Plant Foods for Human Nutrition

, Volume 72, Issue 3, pp 321–323 | Cite as

Influence of Dietary Avocado on Gut Health in Rats

  • Gunaranjan PaturiEmail author
  • Christine A. Butts
  • Kerry L. Bentley-Hewitt
Short Communication


This study investigated the impact of diets containing various levels of avocado (5, 10 and 15%) on gut health in rats fed for six weeks. Avocado-fed rats had significantly higher food intakes while their body weights remained similar to the control diet-fed rats. No significant changes in intestinal bacterial populations (ileum, cecum and colon) were found in rats fed avocado diets compared to the control diet. Ileum and colon tissues of rats fed avocado diets showed significantly higher expression of genes (β-defensin 1, mucin 3 or mucin 4) and a greater number of mucin-producing goblet cells in the colon. The percentage of avocado in the diet had varying effects in altering the biomarkers, whereby diet containing 15% avocado was the more effective diet. This study delivers new knowledge on the role of avocado on gut health in rats.


β-defensins Gene expression Goblet cells Microbiota Mucin Plant-based foods 



We thank Sheridan Martell, Hannah Dinnan, Sue Middlemiss-Kraak, Halina Stoklosinski and Thanuja Herath for their technical assistance. This study was funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (C11X1312), New Zealand.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11130_2017_614_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (296 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 296 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research LimitedAucklandNew Zealand
  2. 2.The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research LimitedPalmerston NorthNew Zealand

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