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Eating two apples a day lowers cholesterol
"An apple a day keeps the doctor away" is a well-known English proverb. In German this means something like: One apple a day keeps the doctor away. Researchers have now found that popular wisdom has understated something, because two apples a day are even better, according to a recent study, and even lower the risk of heart attack.
An English research team from the Hugh Sinclair Unit of Human Nutrition at the University of Reading showed that consuming two apples a day helps keep cholesterol levels down, reducing the risk of heart disease. The results were recently published in the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition".
Improvement after eight weeks of apple consumption
The researchers attribute the cholesterol-lowering effect to the fiber-rich fibers contained in the apple and to the polyphenols. After just eight weeks, the participants showed improvements in both total and LDL cholesterol levels. The markers associated with heart health also improved in the blood vessels.
An easy to implement change of diet
"This latest study shows that the effects of an easy-to-implement diet change can have a significant impact on the risk of heart disease," said Professor Julie Lovegrove, director of the Hugh Sinclair Unit of Human Nutrition.
The most effective apple in its purest form
It was also found that the health benefits were significantly higher when the apple was consumed whole. In a control group that drank juice with the same calories and sugar instead of whole apples, the effects were significantly less.
Which substance is responsible for the effect?
The team used “Renetta Canada” apples from Italy. These are particularly rich in a polyphenol compound called proanthocyanidins. "We do not yet know whether the fiber contained in the apple or the polyphenol, which is much more concentrated in the apples we use, are responsible for the results," adds head of research Dr. Thanasis Koutsos. In any case, the consumption of whole apples is advantageous.
Apple consumption reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke
Overall, the “bad cholesterol” among participants decreased by an average of almost four percent. According to the researchers, this could contribute to a reduced risk of heart attack and stroke, since high cholesterol levels are one of the strongest risk factors for these cardiovascular events. (vb)
In line with this topic: Cholesterol: Fatally underestimated risk groups of 30 to 40 year olds.
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
Graduate editor (FH) Volker Blasek
- University of Reading: Two Apples a Day keeps Cholesterol at Bay (accessed: December 16, 2019), reading.ac.uk
- Koutsos. A, et al. 2019, Two apples a day lower serum cholesterol and improve cardiometabolic biomarkers in mildly hypercholesterolemic adults: a randomized, controlled, crossover trial, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2019, academic.oup.com