreased risk of only colorectal cancer, lung cancer, and bladder cancer in men. Other cancer rates were not affected. In the NHS, avocado consumption was associated with increased risk of breast cancer in older postmenopausal women. Neither group noticed a decreased or increased overall cancer risks.

Researchers were surprised with the breast cancer finding so they evaluated data from 93,230 younger women in another NHSII study. They found avocado consumption was not associated with breast cancer risk in younger women.

My inquisitive nature suggested I check on research on avocado and hormones. Well, there’s another study that found regular avocado consumption in postmenopausal women is associated with elevated estrogen estrone levels. Elevated estrone levels are associated with increased risk of postmenopausal breast cancer. Avocadoes do not contain estrogen.

It is important to note that these are only a couple of initial studies. We need more studies to confirm these results and provide better guidelines. Until we learn more, I recommend postmenopausal women with breast cancer limit consumption to occasional, less than once a week and limit avocado oil to 1 TBS a couple of times a week.

Subscribe to my email newsletter so that you can learn more when the next human avocado cancer research study is released. I’ll share a summary of what is discovered.

Reference Sources Include

Ericsson CI, Pacheco LS, Romanos-Nanclares A, et al. Prospective Study of Avocado Consumption and Cancer Risk in U.S. Men and Women. Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2023;16(4):211-218. doi:10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-22-0298 https://aacrjournals.org/cancerpreventionresearch/article-abstract/16/4/211/718840/Prospective-Study-of-Avocado-Consumption-and?redirectedFrom=fulltext

Monroe KR, Murphy SP, Henderson BE, et al. Dietary fiber intake and endogenous serum hormone levels in naturally postmenopausal Mexican American women: the Multiethnic Cohort Study. Nutr Cancer. 2007;58(2):127-135. doi:10.1080/01635580701327935 https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01635580701327935?journalCode=hnuc20


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