The powder can be mixed into smoothies or other foods to disguise the bitter flavor, which comes from tannins in the seed. Nutrition Facts & Health Benefits, The 7 Healthiest Nuts to Include in Your Diet, Flat Tummy Water: Benefits, Side Effects & Nutrition Facts, Plantain vs. Banana: Difference in Nutrition and Health Benefits, Is it Wise to Drink Lemon Water before Bed? Avocados are a good source of antioxidants that help fight free radical damage. … But what about the avocado seed? It is also known that avocado seeds may contain cyanide, which is toxic to humans. There are certain types of avocado that are known to be poisonous due to the amount of persin in the avocado leaves, seeds, bark, and fruit. "Synergistic cytotoxicity between tamoxifen and the plant toxin persin in human breast cancer cells is dependent on Bim expression and mediated by modulation of ceramide metabolism". In a 2013 study published in the Scientific World Journal , researchers concluded that avocado seed extract was safe and it did not show any toxicity. Among its many bioactive compounds, avocado seeds contain a compound called persin. Here are a couple of ways to consume the bitter but nutritious avacado powder: You can add powdered avocado seeds to a smoothie. It acts as a natural fungicide. However, the compound is soluble in oil rather than water, so further research is needed to see whether an extract of the seed can be made into a useful form. Its seeds can poison livestock and other animals. The answer is yes and no, but mostly no. Mol Cancer Ther. Avocado (Persea Americana), native to Central America, is a pear-shaped salad and Mexican cuisine fruit. Persin also enhances the cytotoxic, or cell-killing, effects of tamoxifen, which is a cancer drug. Others were skeptical, concerned the seeds are actually toxic. Also, even if these seeds are touted to help in cancer treatment, they should be consumed along with a proper cancer treatment such as chemotherapy, and upon consultation with your doctor. The avocado seeds are also effective in fighting bad cholesterol. By using ThoughtCo, you accept our. Studies carried out to find the medicinal properties of avocado seeds make use of the dried seeds. To make the smoothie, blend together two apples, half banana, a peeled lemon, half-cup of spinach, ginger to taste, and half of the ground avocado seed. Persin may cause apoptosis (programmed cell death) of breast cancer cells. Mol. They too have pits containing a cyanide compound, causing the same symptoms as pear seeds. There is a slight amount of persin, a fungicidal toxin similar to a fatty acid, in avocado pits, and the skin, bark, and leaves of the avocado tree. Cause Mouth Allergy. Is Eating Apple Seeds or Cherry Pits Safe? 4. Put the infuser to a mug and then pour boiling water over it. To make this, mash 1-2 avocado seeds and soak them in water overnight. In fact, they offer many health benefits. Free … Other types of seeds containing cyanogenic compounds include apple seeds, cherry pits, and citrus fruit seeds. Avocado seeds are not poisonous unless consumed in large quantities. Avocado seeds make up more than 18% of the deliciously creamy avocado fruit and are often tossed aside habitually. Studies have been conducted that show that avocado is not highly toxic to dogs; however, if a dog were to ingest the seed of an avocado, it could cause illness. There is a slight amount of persin, a fungicidal toxin similar to a fatty acid, in avocado pits, and the skin, bark, and leaves of the avocado tree. Avocado Seeds Are Edible and Good for You – Fact or Fiction? No, they aren’t poisonous, if you limit the intake. So, are avocado seeds poisonous? 5 (9): 2300–9.Roberts CG, Gurisik E, Biden TJ, Sutherland RL, Butt AJ (October 2007). Many blog articles have been written about the health benefits of avocado seeds. The California Avocado Commission recommends people avoid eating the avocado seed (though of course, they encourage you to enjoy the fruit). Studies carried out to find the medicinal properties of avocado seeds make use of the dried seeds. They decrease the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23448442, last accessed May 29, 2017. Home > Food Facts > Fruits > Are Avocado Seeds Poisonous? The seed forms about 16% of the total weight of the fruit. The avocado (P. americana) is consumed by humans because of its organoleptic characteristics; furthermore, the pulp contains up to 33% oil, rich in monounsaturated fatty acids [].The avocado seed is discarded in the majority of countries, although in some countries such as Niger, it is consumed [18, 19].This waste may represent an ecological or human contaminant. Persin is an oil-soluble compound structurally similar to a fatty acid, and it leaches into the body of the fruit from the seeds.. At this point, the skin of the seed will be dry. However, real scientific research around this topic is still amiss. Persin is present in the bark and leaves of avocado plants and soluble in oil. If you decide