An apple a day keeps the doctor away… so goes the saying. However, today we know that to reduce chronic inflammation caused by overweight and thus saving the heart ... three apples a day are needed! This is what emerges from a very recent scientific research that appeared in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition thanks to the work of an American team (Liddle et al, AJCN, May 2021).
The dangers of inflammation
Inflammation is the body's response to a threat, such as a cancer cell, viruses, bacteria, fungi, but also poisons or trauma. So far everything is normal and is part of the body's natural defense processes. The problem is when the inflammation does not go away when the cause is no longer there, remaining chronic. Chronic inflammation can be induced, for example, by an unbalanced diet, by stress but also by overweight and obesity. In the long term, chronic inflammation can cause cardiovascular damage, diabetes, but also cellular degeneration.
Apples are fruits loved by everyone and easily available. Apples can be eaten anywhere given their practicality, one more reason that makes them so appreciated. This is why the researchers wanted to test the action of apples on the state of chronic inflammation. To do this, 46 people were recruited. Participants in the study were asked, for two weeks, not to consume foods rich in polyphenols and fibers so as not to influence the results of the experiment. Then, the volunteers were divided into two groups. The first group was asked to consume three Gala apples per day for six weeks. The second group, on the other hand, could not eat apples. All were asked, for the entire duration of the experiment, to limit the consumption of other sources of polyphenols and fibers. At the end of the experiment, the study participants underwent medical examinations and laboratory tests to assess the state of inflammation.
Apples counteract inflammation
What turned out was that those who consumed three apples a day had, compared to the other group, values lower than 17% of C reactive protein and 12% of interleukin 6, which are inflammation markers. Not only that, the antioxidants in the blood were also increased by about 10% following the consumption of apples.
So apples have been found to be important allies in the fight against chronic inflammation.