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Another Good Reason to Eat Avocados

If you add avocado to the menu when you’re enjoying tomato sauce or carrots, you’ll better absorb vitamin A precursors, which include alpha- and beta-carotene. The participants of a study suggesting this were 12 healthy men and women who ate a fresh avocado with tomato sauce high in beta-carotene. The volunteers next consumed the same amount of avocado plus raw carrots. The aim of the study was to see if the avocado would promote the absorption of provitamin A carotenoids, and support the conversion of these carotenoids to an active form of vitamin A, which is involved in reproductive health, growth promotion, skin health, immune function and vision. The study found that eating avocado with the tomato sauce more than doubled beta-carotene absorption and more than quadrupled conversion of provitamin A (an inactive vitamin form) to vitamin A (an active vitamin form). Eating avocado and raw carrots increased beta-carotene absorption 6.6 times, more than quadrupled alpha-carotene absorption, and increased conversion of inactive vitamin A to active vitamin A by more than 12 times. The research was supported by the Haas Avocado Board and published online on June 4, 2014 by The Journal of Nutrition.

R.E. Kopec et al,“Avocado Consumption Enhances Human Postprandial Provitamin A Absorption and Conversion from a Novel High-β-Carotene Tomato Sauce and from Carrots.” Journal of Nutrition, June 4, 2014 [Epub ahead of print]