The Science Behind an Apple a Day

Good Advice

According to Bahram H. Arjmandi, Ph.D., a registered dietician and chair of the Department of Nutrition, Food and Exercise Sciences at Florida State University, there is scientific truth in the adage, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” The nationally recognized nutrition researcher, a Margaret A. Sitton professor, maintains that apples are a “miracle fruit,” providing health benefits beyond fiber.

Earlier animal studies have shown that the pectin and polyphenols in apples improve lipid metabolism and lower the production of pro-inflammatory molecules. Arjmandi’s new study is the first to evaluate the long-term cardio-protective effects of eating apples daily. He randomly assigned 160 women, ages 45 to 65, to one of two dietary intervention groups: one received 75 grams of dried apples each day (the equivalent of four or five fresh apples); the other ate dried prunes.

Arjmandi reports surprising results: “Incredible changes in the apple-eating women happened by six months—they experienced a 23 percent decrease in LDL [bad] cholesterol.” Daily apple consumption also led to lower levels of C-reactive protein, which is known to trigger inflammation in the body. In another unexpected benefit, the apple-eaters lost an average of 3.3 pounds.

Source: Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

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