Avocados may help our liver, so announced a group of Japanese researchers thisweek at the Pacifichem 2000 in Honolulu, hosted by the American ChemicalSociety. Researchers at Shizuoka University in Japan said that animals fedwith avocado withstood liver damages better than other laboratory animals thatate any of 22 other fruits. In addition, the scientists discovered three newcompounds that might explain why the avocado is protective. HirokazuKawagishi, professor of applied biological chemistry and colleagues atShizuoka University fed laboratory rats feed containing avocado or 22 otherfruits over a two-week period. The rats were fed they were givenD-galactosamine, a substance that causes liver damage by interfering with cellsynthesis and results in cell death. Kawagishi said that of the 22 fruitsstudied, eight showed some protective effect - watermelon, papaya, lychee,kiwi, Japanese plum, grapefruit, fig and cherry together with avocado. He iscurrently analysing these fruits to determine if they possess chemicals thatexplain their protective effect and if these compounds can be exploited todevelop drugs to treat disease.