The age-old adage finally gets a scientific node! An apple a day does keep the doctor away. British researchers found that an apple a day for all adults aged 50 and over would prevent or delay around 8500 deaths due to vascular events such as heart attacks and strokes every year in the U.K alone. This reduction is at par with the benefits that statins, cholesterol lowering drugs bring about.
All adults aged 50 and over may hence be prescribed an apple a day!
AdvertisementThe exciting revelation came about in the Christmas issue of the renowned British Medical Journal. The Victorian-era proverb thus continues to stand the test of time.
"An apple a day is known throughout the English-speaking world as a saying for health, and statins are now some of the most widely prescribed drugs in the world. So, when you now have a debate in the medical world about increasing the amount of statins prescribed for primary prevention, we wanted to look at what that would mean for population health and if there were other ways of doing it," said lead researcher Dr Adam Briggs.
The researchers of the University of Oxford used a mathematical model to compute what would happen if 70 percent of people in UK over the age of 50 ate an apple daily, and compared that with putting that same group of people on statin drugs. Out of 17.6 million people 9400 deaths would be avoided annually because of statins; apples would prevent 8500 deaths. The values are almost close!
"This study shows that small dietary changes as well as increased use of statins at a population level may significantly reduce vascular mortality in the UK," say the authors.
So the 150 year old health promotion message is finally able to match modern medicine and is also likely to have fewer side effects.
Now that things are clear, another issue needs attention-apples cost more than statins!