An Apple a Day Keeps the Cardiologist Away

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Related tags: Vitamin c, Atherosclerosis

New Study from the U.S. Apple Association and Processed Apples
Institute Report Shows Heart-Healthy Benefits of Apples, Apple
Juice.

Researchers...

New Study from the U.S. Apple Association and Processed Apples Institute Report Shows Heart-Healthy Benefits of Apples, Apple Juice. Researchers at the University of California, Davis (UC-Davis) Medical Center reported today that daily consumption of apples and apple juice may help reduce the damage caused by the "bad" type of cholesterol and protect against heart disease. Dianne Hyson, Ph.D., R.D., the study's lead researcher, emphasized this is the first study conducted in humans to demonstrate that apples and apple juice may help to slow the oxidation process involved in the build-up of plaque that leads to heart disease. "We showed just taking in moderate amounts of apples and apple juice, without making any other dietary changes, can reduce some markers for heartdisease risk," said Hyson. "This research adds a piece to the puzzle explaining the health benefits of apples, and gives consumers another reason to enjoy apples and apple juice for their better health."​ Published in the just-released winter edition of the Journal of Medicinal Food, the UC-Davis study showed that daily consumption of 12 ounces of applejuice reduced oxidation of the "bad" low-density lipoproteins (LDL) in healthy men and women. This same effect was shown with the consumption of about two fresh apples, but to a slightly lesser extent. Hyson explained that LDL particles made up of fat and protein carry cholesterol into the bloodstream. LDL particles that have been oxidized --that is, transformed by exposure to oxygen in the body -- are more likely to promote the build-up of plaque formations in arteries, causing atherosclerosis or the hardening and narrowing of arteries. Arteries in the heart are more susceptible to plaque formation and related damage, including heart attacks. The risk of atherosclerosis is reduced if oxidation of LDL particles can be delayed, giving the body more time to eliminate them before it can cause arterial damage. This UC-Davis clinical study sought to validate the same researchers' 1999 findings that apple nutrients inhibited LDL oxidation in a laboratory (in vitro) study. Cornell University researchers reported in June 2000 that apple antioxidants inhibit the growth of certain types of cancer cells, also in laboratory research. In their research, published in the journal Nature,Cornell researchers reported that apple components had more antioxidant capability than a 1,500-milligram megadose of vitamin C. Recent population studies associated apples with a reduced risk of lung cancer, improved lung function, reduced risk of certain types of stroke, and reduced risk of coronary mortality, which was often attributed to the phytonutrients found in apples. The UC-Davis researchers note their findings in this clinical study are similar to previously published studies on tea and red wine that reported a similar reduction of oxidation. While Hyson cautioned against drawing conclusions based on results of a single clinical study, she said the growing body of nutrition studies reporting a positive association between apples and health benefits is encouraging. This study may be douwnloaded from the association USApple.org​ SOURCE U.S. Apple Association

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