I’m on a panel for the NYAS’s conference on Conflicts of Interest in Healthcare: Opportunities for Self-Reflection and Action, June 24-25. Location: 7 World Trade Center. 250 Greenwich St, 40th Floor. Information and registration are here. My panel is on the 25th at 10:45 a.m. , Session VI: Hot topic discussion: getting to the truth in nutrition science. Other panelists are Mona Calvo fro Penn State, Mehmood Khan from Life Biosciences, and Linda Van Horn from Northwestern. Moderator is Julia Belluz from Vox.
Industry-funded study of the week: avocados yet again
The study: A Moderate-Fat Diet with One Avocado per Day Increases Plasma Antioxidants and Decreases the Oxidation of Small, Dense LDL in Adults with Overweight and Obesity: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Li Wang, Ling Tao, Lei Hao, Todd H Stanley, Kuan-Hsun Huang, Joshua D Lambert, Penny M Kris-Etherton. The Journal of Nutrition, nxz231, https://doi.org/10.1093/jn/nxz231 Published: 14 October 2019
The Press release: One avocado a day helps lower ‘bad’ cholesterol for heart healthy benefits (thanks to reader Effie Seftel for sending).
Conclusions: “One avocado a day in a heart-healthy diet decreased oxLDL [oxidized LDL]in adults with overweight and obesity, and the effect was associated with the reduction in sdLDL [small-density LDL–the bad kind]…Avocados have a unique nutrient and bioactive profile that appears to play an important role in reducing LDL oxidation, hence decreasing LDL atherogenicity.”
Funding: “Supported by a grant from the Hass Avocado Board.” [I’ve written previously about other studies funded by this Board].
Author disclosures: LW, LT, LH, THS, K-HH, and JDL, no conflicts of interest. PMK-E received funding from the Hass Avocado Board to conduct this study and is a member of the Avocado Nutrition Science Advisory. The Hass Avocado Board had no role in the design and conduct of the study; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of the data; or in the preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript.
Comment: Thanks to Jeff Nelson for sending this one (his interview with me is online). He points out that the diet of the group eating one avocado a day also ate less saturated fat and more fiber, which could help to account for the favorable result. I love avocados (who does not?) but worry about what our demand for them is doing to Mexican food culture and personal safety. Does the Hass Board really need to do this?
Addition, October 31
The London Daily Mail has, of all things, a critique of this study: “Eating an avocado a day will NOT cut your cholesterol: Statistician debunks the ‘hilariously unimpressive’ results of study funded by ‘big avocado’.”