Researchers at the University of
Florida wanted to see if eating the equivalent of two apples each day could
significantly reduce the risk for heart disease.
'An apple a day keeps the
doctor away' is an old saying. And scientists did prove the adage true!
discovered that apples have the ability to reduce the levels of cholesterol
especially the 'bad' cholesterol, which can clog arteries and bring about life
threatening situations, especially in the high-risk groups.
Britain, heart-related conditions and stroke account as the single biggest
cause of death among 45% of post menopausal women. Until menopause sets in,
women are protected from heart diseases by naturally occurring hormones such as
estrogen. By the age of 50, the levels of these protective hormones wane, and
the incidence of heart disease sharply increases.
researchers recruited 160 menopausal women and directed one half to consume 75
grams of dried apple, which is almost equal to two medium-sized fresh apples.
The other half was prompted to
eat the same amount of prunes. This was done to see if eating prunes had the
same effect as eating apples.
Blood samples from these women
were tested every three months for a period of one year. It was seen that after three months the LDL cholesterol (bad
cholesterol) levels dropped by 16% and the total cholesterol levels dropped by
9% in the apple-eating group. After 6 months, the total cholesterol fell by
13% and the LDL dropped by 24%. No further decline was observed in the next six
In the group that consumed prunes,
however, the cholesterol levels were reduced but not to the same extent as in
the apple group.
Earlier studies have shown
that apple consumption had a remarkable impact on lung function too. The
researchers suggested that two apples a day could lower cholesterol levels
significantly. The present study has been reported in the Journal of the
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
High LDL (bad)
cholesterol and low HDL (good) cholesterol are not desirable and need to be
dealt with. Bringing about lifestyle changes, including diet and exercises
every day can bring about reduction in risk factors for cholesterol related