What are the unsaponifiable of soy and avocado (ASU)?
ASU is the Anglo-Saxon term obtained by the acronym of “Avocado I am Unsaponifiable,” that is, “Unsponsible Fraction of Soy and Avocado.” This combination of the unsaponifiable fractions of soy and avocado (ASU) extracted from the oils of these two plants a 2: 1 ratio, it represents a novelty in Spain.
The ASU is used in France as a treatment for osteoarthritis. The ASU was drug subsidized by the French Ministry of Health with a prescription for approximately more than 15 years. So there is also some experience in its use in the clinic, of trials and clinical studies. It is also marketed in other countries, as is the case in Argentina or Italy through pharmacies with drug registration. In others, it is used as a dietary supplement as in the United States of America, where no prescription is necessary. In Spain, its commercialization as a dietary supplement has recently begun.
As it is a vegetable product, it can be used by vegetarians and vegans, as well as by any other person who wishes to avoid products of animal origin in both food and medicine. Its dosage is comfortable, once a day, so that compliance with the treatment is facilitated. Its main action is exercised on the slow loss of cartilage in severe cases of osteoarthritis.
Finally, we must consider that it has a favorable cost/effectiveness relationship since it allows savings in analgesic and anti-inflammatory treatments. Patients use ASU often partially or eliminate their expensive anti-inflammatory medications and as already known with numerous side effects, as well as in physical therapies or surgery.
What are soy and avocado insaponificables?
The oils have numerous constituents such as cholesterol, for example, in animal fat. The unsaponifiable fraction corresponds to a portion of less than one percent of avocado and soybean oils. The unsaponifiable fraction separates from the fibers that bind it so that it can be better absorbed when ingested orally.
The “saponifiable” concept is a chemical term used to describe that a substance can be mixed with bleach to form soap. Saponifiable oils, combined with bleach, are the basis of almost all the soap products we use. On the contrary, the unsaponifiable fractions of the oil cannot form soap, and, like other fats with these characteristics, they have health properties in general when ingested.
What is your mechanism of action?
These molecules have shown that they can improve overall health by their tropism on connective tissue. It restores the metabolic balance of cartilage by stimulating the production of new cartilage while reducing the loss of existing cartilage, acting on the components. The essential cartilage, the collagen, provides the structure. The proteoglycan macromolecules give cartilage its shock absorption characteristics.
In the same way that other molecules can stimulate the production of collagen, ASU makes the cartilage cells can produce the four types of collagen that human cartilage possesses in normal conditions in the same proportions found in that normal and healthy cartilage.
Also, ASU reduces pain, inflammation, and the need for analgesics and anti-inflammatories, in the majority of people who use it, which constitutes an essential reason for its use. However, not the only one nor the most important since the data The employment safety of ASU is spectacular, especially if we compare it with analgesics and NSAIDs, as no side effects have demonstrated during these years.
Like other supplements or pharmacological treatments for the treatment of osteoarthritis, ASU has shown greater effectiveness in those people who have a more severe loss of cartilage.
Taking of ASU also benefits the cartilage even of people who do not have symptoms or do not observe with their taking improvement of the symptoms. This is somewhat similar to what happens with calcium supplements for the treatment of osteoporosis that should be taken even if no increase in the signs of the patients is observed. That is, you should continue to take ASU supplements also if additional pain relievers are required to mitigate the pain.
Its tropism for connective tissue(in addition to restoring the metabolic balance of cartilage) is useful for treating periodontopathic, the latter being one of its clinical indications of the commercial formulas of ASU registered as medications.
What are the side effects of these molecules?
There are no significant side effects compared to a placebo in controlled clinical studies of ASU. However, whenever people consume a product by mouths, such as an inactive placebo, food, or even empty capsules, they may experience mild digestive disorders.
Studies on the ASU
As with other natural supplements that in some countries such as Spain have been considered as medicines (for example glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate), the ASU has extensive research with numerous clinical trials both in terms of It refers to basic research (laboratory and animals) as clinical evidence in humans.
It acts as a real blocker of the vicious circle of arthritic disease. It exerts an action decreasing the production and activity of some aggressive substances on cartilage such as interleukins and prostaglandins and opposes the action of catabolic enzymes. It also activates the synthesis of some of the cartilage component elements. It also has a specific analgesic action, which would allow reducing the amounts of other analgesic and anti-inflammatory agents administered in these patients.
We can summarize that in clinical trials with ASU, it has been shown that:

  1. Increases the synthesis of collagen by the chondrocyte without altering the proportions of collagen.
  2. Stimulates the expression of the growth transforming factor (TGF-b1, TGF-b2), and of the activated plasminogen inhibitor (Pai-1) that indicates the stimulation and repair of the cartilage matrix.
  3. Inhibits and reverses in chondrocyte the effects of IL-1 that induces the production of IL-6, IL-8, PGE2, and stromelysin, chemical mediators that are associated with the destruction of healthy cartilage.
  4. Inhibits chondrocytes the effects of IL-6, IL-8, PGE2, stromelysin, and collagenase.
  5. Partially inhibits the negative impact of IL-1b on collagen synthesis.
    In one of the last clinical trials conducted over six months on 51 patients suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee and with severe pain, which required almost daily taking of analgesics and anti-inflammatories, it showed that although patients notice it before, it is between the third and fourth month when the symptoms begin to improve significantly (analgesic and anti-inflammatory action), thus reducing the usual anti-inflammatory doses, leaving many of them taking. At the end of the study at 6 months, 41 of them presented no pain, 7 were in a phase of mild pain, and 2 were in moderate pain. The rates of severe or very severe pain were 0% at the end of the study.
    Do the unsaponifiable of soy and avocado interact with other medications or other dietary supplements?
    So far, with more than 15 years of experience in its use, there is no evidence that the ASU can present interactions with other molecules.
    Contraindications for taking ASU
    The ASU, as with many other natural and synthetic molecules, has not been included in clinical trials with pregnant women and children for ethical reasons. In principle, there seems to be no contraindication in their use in these age groups. Still, there are no studies that show their safety in these situations, so it is recommended that the decision be taken in these cases by a health professional.
    Why not consume more avocados and soy in the diet?
    Only a small portion of avocados and soybeans contain the oil, and in this, only less than 1% constitutes the unsaponifiable fraction. Also, this fraction must be separated from certain fibers to allow absorption, so the use of these foods in our diet does not guarantee that sufficient amounts of these unsaponifiable fractions are present in our body to ensure a therapeutic effect.
    Also, avocados have to be chosen and processed at the right time of ripening. An immature or excessively ripe avocado fluctuates much that 1% of the unsaponifiable fraction that we find at the right moment of maturation.