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Can an Apple a Day Really keep a Doctor Away? Featured

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Apples and PolyphenolsCurrent research suggests that there’s truth in the 19th century Wales proverb, "an apple a day keeps the doctor away".

Apples provide powerful antioxidants called polyphenols, and studies indicate that polyphenols when consumed through food can provide a myriad of health benefits.

Apples and Polyphenols

Compared to many other fruits and vegetables, apples are a rich source of poyphenol antioxidants and can provide significant health benefits to people who consume them. Polyphenols have a phenol backbone and are very effective at scavenging free radicals. Free radical damagehas been linked to a variety of diseases like cancer, as well as aging.

Health Benefits of Apples

Apple Polyphenols Reduce Blood Lipids

In a study, healthy subjects with slightly elevated cholesterol levels were administered food tablets containing apple polyphenols for four weeks. The tablets contained either 0, 300 mg, 600 mg or 1500 mg apple polyphenols. Total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol decreased significantly and HDL-cholesterol increased in the high-dose group. (Reference: J Oleo Sci. 2005;54(3):143-51)

Apple Polyphenols Reduce Visceral Fat

In one study, 45 overweight or obese adults were given 600 mg a day of apple polyphenols and their weight and body fat distribution were tracked for 12 weeks. The control patients gained weight, while supplemented patients lost nearly a pound. The visceral fat (deep fat around the organs) decreased in comparison with the control group.  A similarly-designed study using the same 600 mg/day dose followed patients for 16 weeks. It demonstrated a 9.4 square-inch loss of visceral fat in supplemented patients, an impressive 8.9% of their baseline area. Meanwhile, placebo patients gained 3 square-inches. (Reference: J Oleo Sci. 2010;59(6):321-38).

Apple Polyphenols Reduce Allergy Symptoms

According to a small study of people with moderate or severe persistent allergic rhinitis, plyphenols can reduce allergy symptoms. 33 participants with moderate or severe persistent allergic rhinitis were administered a drink either without apple polyphenols (placebo), low dose of apple polyphenols (50 mg/bottle), or with a high dose of apple polyphenols (200 mg/bottle). The researchers showed a significant improvement in sneezing attacks and nasal discharge in the high-dose group and a decrease in sneezing attacks in the low-dose group. The placebo group kept right on suffering. (Reference: J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol. 2006;16(5):283-9).

In another study on the effects of apple polyphenols on allergies, apple polyphenols were administered for 12 weeks to people with cedar allergies. Compared to the placebo, the sneezing score was significantly lower for the apple polyphenol group during the early period of pollen season. (Reference: Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2005 Apr;69(4):829-32).

Last modified on Friday, 15 November 2013 10:26
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