A Windfall of Science on Apples

We write about natural remedies we believe are good for human health. Why this focus? It’s not to encourage avoidance of pharmaceutical drugs when medical care is an imperative. To the contrary, Canadians and Americans have the luxury of the world’s best doctors, medicinal drugs, and healthcare facilities.

But health systems are overwhelmed. To ease the crush, people who are not yet ill should take up responsibility to stay healthy.

Good health is not achieved through inaction. Live a poor lifestyle and illness will come as sure as night follows day. But the talents of doctors and the cure of drugs are best reserved for the unlucky who lose the health lottery. For young people and the healthy aging population, a proactive, protective stance should be the default position. What better way to achieve this than by adopting natural approaches?

Let’s take a classic example: the hearty apple. It’s long been said, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. References can be found as far back as Plato! But what does the modern scientific community have to say about apples?

It might stun you to know that scientists have published over 65,700 articles on apples in the past 50 years, available on the peer-reviewed scientific database, Scopus. The National Institutes of Health in the U.S. houses a massive open-source repository of research in its National Library of Medicine. Since 1997, using the web address PubMed.gov, anyone can search the database.

The scientific consensus is clear. Apples contain a lot of good things.

First, they are packed with macronutrients including sugars, fibers, pectin, fat and proteins. They contain malic and citric acids, which are organic acids required for health digestion. The have C, E, and B-complex vitamins. And they have minerals such as potassium, calcium, nitrogen, and magnesium.

Scientists are now exploring fascinating new dimensions of nutrition and food. For example, let’s look at the phytochemical compounds in apples, called polyphenols, known predominantly for their antioxidant qualities.

So far, in 2022, it was easy to find nearly 100 studies published by scientists around the world investigating the properties of apple polyphenols. Twenty years ago, only 13 such studies were published. Collectively between 2002 and today, PubMed provides access to over one thousand studies on apple polyphenols. Don’t let anyone tell you that natural products are not being researched!

What are some of the findings?

Several studies have shown that apple polyphenols can reduce body weight and inflammation. But a new study on mice has demonstrated that apple polyphenols prevent loss of bone mass induced by obesity, which has potential implications for the prevention and treatment of obesity-related osteoporosis.

Other studies are exploring whether the addition of apple polyphenols to cured and smoked meats like bacon, can help reduce carcinogenic risks. The idea is to use natural antioxidants to reduce oxidation and nitrite additives in processed meats to improve safety.

Still other studies are looking at how apple polyphenols perform in the digestive systems of adults as compared to aging seniors. They have found that as people age, their digestive systems fail to absorb the benefits of some foods. This means we should pay close attention to supplements offering improved bioaccessibility of key nutrients.

If an apple a day is not your thing, you might be surprised to learn that supplements offer a convenient alternative packed with health benefits. The polyphenol content of young apples found in supplements can be ten times higher than in the fresh fruit found in grocery stores. Look for ApplePhenon as an ingredient.

Here’s to your health this apple season and all year long!

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