Apples give cardioprotective benefits for post-menopausal women

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 1st August 2012

Researchers at Florida State University have found that post-menopausal women can benefit from eating two apples a day. Regular apple consumption can lower cholesterol by around 25 per cent.

A team of researchers from the Department of Nutrition, Food and Exercise Sciences at Florida State University declared apples to be a ‘miracle fruit’ after the results were revealed.

Dr. Bahram H. Arjmandi of Florida State said the study was the first to evaluate the long-term cardioprotective effects of apple in postmenopausal women.

Animal studies have previously showed apple pectin and polyphenols in apple improve lipid metabolism and lower the production of pro-inflammatory molecules.

The study randomly assigned 160 women between 45-65 years of age to one of two dietary intervention groups: one received dried apples daily (75g/day for 1 year) and the other group ate dried prunes every day for a year. Blood samples were taken at 3, 6 and 12-months.

Dr Arjmandi said incredible changes in the apple eating women were evident after six months.

“They experienced a 23% decrease in LDL cholesterol, which is known as the “bad cholesterol,” he said.

“I never expected apple consumption to reduce bad cholesterol to this extent while increasing HDL cholesterol or good cholesterol by about 4%,” Dr Arjmandi added.

The apple group also reported an average weight loss of 3.3 pounds, possibly a result of the fruit’s pectin, which is known to have a satiety effect.

Australian Food News notes there have been other research studies done elsewhere which have shown health benefits from apples.

These have included studies of the beneficial health effects of polyphenols in apples and also benefits from salicylic acid in some apple varieties such as Granny Smith. (Aspirin, which is an acetylsalicylic acid compound, is also associated with blood-thinning and cardioprotective improvements.)