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.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved
More in this section