Apples May Lower LDL Cholesterol in Post-menopausal Women
Apples could help us to improve cholesterol levels and lose weight. New research may put science behind the old saying, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away". New research shows that eating apples may lower levels of bad cholesterol and improve levels of good cholesterol in post-menopausal women without causing weight gain.
Long-term high intake of cholesterol is not conducive to good health. Excessive accumulation of cholesterol causes a large number of various diseases-it will increase serum cholesterol, increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease and induce fatty liver. It is reported that if you eat at least two apples a day, for a month, LDL cholesterol (harmful to heart) in most people will be reduced, while the cardiovascular benefit of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels will rise. Apples have a very good lipid-lowering effect because of its rich pectin, cellulose and vitamin C content.
Florida State University researchers randomly assigned 160 women ages 45 to 65 to one of two dietary intervention groups—one received dried apples daily (75g/day for one year) and the other group ate dried prunes daily for one year. Blood analysis was done at three, six and 12 months.
After six months, women who ate an apple every day experienced a 23% decrease in LDL cholesterol and had lower levels of lipid hydroperoxide and C-reactive protein. The women also lost an average of just over 3.3 pounds in weight, despite taking on an additional 240 calories a day from snacking on the fruit. The cholesterol benefits are said to have been triggered by apples' anti-oxidants, while the slimming effect has been attributed to a compound which can suppress appetites. The researchers noted part of the reason for the weight loss could be the fruit’s pectin, which is known to have a satiety effect. Pectin is often used to help jams set, and high levels are also found in apricots, carrots and citrus fruits. The researchers say the fiber in the fruit helps people feel full.
Getting the equivalent benefits from fresh apples would require eating four or five a day.
There is compelling evidence then that apples may indeed be a natural way to help lower cholesterol, however you should never make any changes to your cholesterol-lowering medications without consulting a doctor.