Researchers from Florida State University presented data at the Experimental Biology Meeting, 2011 that supports the old adage, "an apple a day keeps the doctor away."
160 post-menopausal women aged between 45 and 65 years old were randomly assigned to eat 75 grams of dried apples daily for one year or prunes. Blood samples were drawn to examine markers for disease after 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months.
Amazingly, researchers found that after 6 months of eating the dried apples, low density lipoprotein (LDL), the so-called "bad" cholesterol had dropped an average of 23% as compared to in the women who consumed prunes. In addition, there were decreased levels of both lipoprotein hydroperoxide and C-reactive protein, markers for increased inflammation. Also, high density lipoprotein (HDL), the "good cholesterol," increased 4% in the apple group. Researchers theorize that the polyphenols in apples may be responsible for the cholesterol-lowering effects.
The women who consumed the apples had one more suprising benefit. Despite consuming an extra 240 calories per day, they women lost an average of 3.3 pounds. It is thought that the pectin in apples may increase satiety and this may have been responsible for the decrease in weight.
One thing is certain, apples are not harmful. It seems that based on this study the fruit is more beneficial than even previously thought. You can read the press release from the Experimental Biology Meeting website at http://experimentalbiology.org/content/upload/file/EB_Media/2011/ASN%20A....