Eating an apple a day might in fact help keep the cardiologist away, new research from Ohio State University suggests.
In a study of healthy adults, consumption of one apple a day for four weeks lowered by 40 percent blood levels of a substance linked to hardening of the arteries.
Apples lowered blood levels of oxidized LDL — low-density lipoprotein, the “bad” cholesterol. When LDL cholesterol interacts with free radicals to become oxidized, the cholesterol is more likely to promote inflammation and can cause tissue damage.
“When LDL becomes oxidized, it takes on a form that begins atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries,” said lead researcher Robert DiSilvestro, professor of nutrition at Ohio State University. “We got a tremendous effect against LDL being oxidized with just one apple a day for four weeks.”
DiSilvestro described daily apple consumption as significantly more effective at lowering oxidized LDL than other antioxidants he has studied, including the spice-based compound curcumin, green tea and tomato extract.
“Not all antioxidants are created equal when it comes to this particular effect,” he said. “We got a tremendous effect against LDL being oxidized with just one apple a day for four weeks.”
Journal of Functional Foods, Online 29 September 2012 “Intakes of apples or apple polyphenols decease plasma values for oxidized low-density lipoprotein/beta2-glycoprotein I complex”, Shi Zhao, Joshua Bomser, Elizabeth L. Joseph, Robert A. DiSilvestro, Human Nutrition, The Ohio State University, 345 Campbell Hall, 1787 Neil Ave, Columbus, OH