The popular saying, “An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away”, did not get it quite right, according to new research.
What you need to keep the doctor away is two apples a day, according to scientists.
“Just 2 apples per day could reduce risk of heart disease by cutting cholesterol levels”, according to the Daily Mail.
The chemicals present in apples have been reported to help in lowering the risk of heart disease by slowing down the build-up of cholesterol in the body, according to scientists.
Drinking a glass and a 1/2 apple juice everyday brings the biggest benefit, but, eating 2 apples can also lead to a healthier heart.
The study that was published in the American Journal of Medicinal Food, shows compounds in apples act like antioxidants in red wine and tea to help prevent cholesterol clogging up arteries.
Experts have known that consuming fruit and vegetable lowers the risk of heart disease. But, the study at the University of California Davis Medical Centre, is the first to prove the benefits of active compounds, known as phytonutrients – in apples.
The clinical study involved healthy adults drinking 12oz of 100% apple juice daily or consuming 2 apples. The time it took for cholesterol to oxidise or break down in the body, increased by up to 20% after just 6 weeks.
The study was carried out by The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and other institutions in the US. It was funded by the National Research Initiative of the US Department of Agriculture Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service. The plums were provided by the California Dried Plum Board.
The study was published in the peer-reviewed Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
The Mail highlights the benefits of eating 2 apples daily, but does not make it clear that this study was of dried apples, and not fresh apples (though the study does say that the 75g is about the equivalent of 2 medium-sized apples).
Th2 1 year trial in 160 post-menopausal women has reported that consuming dried apples everyday reduces LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol and total cholesterol at 3 months, and further reduces it at 6 months. This study is a commendable attempt to make use of a robust study, which was design to study the direct effects of fruit in individuals.
Most importantly, although high cholesterol is a known risk factor for cardiovascular disease, the study did not measured health outcomes, therefore, though media may have assumed that this difference in cholesterol will reduce the risk of heart disease, it is not known that this would definitely be the case.
Nevertheless, the study supports the general health message, which is a balanced diet high in vegetables and fruit, regular physical activity and a healthy lifestyle, are the best ways to stay healthy, and reduce the risk of heart disease in the process.
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