2 apples a day keep the doctor away
Regular consumption of plant-based foods, including fruits, has been consistently associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Apples represent 12.5% of all fruits consumed in the world, due to its taste and health benefits. Epidemiological studies suggest that frequent consumption of apples is associated with a lower degree of acute coronary syndrome, total mortality from BCV and mortality from other causes.
Apples are an excellent source of polyphenols (usually 110 mg/100 g) and fibre (usually 2-3 g/100 g), two bioactive components which can have beneficial effects on our health. There are studies showing that apples lower serum cholesterol, increase HDL cholesterol, inhibit LDL oxidation, prevent platelet aggregation and block inflammatory responses in atherosclerosis. In addition, pectin, the main soluble fibre found in apples, affects transit time, gastric emptying and nutrient uptake, affecting lipid and glucose metabolism. Pectin also appears to modulate the gut microbiota, a key factor in the chemical structure of bile acid.
An 8 week study examined the hypothesis that daily dietary supplementation for 40 healthy (but slightly hypercholesterolemic) subjects with 2 whole fresh apples (Renetta Canada), on a time-frame of eight weeks, would result in a reduction of total cholesterol and beneficial effects on vascular function and other markers of CVD, as compared to single drinks from apples with sugar.
The findings of the study show a clear cause and effect between including 2 Renetta Canada apples in normal diets and low BCV risk factors, by reducing CT, LDL cholesterol and increasing microvascular vasodilation in healthy subjects with slightly increased serum cholesterol.