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An Apple A Day Really Keeps The Doctor Away
Why should we eat at least an apple a day? Not only because it is so refreshing and delicious, but also because it is laden with vitamins and nutrients that preserve our health and help our body
fight and prevent multiple disorders and diseases.
There are people that give away the skin of the apple, eating only the flesh, but this is a wrong thing to do, as specialists claim that the yellow, green or red skin is definitely the most nutritious.
4 milligrams of quercetin are usually found in an apple's skin and this is the major curative substance in these fruits. Quercetin is a very strong antioxidant of the flavonoids group that, besides apples, is also present in onions, wine, teas, raspberries, red grapes, oranges, lemons, cherries, green vegetables, blue-green algae and many other foods. It does not only protect against free radicals that oxidize the cells, but also block carcinogen agents in the environment, slows the development and spreading of cancer cells in our body etc.
By inhibiting the producing and releasing of histamine and other allergic or inflammatory agents, quercetin is one of the main anti-inflammatory substances in the body, preventing and curing even very severe allergies or inflammations.
Along with polyphenol antioxidants ( lutein, lycopene, carotene, anthocyanin), flavonoids are also known as phytonutrients, as they enhance the good functioning of the immune system, fighting directly against and removing bacteria and viruses from the environment and the body.
The apples also contain two types of fibers, the insoluble fiber and the soluble one, both very beneficial for our health.
The insoluble fiber is known as roughage or dietary fiber, as it cannot be digested by the enzymes in our bodies and helps us lose weight by giving the sensation of having a full stomach, of having eaten enough. Also found in the skin of the apple, the insoluble fiber is a great remedy against constipation because it helps digestion and prevents other related disorders like irritable bowel syndrome, diverticulosis disease that may lead to colon cancer, appendicitis, hemorrhoids, hiatus hernia, gallstones etc.
The soluble fibers in the apples have opposite effects as compared to the insoluble ones, as they are very helpful in treating diarrhea. These fibers are gel-like natural substances that help reduce cholesterol and therefore prevent the risk of heart and vascular diseases.
One of the most known and beneficial soluble fibers in apples is pectin. Besides lowering cholesterol levels in the blood, pectin is a natural anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial agent.
Eating apples is also beneficial for eyes and visual ability, preventing and curing cataracts, for lung function and respiratory disorders like asthma or bronchitis, for prostates and almost any type pf cancer.
Reported Health Benefits of Apple :
Apple is a rich source of flavonoid and polyphenols both are powerful antioxidant.
Study shown that by eating 100g of apple can give an antioxidant effect that equal to taking about 1,500mg of vitamin C.
Apple contain a large amount of minerals and vitamins that can strengthen the blood.
Apple contain malic acid and tartaric acid, that can help prevent disturbances of the liver and digestion.
Apple cider vinegar when used as beverage can help to prevent the formation of kidney stone.
The skin of Apple contain pectin that can help remove toxic substances from the system by supplying galacturonic acid. Pectin helps prevent protein matter in the intestine from spoiling.
Eating an apple daily can lower cholesterol and reduce skin diseases.
Apples have been recommended for : Obesity, Headache, Arthritis, Bronchial asthma, Inflammation of the bladder, Gonorrhea, Anemia, Tuberculosis, Neuritis, Insomnia, Catarrh, Gallbladder stones, Worms, Halithosis, Pyorrhea
Nutritive Values : Per 100 grams
Vitamin A : 900 I.U.
Vitamin B : Thiamine .07 mg.;
Vitamin C : 5 mg.
Vitamin G : Amount uncertain
Calcium : 6 mg.
Iron : 3 mg.
Phosphorus : 10 mg.
Potassium : 130 mg.
Carbohydrates : 14.9 gm.
Calories : 58
Apples could protect against Alzheimer's, Parkinsonism, Cornell studies find
A group of chemicals in apples could protect the brain from the type of damage that triggers such neurodegenerative diseases as Alzheimer's and Parkinsonism, according to two new studies from Cornell University food scientists. The studies show that the chemical quercetin, a so-called phytonutrient, appears to be largely responsible for protecting rat brain cells when assaulted by oxidative stress in laboratory tests.
