An Apple a Day Lowers Level of Blood Chemical Linked to Hardening of the
Eating an apple a day might in fact help keep the cardiologist away, new
Ohio State University, 10/2/2012
In a study of healthy, middle-aged adults, consumption of one apple a day
for four weeks lowered by 40 percent blood levels of a substance linked to
hardening of the arteries.
Taking capsules containing polyphenols, a type of antioxidant found in
apples, had a similar, but not as large, effect.
The study, funded by an apple industry group, found that the apples lowered
blood levels of oxidized LDL -- low-density lipoprotein, the "bad"
cholesterol. When LDL cholesterol interacts with free radicals to become
oxidized, the cholesterol is more likely to promote inflammation and can cause
"When LDL becomes oxidized, it takes on a form that begins atherosclerosis,
or hardening of the arteries," said lead researcher Robert DiSilvestro,
professor of human nutrition at Ohio State University and a researcher at the
university's Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. "We got a
tremendous effect against LDL being oxidized with just one apple a day for
The difference was similar to that found between people with normal
coronary arteries versus those with coronary artery disease, he said.
The study is published online in the Journal of Functional Foods and
will appear in a future print edition.
DiSilvestro described daily apple consumption as significantly more
effective at lowering oxidized LDL than other antioxidants he has studied,
including the spice-based compound curcumin, green tea and tomato extract.
Not all antioxidants are created equal when it comes to this particular
effect, he said.
DiSilvestro first became interested in studying the health effects of
eating an apple a day after reading a Turkish study that found such a regimen
increased the amount of a specific antioxidant enzyme in the body.
In the end, his team didn't find the same effect on the enzyme, but was
surprised at the considerable influence the apples had on oxidized LDL.
For the study, the researchers recruited nonsmoking healthy adults between
the ages of 40 and 60 who had a history of eating apples less than twice a
month and who didn't take supplements containing polyphenols or other
In all, 16 participants ate a large Red or Golden Delicious apple purchased
at a Columbus-area grocery store daily for four weeks; 17 took capsules
containing 194 milligrams of polyphenols a day for four weeks; and 18 took a
placebo containing no polyphenols. The researchers found no effect on oxidized
LDLs in those taking the placebo.
"We think the polyphenols account for a lot of the effect from apples, but
we did try to isolate just the polyphenols, using about what you'd get from an
apple a day," DiSilvestro said. "We found the polyphenol extract did register
a measurable effect, but not as strong as the straight apple.
either be because there are other things in the apple that could contribute to
the effect, or, in some cases, these bioactive compounds seem to get absorbed
better when they're consumed in foods."
Still, DiSilvestro said polyphenol extracts could be useful in some
situations, "perhaps in higher doses than we used in the study, or for people
who just never eat apples."
The study also found eating apples had some effects on antioxidants in
saliva, which has implications for dental health, DiSilvestro said. He hopes
to follow up on that finding in a future study.
Reduces Oxidized LDL in Multiple Studies
Multiple clinical studies have demonstrated the positive effect of Juice Plus+
on various markers of oxidative stress, including oxidized LDL. They have
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To learn more, please watch
the video presentation below.