A new study discovered that apples promoted good cholesterol levels in the participating women. Researchers from Florida State University were surprised at the results of their study that included 160 females aged 45-85 randomly selected to received either 75 grams of dried apples or dried prunes for a whole year. The apple consumption group significantly reduced the blood levels of total cholesterol and low density cholesterol (LDL- bad cholesterol) by 14% and 23%, respectively. Good cholesterol (HDL) increased in the study group by 4%. The atherogenic (plaque building) risk ratios of lipid and C-reactive protein levels were also improved in the apple group.
The women in the study group also lost an average of 3.3 pounds even though the apples added another 240 calories to the usual daily diet. Dr. Bahram Arjmandi who led the study, suggested that weight loss may be due to the pectin in apples which satisfies hunger. Early animal studies had already suggested that apple and its components, e.g. apple pectin and polyphenols, improve lipid metabolism and lower the production of proinflammatory molecules. The authors believed that this study was the first to look at the cardioprotective effects of daily consumption of apple for one year in postmenopausal women.
Of course, more studies will need to be done to reconfirm these results and look at the cellular interactions but we already know that apples are a good source of fiber, so why not have "an apple a day!"