Phytonutrients, such as phenolic acids and flavanoids, protect the apple against bacteria, viruses and fungi and provide the fruit's anti-oxidant and anti-cancer benefits.
Quercetin is a major flavanoid in apples. Antioxidants help prevent cancer by mopping up cell-damaging free radicals and inhibiting the production of reactive substances that could damage normal cells.
"The studies show that additional apple consumption not only may help reduce the risk of cancer, as previous studies have shown, but also that an apple a day may supply major bioactive compounds, which may play an important role in reducing the risk of neurodegenerative disorders," says Chang Y. "Cy" Lee, Cornell professor of food science at the university's New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, N.Y.
In a study that recently appeared online and is to be published in the November/December 2004 issue of theJournal of Food Science (69(9): S357-60), Lee and his co-authors compared how two groups of rat neuronal cells fared against hydrogen peroxide, a common oxidative stressor. Only one of the two groups was pretreated with different concentrations of apple phenolic extracts.
The researchers found that the higher the concentration of apple phenolic extract, the greater the protection was for the nerve cells against oxidative stress.
"What we found was that the apple phenolics, which are naturally occurring antioxidants found in fresh apples, can protect nerve cells from neurotoxicity induced by oxidative stress," Lee said.
When Lee and co-author Ho Jin Heo, a visiting fellow at Cornell, looked at quercetin they found that it appeared to be the main agent responsible for the beneficial effect. In fact, they found quercetin works even better in protecting nerve cells against hydrogen peroxide than vitamin C, a naturally occurring antioxidant known to help prevent cell and tissue damage from oxidation. Quercetin is primarily found in apples, berries and onions.
This study, which appeared online recently, will be published in the December issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry .
The two studies build on Lee's 2002 findings that quercetin has stronger anti-cancer activity than vitamin C, and his 2000 findings that phytochemicals in apples have stronger anti-oxidant protective effects than vitamin C against colon and liver cancer cells.
Other studies have found that phytochemicals are associated with a reduced risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes, and that they fight not only cancer but also bacterial and viral infections. In addition, they are anti-allergenic and anti-inflammatory.
Although Lee stresses that his studies were conducted in the laboratory, not in clinical trials with humans, he has no hesitation in recommending more apples in the diet as well as other fresh fruits and vegetables. "Indeed, I have a reason to say an apple a day keeps the doctor away," he says.
The researchers used red delicious apples grown in New York state to provide the extracts to study the effects of phytochemicals. Lee said that all apples are high in the critical phytonutrients and that the amount of phenolic compounds in the apple flesh and in the skin vary from year to year, season to season and from growing region to growing region.
The study on apple phenolics, which was co-authored by Heo and D.O. Kim, a postdoctoral researcher at Cornell, as well as S.J. Choi and D.H. Shin at Korea University, was supported in part by Heo's postdoctoral fellowship through the Korea Science and Engineering Foundation (KSEF) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The study on quercetin, authored by Lee and Heo, also was supported, in part, by the KSEF fellowship program and U.S. Apple Association.
Red Delicious, Northern Spy Apples Have Most Antioxidants
Source: American Chemical Society
Some apples might do a better job of keeping the doctor away than others, according to Canadian researchers who analyzed eight popular varieties of the fruit. Red Delicious, Northern Spy and Ida Red, they say, pack a greater wallop of disease-fighting antioxidants than other apples studied.
The researchers, led by Rong Tsao, Ph.D., of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Guelph, Ontario, also pinpointed the individual chemical compounds responsible for antioxidant activity in apples. The findings could lead to the breeding of hybrid apples that pack a heftier antioxidant punch.
The report appears in the June 29 issue of the American Chemical Society's peer-reviewed Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. ACS is the world's largest scientific society.
Researchers have long known that apples are a good source of antioxidants, a group of chemicals that scavenge and neutralize unstable molecules called free radicals. Free radicals, which can wreak havoc on cells and tissues, appear to play a role in the onset of heart disease and prostate, colon and other cancers.
