Apples, apple juice shown to prevent early atherosclerosis!
New animal research finds apple phytonutrients to be heart-healthy.
Vienna, VA - A new study shows that consumption of apples and apple juice may contribute to a healthy heart not unlike the often-touted purple grape and grape juice. The research was published in the April 2008 issue of Molecular Nutrition and Food Research. Researcher Kelly Decorde from the Universite Montpelier in France was part of the European research team that found apples have cardiovascular protective properties similar to grapes. Both appear to reduce atherosclerosis, a disease characterized by arterial plaque build-up and hardening of the arteries that can lead to stroke or heart attack.
The research stated, “These results show for the first time that long-term consumption of antioxidants supplied by apples and purple grapes, especially phenolic compounds, prevents the development of atherosclerosis in hamsters, and that the processing can have a major impact on the potential health effects of a product.”
In addition to the cardiovascular benefits, the results suggest that processing the fruit into juice may actually increase the bioavailability of the naturally-occurring compounds and antioxidants found in whole apples and grapes. The researchers observed significant decreases in plaque levels from both the whole fruits and their juices.
The researchers noted, “This study demonstrates that processing apples and purple grapes into juice modifies the protective effect of their phenolics against diet induced oxidative stress and early atherosclerosis in hypercholesterolemic hamsters.”
In their summary, the researchers suggested that their work would help provide encouragement that fruit and fruit juices may have significant clinical and public health relevance.
Source: Decorde, K., Teisserdre, C., Cristol, J., Rouanet, J. Phenolics from purple grape, apple, purple grape juice and apple juice prevent early atherosclerosis induced by an atherogenic diet in hamsters. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research. 2008, 52, 400-407.