April 13, 2011

Apples Help Women Drop Cholesterol Levels

A new study has found that women who go on an "apple diet" saw their cholesterol drop by about a quarter in six months.

Dr. Bahram Arjmandi of the department of nutrition, food and exercise sciences at Florida State University said the results were "incredible."

Eighty women aged 45 to 65 were asked to eat 75 grams of dried prunes a day for a year.  Another 80 women of the same age group were asked to eat the same amount of dried apple, in addition to their normal diets.

The women had blood samples taken at the start of the study and at three, six and 12 months.

Arjmandi said that "incredible changes in the apple-eating women happened by 6 months- they experienced a 23 percent decrease in LDL cholesterol, which is known as the 'bad cholesterol'."

They also had lower levels of bio-markers linked to heart disease, like C-reactive protein.

The study also found that the participants shed an average of 3.3 pounds.

"Reducing body weight is an added benefit to daily apple intake" he said.

Arjmandi said that there was some truth in the old adage "An apple a day keeps the doctor away."

The study found that apples have additional health benefits that made them a "miracle fruit."

"Everyone can benefit from consuming apples," Arjmandi said.

Other studies have shown that apple pectin and compounds known as polyphenois stimulate the breakdown of fats in the blood and reduce inflammation of vessel walls, which both reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

The study was funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Results of their study were presented at the 2011 Experimental Biology meeting in Washington, DC.


On the Net: