This advice is the pits
When people find out you spend your days knee-deep in health research, you get a lot of weird questions.
Especially from the neighbors.
The other day some friends were over at the house, and they were telling me a wild story.
A scary one, actually.
It turns out their dog had suddenly become lethargic. And he refused to eat.
Since this crazy lab normally scarfs down everything put in front of him (and some stuff he digs up on his own), this was very concerning. So they rushed to the vet.
Turns out he must have gotten in the trash and swallowed an avocado seed.
Now, it may have passed on its own, but they didn't want to chance it. So the vet went in and did a "pit-ectomy."
The dog's out of the woods. But the story led to a question: Could you actually eat an avocado pit? And if so, is there any reason you’d want to?
I don't like to say "I don't know." I prefer "I'll see if I can find out.
So I started poking around.
Apparently in Nigeria, an extract of avocado seeds is used to manage blood pressure. And some animal studies have shown it may be useful in treating diabetes or high cholesterol.
And in a test tube, it acts as an anti-fungal, particularly against candida.
Which is all well and good. But it doesn't really answer the question. Could you somehow break up the pit and eat it?
Before you ask, "Jeff... why? Why do you care?
Because I'm stubborn.
Just imagine you're the first guy who's decided to eat a lobster. I mean, yikes. (But they are tasty. Even if I prefer the Maine ones over the Florida ones around here.)
People eat lots of odd things that have benefits, from dandelions to crickets.
So I wasn't ready to punt just yet.
Not too surprisingly, nobody can really tell me if it's safe to eat the avocado seed.
There just aren't that many toxicity studies that have been done on it. The ones out there make it seem ok, but if there's a human study, I haven't seen it.
Still, some people go to the trouble of drying out the seed in a low-temperature oven, then chop it up or pulverize it, to use in smoothies or teas.
And apparently, it tastes awful.
So let's review.
Nobody really knows if eating an avocado seed is beneficial. It's a pain in the rump to prepare. And it tastes terrible.
So, it's a hard pass for me.
And it would have been for the dog too, I'd imagine.