Polyphenols - phytochemicals that act like astringents - are major sources of antioxidants in apples, but which polyphenols are most active in the fruit has perplexed scientists. Tsao and his colleagues used three different laboratory measures to evaluate polyphenol activity in apples that are popular in Canada: Red Delicious, McIntosh, Cortland, Northern Spy, Ida Red, Golden Delicious, Mutsu and Empire apples. However, the researchers did not include a number of other apples popular in the United States including Gala, Granny Smith, Jonathan, York, Stayman and Rome. All of the apples used in the study were grown on the same farm under similar conditions.
The researchers found:
• Polyphenols were five times more prevalent in the skin than the flesh of the apples.
• Two polyphenols, epicatechin and procyanidin B2, were the greatest contributors to total antioxidant activity of the apples. Procyanidins accounted for about 60 percent of the antioxidant activity in the peel and 56 percent in the flesh.
• Red Delicious apples had two times more antioxidant activity than Empire apples, which had the least activity of any of the apples studied.
"When taste and texture do not matter, choosing an apple with a high proportion of polyphenols in the flesh and skin can potentially produce more-health benefits," Tsao said. "But eating any apple is better than eating no apple at all."
Elsewhere, three recent studies by researchers at Cornell University in New York offer plenty of other reasons to eat more apples:
• Alzheimer's disease. In rats, quercetin -- another potent antioxidant abundant in apples -- appears to protect brain cells against oxidative stress, a tissue-damaging process associated with Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative disorders. This study was published in the December 1, 2004, issue of the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry.
• Heart disease. Antioxidants found in apple extracts could potentially lower "bad" cholesterol (low density lipoprotein, or LDL) by stimulating the production of LDL receptors in the liver, which help remove cholesterol from the blood. This mechanism is similar to that of statin drugs, researchers say. In March, these findings were presented at the ACS national meeting in San Diego.
• Breast cancer. Rats exposed to a known carcinogen and then fed the human equivalent of one, three or six apples a day respectively over 24 weeks were up to 44 percent less likely to develop breast tumors. That study was published in the April 6, 2005, issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization, chartered by the U.S. Congress, with a multidisciplinary membership of more than 158,000 chemists and chemical engineers. It publishes numerous scientific journals and databases, convenes major research conferences and provides educational, science policy and career programs in chemistry. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.
Study: Apple Procyanidins Linked to Reduced Colon Cancer Risk
French Study Is Latest to Link Apples to Digestive Health
Vienna, Va. - Taking a mouthwatering bite out of an apple might also take a bite out of colon cancer risk, according to new research just presented at a major international cancer research conference.
Eating apples may help reduce the risk of developing colon cancer by significantly reducing the growth of precancerous lesions in the colon, according to lead researcher Francis Raul, Ph.D., research director of the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research in Strasbourg. Dr. Raul presented his group's findings at the American Association for Cancer Research's third annual international research conference in Seattle last month. Dr. Raul and his colleagues have found that procyanidins, plant-generated compounds found in high concentrations in apples and apple foods, reduced the number of pre-cancerous lesions in rats by nearly 50 percent. Procyanidins extracted from apples were added to the animals' drinking water, in a relatively low concentration of 0.01 percent.
"Our work suggests that eating the whole apple might offer some anti-cancer benefits," said Dr. Raul. "That is certainly something we can comfortably say without more study."
Procyanidins are effective against colon cancer in part because they stop newly-forming cancer cells from multiplying and give them the chemical signal to "self-destruct" known as apoptosis, according to Dr. Raul. "Procyanidins do not have any impact on 'normal' colon cells, they only act specifically on cells that are multiplying very quickly," he said.
Procyanidins hail from a family of plant-generated compounds called proanthocyanidins. In August of this year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that apples are a top food source of proanthocyanidins, commonly known as "condensed tannins," which contribute to foods' astringent flavor.
The primary focus of Dr. Raul's work has been the impact of procyanidins on colon cancer prevention. With further testing, he hopes to find a way to use procyanidins to help cure existing cases of colon cancer.
