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Oil linked to anti-ageing [news]

AVOCADO oil may have anti-ageing properties like those attributed to olive oil, researchers say. Fat pressed from the exotic fruit could be a potent weapon against conditions such as heart disease and cancer, it is claimed. Avocado oil is similar in composition to olive oil, which is associated with unusually low levels of chronic disease in some Mediterranean countries.

New research conducted in Mexico, the world's largest avocado producer, has demonstrated the oil's power to combat destructive rogue oxygen molecules.

These unstable ''free radicals'' wreak havoc in the body, triggering chain reactions that destroy cell membranes, proteins and even DNA. The phenomenon is one of the prime drivers of ageing and believed to play a major role in damage to arteries and cancer.

Oxygen-free radicals are natural waste products of metabolism but may be generated in greater numbers due to factors such as pollution, tobacco smoke and radiation.