In the new study, researchers fed a team of mice a diet meant to induce insulin resistance for eight weeks. Then, for five more weeks, they added avocatin B to some of the mice’s diets.
They found the mice that were fed high-fat diets had an improved response to insulin and were less likely to gain excessive weight.
The researchers have seen similar results in humans. They conducted a clinical study that added an avocatin B supplement to a traditional western diet for 60 days, in which they determined the compound could be tolerated well.
They also saw some weight loss among participants. However the results are not statistically significant yet.
And while the early results are positive, researchers say they still recommend an overall healthy lifestyle as the best practice for preventing diabetes and obesity. However, they say they are hopeful they will be able to help supplement traditional methods.
“We advocate healthy eating and exercise as solutions to the problem, but that's difficult for some people. We've known this for decades, and obesity and diabetes are still a significant health problem,” Nawaz Ahmed, the study’s lead author, said.