"This is important research that adds more evidence to what people have known instinctively for a very long time - that in addition to their flavor and versatile food qualities, apples and apple foods may also be good for your health in many ways," said Dianne Hyson, Ph.D., M.S., R.D., head of nutrition research at the University of California-Davis' general clinical research center and an assistant professor at California State University, Sacramento who is considered a U.S. authority on apple health benefits research.
This laboratory research supports the finding of other international cancer experts that apples have a beneficial affect on cancers of the digestive tract. This summer, a scientific literature review published by the U.K.'s Institute for Food Research reported that eating more fiber - and phytonutrient-rich fruits and vegetables - including flavonoids found most abundantly in apples - may significantly reduce the risk of developing digestive or "gut" cancers, including colon cancer.
In 2000, researchers from Cornell University reported in the journal Nature that phytonutrients in apples inhibited the growth of colon cancer and liver cancer cells in vitro.
This and other USApple consumer and health news releases are available at http://www.usapple.org/media/newsreleases/index.shtml . A summary of recent apple health research is available at http://www.usapple.org/educators/research/index.shtml .
Hackers, Take Note: Study Finds Apples May Reduce Chronic Cough
Study Is Latest to Suggest Apples May Improve Lung Function, Promote Lung Health
Vienna, Va. Hackers (and we don't mean the computer kind), take note: A new study from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that eating foods rich in fiber and flavonoids - found most abundantly in apples â€” may reduce your chronic productive cough and other respiratory symptoms.
Researchers analyzing whether diet might impact chronic productive cough - commonly experienced in persons with chronic respiratory symptoms such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) - reported that high consumption of fiber and fruits, specifically apples, appears to be associated with a lower incidence of cough. Their findings suggest that promoting a high-fiber, high-flavonoid diet may help reduce chronic respiratory symptoms, both in smokers and non-smokers.
Reporting in the August issue of the peer-reviewed American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Dr. Lesley Butler of NIH and her colleagues noted they found an inverse association between fiber consumption and the incidence of productive cough - that is, the more fiber consumed, the lower the reported incidence of cough. Fiber consumption appears to reduce the incidence of cough even in non-smokers, as well as smokers. While fruits, vegetables and grains are the top dietary sources of fiber, an association was found only for non-citrus fruit - the higher the consumption of fruit, the lower the reported incidence of cough plus phlegm. (Source: Butler, L.M., Koh W-P. et al. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine August 2004; vol. 170, no. 3, pp 279-287. The paper can be accessed online at http://ajrccm.atsjournals.org/cgi/content/ )
Of all the foods examined, the most significant relationship was seen with apples. The association for apples was also seen independent of fiber, suggesting that other apple nutrients besides fiber may offer lung protection. Researchers suggested that antioxidant phytonutrients such as flavonoids may be at work.
Apples are one of the top dietary sources for fiber and flavonoids. One medium, tennis ball-sized apple contains five grams of fiber, and apples are the top fruit source of flavonoids.
"Cough and phlegm are frequently associated with [COPD], which may be caused by oxidative stress-mediated inflammation and tissue damage in the lung," wrote Butler and her colleagues. "Fruits and vegetables are the major food sources of antioxidants that may protect the lung from oxidative stress. We observed the strongest inverse dose-response associations for apples, pears and grapes." That means the more of these foods that were eaten, the greater the benefit was, with the benefit increasing in direct correlation with the amount of fruit consumed.
"Our findings suggest that flavonoids may play a crucial role," Butler and colleagues wrote. "Flavonoids may protect the lung on the basis of their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties."
The prospective cohort study involved 571 persons aged 45-74 reporting a productive cough, who were identified from the ongoing Singapore Chinese Health Study, a large 49,140-person epidemiological study that began in 1993. The study was supported by NIH and the National Institute of Environmental Health Services.
Diet May Impact Chronic Lung Disease
According to the American Lung Association (ALA), COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States, claiming the lives of 107,146 Americans annually. ALA reports that 80 to 90 percent of COPD cases are caused by smoking; other leading causes are second-hand smoke and exposure to air pollutants.
"Our data from the Singapore Chinese Health Study provide evidence that promoting a diet high in sources of fiber and flavonoids, such as fruit and soy, may be an important contribution to primary prevention strategies for chronic respiratory symptoms, both in smokers and nonsmokers," the authors wrote.
