Most people have heard the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” and research has shown that that really can happen. According to the research published in the British Medical Journal by researchers at Oxford University, 8,500 deaths from heart attacks and strokes could be prevented in those over 50 in the UK just by eating one apple per day.
The study also indicates that those who choose to eat an apple could gain the same benefits as those who opt for the drug, statin, which reduces the cholesterol in the body. It will be a welcoming report for those looking for natural ways to prevent death and cardiovascular diseases.
Researchers from Oxford University in England used a mathematical model to compare the two options. They used the Victorian saying involving eating one apple a day to keep the doctor at bay and the statin drug. Only those who were 50 years or older took part in the study. Those who were not currently taking the drug and were part of that side of the research were given it to take on a daily basis. The other half was instructed to eat an apple once a day.
A consistent calorie intake and 70 percent compliance rate were assumed. Previous studies for the two were also used to help compare results realistically.
The results from the study showed that 9,400 deaths could be prevented through the use of statin, while 8,500 could be prevented with just one apple. An apple a day really does keep the doctor away when looking at those results. In fact, the apple is favored over the statin.
The drug has a number of risks — one being the development of diabetes. By prescribing another 1.76 million people with the statin drug, researchers estimated that there would be 1,000 extra cases of myopathy, which is a disease affecting the muscles. Since apples are natural, there are very few risks associated to them. The downside to apples is that they cost more!
With the results of the study now published, the researchers hope that more people will choose to eat fruit and vegetables. While the exact same number is not seen with apples and statin, there is proof that fruit is good for the body and works as a natural prevention method.
This is not the first time that apples have proven to be useful for preventing illnesses and death. Due to the high levels of soluble fiber, they can slow down the development of cholesterol-rich plaque that builds in the arteries. They are also high in antioxidants, which are linked to preventing the growth of free radicals, which are linked to cancer.
The researchers are not saying that one apple per day should be opted for instead of medication. No researcher is saying that fruit and vegetables are good alternatives. They are proving that a little change to add more fruit and vegetables is beneficial in many ways, and should be used along with traditional medications.
The Victorians definitely got it right. An apple a day really does keep the doctor away.
By Alexandria Ingham