If you have ever wondered whether the health benefits of apples are scientifically proven, here are the results of one of the newest academic studies.
WebMD reports on a study presented at a medical conference (Experimental Biology 2011, held in Washington, D.C.) about the health benefits of eating one apple a day.
Nothing new, you would say, considering the old proverb “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”, but this new study aims to prove considerable reduction of the heart disease risk factors.
B. H. Arjmandi, PhD, and M. A. Sitton Professor, two scientists at the Florida State University in Tallahassee, claim that eating apples daily can reduce the levels of bad cholesterol and lower two other markers that are associated with plaques and inflammation in arterial walls.
Additional review on the medical studies performed in the past several years summarizes the apples’ potential to promote the well-being. Amongst the other health issues, apples are beneficial in regulating the high levels of blood sugar, help protect against cancer, and control the appetite.
This study was done on a group of 160 women who were randomly assigned to eat daily servings of either dried apples or dried plums for up to 12 months.
Measuring the levels of cholesterol after the experiment, the scientists found that the women in the apple group had an average reduction of 14 percent. The “bad”, LDL cholesterol was reduced even further, showing a drop of 23 percent. This was quite a surprise, since nobody expected that apples would exert such an influence on the LDL levels, at the same time increasing the good cholesterol for only 4 percent.
Even though the experiment was based on consuming dried apples, Dr Arjmandi states that fresh apples – green, red, or any other variety – are probably even better.
Additional markers also confirmed this beneficial influence. Tho of them were both down by roughly 30 percent: the levels of lipid hydroperoxide, a chemical compound taking part in the formation of heart-clogging plaques, and the C-reactive protein – a marker of inflammation.
In the apple group, the women lost on weight – about 3 pounds on average for the 12 months the study was conducted.
The decline in LDL cholesterol can be explained via the pectin present in the apples. Pectin is a soluble fiber known to blocks cholesterol absorption encouraging the body to use it right away, rather than store it for latter use.
Apple peels are also abundant in polyphenols — antioxidants that fight the free radicals preventing cellular damage.
This study also speaks in favor of using whole apples, not just individual chemicals or components in form of various supplements.
What about the plumb group? Find out by reading the full story here.