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UC Davis study finds heart benefits from apples & juice

pants drank 100 percent apple juice daily for six weeks while the other half ate apples including the peel. The varieties of apples the group consumed included Fuji, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith and Red Delicious. After six weeks, the subjects switched groups.

Each participant kept a detailed five-day food record every two weeks, and researchers monitored the subjects body weight throughout the 12-week study period. There were no significant differences in the intake of dietary fat, cholesterol, total carbohydrate, sugar or calories.

Researchers measured levels of LDL oxidation lag time before the study and at each six-week interval. Lag time measurements are commonly used to determine how long it takes for cholesterol to oxidize or break down when exposed to certain chemicals. A longer lag time indicates a greter delay in the start of oxidation, which is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease.

Study results were more dramatic in subjects drinking apple juice, showing a 20 percent increase in lag time after six weeks, but eating apples also showed potential health benefits, including reduced oxidation markers and a 22 percent increase in dietary fiber.

Jack Farrell, a UC registrar on the Davis campus, says he didnt give the study much thought while he was involved, but when the results came in six months later, he was struck by the marked decrease of LDL in his blood. Cholesterol levels that had been borderline were now within the healthy range. The father of two young children, Farrell decided apple juice wasnt just for their lunch box, but for his as well.

"If I can get this result from just drinking 12 ounces of apple juice a day, its definitely worth making part of my daily routine," he says.


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Contact: Carole Gan
cfgan@ucdavis.edu
916-734-9047
University of California, Davis - Health System
19-Feb-2001


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