An apple a day keeps the doctor away. We've heard that so many times it sounds phony, doesn't it?And now a new study out of The Ohio State University suggests it might just keep the cardiologist away as well.
The study looked at 51 healthy non-smokers between the ages of 40 and 60 and separated them into 3 categories.
The first group of 16 each ate a large Red or Golden Delicious apple daily for 4 weeks.
The second group of 17 took 194 mg of polyphenol extract daily for 4 weeks. (Polyphenols is an antioxidant found in apples.)
The third group, consisting of 18 adults, took a placebo for control purposes.
As you would expect, there was no effect found on the amount of oxidized LDL in the group taking the placebo. Those taking the polyphenols supplement had a measurable, positive effect on reducing oxidized LDL.
Meanwhile, the apple a day group experienced a profound effect on the reduction of their harmful LDL.
"When LDL becomes oxidized, it takes on a form that begins atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. We got a tremendous effect against LDL being oxidized with just one apple a day for four weeks." – Lead researcher Robert DiSilvestro, Professor of Human Nutrition at Ohio State University
Despite the sample size in this study, the results of this study are significant and should make you sit up take notice.
Even the lead researcher, Robert DiSilvestro confessed he was caught off guard when he said, "we were surprised at just how much just one apple a day reduced the oxidized LDL reading."
In the past, many have doubted me when I've suggested that a few simple food changes can make a world of difference. And now here's a study showing profound results in only 4 weeks, with only one food. Maybe there's something to what I've been saying all along? Hmmm…
Here's what I love about this study…
First off, they didn't just look at LDL levels. That's important because what many people fail to understand is this … not all LDL is bad.
Yes, it's low-density lipoprotein (LDL) that's more likely to become oxidized and become a health threat to your arteries.
But the typical blood lipid profile doesn't account for the amount of oxidized LDL, so patients and doctors are left to estimate the risk of oxidation by looking at the HDL/LDL ratio. (The less HDL per LDL, the higher your risk for LDL oxidation.)
Did you notice the weird amount of polyphenols taken daily in the supplement group?
The 194 milligrams of polyphenols taken in the second group wasn't by accident. That amount represents the typical amount of that antioxidant found in one apple.
And while those results were beneficial and encouraging, it couldn't match the benefits of eating the whole apple.
Should we really be surprised that eating a whole food found in nature outperforms an isolated compound? (Drug companies, are you paying attention?)
This OSU study showing such promising results with an apple a day to lower cholesterol was published online in the Journal of Functional Foods and is scheduled to be released in an upcoming printed edition as well.
If you're looking for other foods that give you the most "bang for your bite" when it comes to healthy cholesterol levels, be sure to signup for our daily tips below. There's a lot of other foods out there, besides just apples, that will give you better results than you might think.