Apple a day really does keep the doc away

AN apple a day really might help to keep the doctor away, according to new research highlighting the fruit’s “incredible” health benefits.

Scientists were surprised by the response of a group of post-menopausal women who ate 75 grams of dried apples a day for a year.

Within six months their levels of harmful low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol had dropped by almost a quarter.

At the same time, concentrations of “good” high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, which combats heart disease, went up.

And instead of putting on weight by eating an extra 240 calories a day, the women lost an average of 3.3 pounds.

The same changes were not seen in another group eating dried prunes.

Study leader Professor Bahram Arjmandi, a nutritionist at Florida State University in Tallahassee, US, said: “Incredible changes in the apple-eating women happened by six months — they experienced a 23% decrease in LDL cholesterol.

“I never expected apple consumption to reduce bad cholesterol to this extent while increasing HDL cholesterol, or good cholesterol, by about 4%.”

He added: “Everyone can benefit from consuming apples.”

The findings were presented at Experimental Biology 2011, a meeting of scientists from different disciplines in Washington DC.

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