to go ahead and try avocado seeds, one of the most popular ways to prepare them is to make a powder. In addition to persin and tannin, avocado seeds also contain small quantities of hydrocyanic acid and cyanogenic glycosides, which can produce toxic hydrogen cyanide. The levels of persin vary between the different types of avocados other external factors. Although the fruit is so delicious for humans to eat, it’s best to stay on the safer side and keep avocados away from your furry animals. The one known poison in avocados is something called “persin.” Persin is a natural antifungal compound that can be produced within the avocado plant. Cats and dogs may become slightly ill from eating avocado flesh or seeds. The seeds contain high levels of tannins, trypsin inhibitors, and polyphenols that act as anti-nutrients, which means they reduce your ability to absorb certain vitamins and minerals. No. However, like the leaves of many avocado plants, the pits can contain some nasty substances. The softened seeds can be pureed in a blender. So avoid eating them daily if you are on a diet. Avocado seeds contain a toxic compound called persin. Cats and dogs show slight signs of illness after eating large amounts of avocado flesh and peels, and eating the pits can cause gastric obstruction. Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. Drugs However, the human body can detoxify small amounts of the compounds, so there's no risk of cyanide poisoning to an adult person from eating a single seed. Consuming the seeds in excess amounts may be harmful. It has to be cracked and peeled off. In a study conducted by researchers from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, it was found that avocado seeds contain 218% more overall antioxidant than the meat. Right along with the question of eating avocado skin is whether it’s safe to eat an avocado pit or seed. Peel away the skin and then grind the seed in a spice mill or food processor. Avocado seed contains flavonoid that acts as antioxidant which protect the cells from any damage that caused by free radicals and later can trigger the development of cancer cells. The seeds contain high amounts of trypsin inhibitors, tannins, and polyphenols, which act as antinutrients. The human body can detoxify small quantities of these compounds. Even the California Avocado Commission writes on its website that it does not recommend the consumption of the avocado pit: "The seed of an avocado contains elements that … The avocado seed is one of the top high-fiber foods on the planet, and we know fiber can help balance cholesterol levels. Avocado pits (and other parts of the tree, like leaves and bark) can be poisonous to pets, but generally not to humans unless they are allergic. A recent report described […] “Acute Toxicity and Genotoxic Activity of Avocado Seed Extract (Persea americana Mill., c.v. Hass)”, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3835709/, last accessed May 30, 2017. Persin may cause apoptosis of some types of breast cancer cells, plus it enhances the cytotoxic effects of the cancer drug tamoxifen. In addition to persin and tannin, avocado seeds also contain small quantities of hydrocyanic acid and cyanogenic glycosides, which can produce toxic hydrogen cyanide. Avocado. Within the pit lies the softer part. Eating the seed has potential risks and no evidence of health benefits. Another way to use avocado seeds is for "avocado seed water". In humans, avocado seeds help slow down aging, may be helpful in preventing cancer, and lower your blood sugar. While it's true there are many healthful compounds in the seeds, including soluble fiber, vitamins E and C, and the mineral phosphorus, the consensus is more research is needed to determine whether the benefits of eating them outweigh the risks. You can put the powder into an empty capsule shell and take it as a supplement. They contain a small amount of a natural toxin called persin [(R, 12Z,15Z)-2-Hydroxy-4-oxohenicosa-12,15-dienyl acetate]. Stop grinding the avocado seed into smoothies, regardless of what social media says. If you can't tolerate bananas or peaches, it's best to steer clear of avocado seeds. Both the compounds from the avocado pit can produce hydrogen cyanide, which is toxic. Add any sweetener of choice like honey and enjoy the avocado seed tea. Avocado seeds contain tannins, which are mildly toxic; however, you would have to consume several before you’d notice any negative health effects. Persin is a fungicidal toxin present in the avocado. That may be why research shows avocado seeds can lower cholesterol . A mouse study in Scientific World Journal in 2013, for instance, found that high doses of avocado seed extract were toxic to the animals but didn’t cause genetic damage. Avocado pits also cause problems for people who are allergic to latex. Read on to find it out yourself: Avocado seed contains persin, which is a toxic compound present in small quantities in avocado seeds. But there is only a very small amount, meaning that the avocado seed is not really poisonous to humans, unless eaten in massive quantities. Consuming the seeds in excess amounts may be harmful. By now, you know they are not poisonous for humans if consumed in small quantities. Are Avocado trees poisonous to pets? Avocado seeds are bitter and should be mixed with strong flavors. Peel the skin and dice the seed. So, are avocado seeds poisonous? Avocado leaves and seeds are harmful when ingested in large quantities, but as of 2014, few cases of toxicity have been reported. 