EB: An Apple a Day Improves Cardiovascular Health

Daily consumption of apples reduces cardiovascular disease risk in postmenopausal women

WEDNESDAY, April 13 (HealthDay News) -- Eating apples every day improves cardiovascular health in postmenopausal women, according to a study presented at the Experimental Biology annual meeting, held from April 9 to 13 in Washington, D.C.

Sheau C. Chai, from Florida State University in Tallahassee, and colleagues examined the cardioprotective effects of daily consumption of apples in postmenopausal women for one year. Researchers randomly assigned 160 women, ages 45 to 65, to one of the two dietary intervention groups: 75 g dried apple or a comparative control dried fruit. Habitual dietary intake remained unchanged. Fasting blood samples were taken at baseline and at three, six, and 12 months.

The investigators found that there was a significant reduction in serum levels of total cholesterol (14 percent) and low-density lipoproteins (23 percent) in the apple consumption cohort. This group also had greatly improved atherogenic risk ratios, reduced serum levels of lipid hydroperoxide (33 percent), and decreased C-reactive protein levels (32 percent). The additional intake of ~240 calories from the dried apple did not increase body weight but lowered it by 1.5 kg.

"Incorporation of apple into regular diet is encouraged because of its highly favorable effects in reducing the risk factors for cardiovascular disease," the authors conclude.

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