An apple a day keeps the doctor away. But, having two apples a day, keep bad cholesterol away- suggests a new study by the University of Reading. What’s more, it reduces the risk of heart attack or stroke.
Apples are among the most frequently consumed fruits and a rich source of polyphenols and fiber. These bioactive components are expected to be responsible for potential health effects.
Scientists recruited 40 middle-aged people. Participants first completed a health and lifestyle questionnaire. Later on, half of the participants consumed two apples, and half got the equivalent in the juice for 8 weeks each, separated by a 4-week washout period.
Fasted blood was collected before and after each treatment. Serum lipids, glucose, insulin, bile acids, and endothelial and inflammation biomarkers were measured, in addition to microvascular reactivity, using laser Doppler imaging with iontophoresis, and arterial stiffness, using pulse wave analysis.
Cholesterol readings were 5.89 when they ate the whole fruit and 6.11 in the weeks when they drank the juice.
Scientist Dr. Thanasis Koutsos said: “One of the clear findings from this study is that simple small changes in our diet such as the daily introduction of two apples may have an important impact on markers of heart health.”
“We don’t yet know whether the fiber that is found in the apple or the polyphenol, which is in significantly greater concentration in the apples we used, is responsible for the results. Either way, the clear winner here is the whole food.”
The study is published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.