6 (10). All rights reserved. “Avocado (Persea americana) seed as a source of bioactive phytochemicals.,” NCBI web site; “Acute Toxicity and Genotoxic Activity of Avocado Seed Extract (Persea americana Mill., c.v. Hass)”. Avocado seeds are not poisonous unless consumed in large quantities. Is persin toxic to humans? Avocado is a high calorie food and it will increase your weight. The seeds are a rich source of phenolic compounds and may also help improve hypercholesterolemia. As for safety, occasionally eating small amounts of the seeds is probably fine, but consuming larger amounts regularly is an open question. Persin is an oil-soluble compound found in the leaves and bark of the avocado plant as well as the pits. The Guatemalan varieties of avocado have been most commonly associated with toxicosis. There are also concerns that avocado seed oil may cause harm, as it has been shown to increase enzymes and fat build-up in the livers of rats ( 17, 18 ). All rights reserved. This powder can be added to recipes. However, the amount of cyanide in an avocado seed is too small to hurt you. There are so many nutritional benefits to consuming the seed! Avocado seeds may cause gastric obstruction in these animals. Let us discuss that in detail below. With a number of queries flashing on this topic, you may think, is it safe to eat avocado seed? While the amount of persin in an avocado pit isn't enough to harm a human, avocado plants and pits can harm pets and livestock. The surface of the avocado pit is hard and leathery. Avocado contains a toxin called persin, but only certain species of animals are poisoned by persin. ThoughtCo uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. Making any seed a part of our diet is beneficial if it has medicinal properties. The researchers claimed this was the first study to evaluate the seed in that regard. Acute Toxicity and Genotoxic Activity of Avocado Seed Extract (Persea americana Mill., c.v. Hass) This one isn’t very relevant, since they were only looking at the potential toxicity of the seed extract. Apricot Seeds: Nutrition, Benefits & Role in Cancer Treatment, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23448442, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3835709/, Figs: Nutrition Facts, Health Benefits, and How to Eat Them, Healthy Christmas Cookies: 5 Christmas Cookie Recipes, What Is Cherimoya? So, are avocado seeds edible, or are avocado seeds poisonous? To make avocado seed powder, remove the pit from the fruit, place it on a baking sheet, and cook it in a preheated oven at 250 F for 1.5 to 2 hours. While dogs and cats are rarely affected by persin, avocado poisoning can be deadly to birds and large animals (such as cows, goats, sheep). It is present in the leaves, skin, seeds and fruit of the avocado. However, the seeds have been found to contain more than 70% of the antioxidant content in each avocado, making it an excellent … Put the seeds in the oven set at 250°F for two hours. They can help slow down the oxidation of body cells and protect the cells from free radical damage. The relatively low concentrations of persin in the ripe pulp of the avocado fruit is generally considered harmless to humans. However, many people believe avocado seeds are poisonous. Copyright © 2020 - FoodsForBetterHealth. Ingestion of fruit, leaves, stems, and seeds of avocado has been associated with toxicosis in animals; leaves are the most toxic part. Health Benefits and Side Effects…, Top 20 Antihistamine Foods that Help Fight Inflammation. So, are avocado pits poisonous? Avocado leaves, bark, fruit and seeds are toxic to some animals. The seeds also contain some amounts of hydrocyanic acid and cyanogenic glycosides. A study published in Current Pharmaceutical Design states that avocado seeds may help treat hypertension, inflammatory conditions, and diabetes. Due to the specific taste, easiness to use, and health benefits, the avocado is a commonly used fruit in many households. Poisoning has been reported in birds (chickens, cockatiels, budgies, canaries, ostriches), horses, goats, sheep, mice and rabbits. The pit has to be discarded. Cancer Ther. FoodsForBetterHealth. Sources: 10. The avocado fruit is poisonous to some birds, and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) lists it as toxic to horses. Like many seeds, avocado pits contain a small amount of cyanide complexed to larger molecules. 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