Consuming one apple a day can lower the blood level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, the so-called bad cholesterol linked to hardening of the arteries and heart disease, according to a new study.
In the study of healthy, middle-aged adults, 16 subjects ate one ordinary Red or Golden Delicious apple for a month, while 35 other participants either took a placebo or a pill containing apple polyphenol extract. None of the subjects regularly ate apples or took polyphenol supplements before the study commenced.
Prof. Robert DiSilvestro of Ohio State University, the lead researcher, summarized the outcome for Medical News Today:
“When LDL becomes oxidized, it takes on a form that begins atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. We got a tremendous effect against LDL being oxidized with just one apple a day for four weeks.”
Prof. DiSilvestro also maintained that the data suggested that apples were more effective in reducing LDL than other antioxidants such as tomato extract, green tea, or curcumin. He also noted that the polyphenol dosage in the study had a positive effect on LDL reduction but that actual apples were even better. Larger doses of polyphenols may be more useful, he added.
The study, published in the Journal of Functional Foods, concludes that “an easily accomplished dietary intervention had a major effect on an atherosclerosis risk factor.” Or as Medical News Today puts it, “an apple a day keeps the cardiologist away.”
Researchers plan to do similar follow-up studies to verify these findings as well as investigate whether apples could also lead to better dental health via an antioxidant effect in saliva.