Avocado Consumption, Abdominal Adiposity, and Oral Glucose Tolerance Among Persons with Overweight and Obesity

Naiman A Khan, Caitlyn G Edwards, Sharon V Thompson, Bridget A Hannon, Sarah K Burke, Anne D M Walk, Richard W A Mackenzie, Ginger E Reeser, Barbara H Fiese, Nicholas A Burd, Hannah D Holscher

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ABSTRACT Background Although intake of Hass avocado has been cross-sectionally linked to lower abdominal obesity, knowledge of the effects of avocado consumption on abdominal adiposity and glycemic outcomes remains limited. Objective The effects of avocado consumption on abdominal adiposity, insulin resistance, oral-glucose-tolerance test (OGTT), and estimated β-cell function were evaluated. Methods A total of 105 adults aged 25–45 y (61% female) with BMI ≥25 kg/m2 were randomly assigned to an intervention (N = 53) that received a daily meal with 1 fresh Hass avocado or a control (N = 52) that received an isocaloric meal with similar ingredients without avocado for 12 wk. DXA was used to assess the primary outcomes of abdominal adiposity [visceral adipose tissue (VAT), subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue (SAAT), and the ratio of VAT to SAAT (VS Ratio)]. Fasted glucose and insulin were used to assess the primary outcomes of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), and insulin sensitivity (Matsuda index) and β-cell function (Insulinogenic index) were estimated using an OGTT. Changes between groups were compared using an ANCOVA. Secondary analyses were conducted based on sex. Results The control group exhibited a greater reduction in SAAT [–54.5 ± 155.8 g (control) compared with 17.4 ± 155.1 g (treatment), P = 0.017] and increase in VS Ratio [0.007 ± 0.047 (control) compared with –0.011 ± 0.044 (treatment), P = 0.024]. Among females, the treatment group exhibited a greater reduction in VAT [1.6 ± 89.8 g (control) compared with –32.9 ± 81.6 g (treatment), P = 0.021] and VS Ratio [0.01 ± 0.05 (control) compared with –0.01 ± 0.03 (treatment), P = 0.001]. Among males, there was no significant difference between groups in changes in abdominal adiposity or glycemic outcomes. Conclusions Daily consumption of 1 fresh Hass avocado changed abdominal adiposity distribution among females but did not facilitate improvements in peripheral insulin sensitivity or β-cell function among adults with overweight and obesity. This study was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT02740439.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2513-2521
Number of pages9
JournalThe Journal of Nutrition
Issue number9
Early online date30 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - 4 Sept 2021


  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)

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