Prof Julie Lovegrove - University of Reading

Eating two apples daily for eight weeks can lower 'bad' cholesterol

Eating two apples a day may reduce people's risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke, experts found. When 40 people with slightly high cholesterol ate two large apples a day for eight weeks, it lowered their levels of 'bad' cholesterol by almost four per cent.

Experts believe a type of fibre found in apples fuels important gut bacteria to produce short-chain fatty acids which may lower the liver's production of cholesterol.

That could help to reduce their risk of a stroke or heart attack, which can be caused by cholesterol hardening the arteries. Two large apples contain about a quarter of someone's recommended daily fibre, and a type of fibre that fuels bacteria in the gut which may reduce cholesterol.

Researchers also found people had healthier, more relaxed blood vessels after eating apples daily, which is similar to an effect seen in other foods containing natural compounds called polyphenols, such as red wine and tea.

Professor Julie Lovegrove, senior author of the study from the Hugh Sinclair Unit of Human Nutrition at the University of Reading, said: “It seems the old adage of an apple day was nearly right. People who ate daily two large apples high in polyphenols had lower LDL cholesterol, also known as 'bad' cholesterol, and no reduction in good cholesterol compared to people having an apple-based drink.”

'We believe the fibre and polyphenols in apples are important, and apples are a popular fruit among all ages, which are easy to eat and make great snack foods.”

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