An Apple a Day Keeps the Cardiologist Away - Study Shows Consumption of Apples Lowers the Risk of Atherosclerosis

By Lisa Franchi on October 03, 2012

Consuming an apple a day could keep cardiovascular disease at bay, specifically by lowering the chemical levels in the blood linked to the hardening of arteries – a new research reveals.

In a study by the Ohio State University, it was found that apples have the ability to lower down the blood levels of oxidised low-density lipoprotein (LDL), also known as the bad cholesterol. According to Robert DiSilvestro, study lead author and professor of human nutrition at the University, when LDL becomes oxidised, it leads to atherosclerosis or the hardening of arteries. This in turn, stimulates inflammation and causes tissue damage.

According to the researchers, apples contain a special type of antioxidant that is more effective in lowering oxidised LDL than the antioxidants found in green tea, curcumin and tomato extract.

In their study, the team recruited healthy, non-smoking adults between the ages of 40 and 60 who had a history of eating apples less than twice a month and those who didn’t take supplements containing plant-based concentrates such as polyphenols.

16 of the participants consumed one large, red apple a day in the span of four weeks, while 17 took capsules that contained 194mg of polyphenols in the same period. The remaining 18 participants took a placebo supplement that did not have polyphenols. The researchers specifically included polyphenols in their study because it is the same antioxidant that is found in fresh apples.

The researchers found that those who consumed an apple a day reduced the blood levels of a chemical linked to hardening of the arteries by 40%.

Polyphenol extract did produce a measurable effect as well but not as high as that of the apples. According to DiSilvestro, that is probably because there are other compounds contained in apples that could contribute to its health benefits, or such compounds are better absorbed by the body when they are consumed in foods.

They also suggest that taking polyphenol extracts is good, but people who don’t eat apples could increase the usual dose to obtain the same effects produced by the said fruit.

The study, published in the Journal of Functional Foods, is just one of the many proofs that an apple a day could keep the doctor away, particularly the cardiologist.

 

Source of this article:

Study: An Apple a Day Lowers Level of Blood Chemical Linked to Hardening of the Arteries, University of Ohio

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