Latest Study to Link Apples, Lung Health
The NIH study is the latest of many to suggest we might breathe easier - literally - by eating apples.
Last fall, Australian researchers reported that eating apples and pears may protect against asthma, another growing lung health risk.
In December 2001, London-based researchers reported that people who ate at least two apples per week had a 22-32 percent lower risk of developing asthma than people who ate fewer apples, based on their population-based case-control study.
In May 2001, researchers at the U.K.'s University of Nottingham reported that apple eaters had better lung function and lower risk of respiratory disease, such as asthma, than non-apple eaters.
At the same time, researchers at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands reported that smokers eating moderate amounts of fruits and vegetables - and particularly apples - cut their risk of developing COPD nearly in half.
In January 2000, researchers at London's St. George's Hospital also documented a possible link between apples and lung function.
Researchers at the University of Hawaii and Finland's National Public Health Institute both linked apple consumption with a reduced risk of lung cancer in separate studies published in 2000 and in 1997, respectively.
Cornell Study Finds Apples May Reduce Breast Cancer Risk
ITHACA, N.Y. - An apple a day can help keep breast cancer away, according to a study in rats by food scientists at Cornell University.
"We found that tumor incidence was reduced by 17, 39 and 44 percent in rats fed the human equivalent of one, three or six apples a day, respectively, over 24 weeks," says Rui Hai Liu, Cornell associate professor of food science and lead author of the study.
The Cornell researchers treated a group of rats with a known mammary carcinogen and then fed them either whole apple extracts or control extracts. Liu, who says this is the first study of the effects of apples on cancer prevention in animals, also found that the number of tumors was reduced by 25, 25 and 61 percent in rats fed, respectively, the equivalent of one, three or six apples a day.
The report is published online at http://pubs3.acs.org/acs/journals/doilookup?in_doi=10.1021/jf058010c and will be published later this month in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
In an article in the journal Nature five years ago, Liu and his colleagues credited phytochemicals - antioxidants - in fresh apples with inhibiting human liver and colon cancer cell growth. Antioxidants help prevent cancer by mopping up cell-damaging free radicals and inhibiting the production of reactive substances that could damage normal cells.
"Studies increasingly provide evidence that it is the additive and synergistic effects of the phytochemicals present in fruits and vegetables that are responsible for their potent antioxidant and anticancer activities," Liu says.
"Our findings suggest that consumers may gain more significant health benefits by eating more fruits and vegetables and whole grain foods than in consuming expensive dietary supplements, which do not contain the same array of balanced, complex components," says Liu.
He notes that the thousands of phytochemicals in foods vary in molecular size, polarity and solubility, which could affect how they are absorbed and distributed in different cells, tissues and organs. "This balanced natural combination of phytochemicals present in fruits and vegetables cannot simply be mimicked by dietary supplements," he explains.
Furthermore, Liu notes that the health benefits of consuming fruits and vegetables extend beyond lowering the risk of developing cancers and cardiovascular diseases to include preventive effects for other chronic diseases, such as cataracts, age-related macular egeneration, central neurodegenerative disease and diabetes.
Says David R. Jacobs, professor in the Division of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota: "Dr. Liu is in the forefront of a group of investigators, including myself, who find extensive evidence that extremely important health aspects of food work through the combination of substances that make up that food, a concept we call food synergy. Risk of many chronic diseases in modern life appears to be reduced by whole foods, but not by isolated large doses of selected food compounds. Dr. Liu's current work on apples and breast tumors in rats is a perfect example of this principle."
The study, which was coauthored by Jiaren Liu, a postdoctoral associate at Cornell, and Bingqing Chen of Harbin Medical University, China, was funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Federal Formula Funds, the U.S. Apple Association and the Apple Products Research and Education Council.
Apple Nutrition Facts
• Apples don't have fat, cholesterol or sodium, which may help you maintain heart health and a healthy weight.
• Apples do have lots of fiber - both soluble and insoluble kinds. Fiber may help promote heart health and maintain regularity.
• Apples contain small amounts of potassium, which may promote heart health and help maintain healthy blood pressure