Can Eating This Fruit Lower Your Cholesterol
Can Anything Bet The Power of Statins
Eating Fresh or Dried Apples
Statins are drugs that have been found to be effective in bringing down elevated cholesterol levels, Lipitor and Zocor for example. But their benefits come at a price.
Side effects of these powerful drugs can include raised blood sugar levels, introduce memory loss, and inflict muscle damage… bad news for the bodybuilder.
In search of a safer, more natural resolution to at least supplementation, or replacing these statins, researchers looked at the possibility that two fruits may have had on reducing cholesterol levels.
The results of this research were quite promising and primarily for one of these fruits.
What Looks Good, Tastes Good, And Can Lower Your Cholesterol Too
In a study of two groups of people, which excluded people who had regularly consumed either apples or prunes, or anyone who was taking cholesterol-lowering drugs, researchers asked each group to either eat dried apples or dried plums, each day for a year.
They were also instructed to eat their normal food intake and keep to the same exercise routines. About 82% from each group complied with all their instructions, going on to complete the study. The following outcomes below are based only on those who meet the researcher’s terms and fully completed the study.
Blood samples were taken before the study started and Cholesterol levels were checked, then again at the three month stage, six month stage, and again at the end (12 month) of the study.
• After completing the first three months:
a) The study found that those who eat the dried apples decreased their total cholesterol by 9% and their LDL or ‘Bad’ cholesterol by 16%…
b) Those who consumed dried prunes only decreased their total cholesterol by 2.6% and their LDL by just 5%.
• At the six month stage:
a) Those who ate dried apples decreased their numbers even further. Their total cholesterol dropped by another 4% to 13% and their LDL by another 8% to 24%, compared to the levels at the beginning of the study.
b) But the prune group’s levels didn’t change between the three-month mark and the six-month mark.
• At the end of the study (12 months):
The dried-apple group’s results were the same as they were at the six-month mark. The prune group saw a little more improvement at this point… their total cholesterol was 3.5% lower and LDL was 8% lower, compared with levels at the beginning of the study.
Overall, it would seem that both dried apples and prunes, brought down their cholesterol levels, but dried apples had a stronger and an immediate effect on both the cholesterol and LDL levels.
Although head-to-head fruit versus statins studies haven’t been carried out to date, you need to bear in mind that neither fruit will lower cholesterol levels quite as much as statins would; statins tends to lower LDL by roughly 40% to 60%, depending on the dose.
But you should bear in mind that apples have been shown to reduce cholesterol and LDL levels, and is a natural food bodybuilders should be eating. Eating apples can help reduce the chances of needing to take statins at a later time in one’s life; they also provide the necessary nutrients too. … I think this news is quite encouraging.
The Pectin Connection
Bahram H. Arjmandi, PhD, RD, lead investigator of the study, was curious to find out why these fruits (especially the apples) showed positive benefits to the consumer. They both offered heart-healthy antioxidant and anti-inflammatory protection, and are rich and contain high amounts of pectin, a dietary fibre renowned for reducing cholesterol.
Just in case you were wondering, it doesn’t matter if you eat fresh or dried apples they both contain the same cholesterol-lowering benefits. The reason they used dried apples in the study was for consistency. It would seem that there are significant variations in the chemical composition of fresh fruits and it may have had a measured effect on the outcome of the results.
Also it would have been hard on the members of the two groups to consume the two medium-sized fresh apples per day, for a full 12 months. And there was one other advantage to using dried fruits, storage, transportation, keeping them close for snacking, and the ability to garnish and add them to cereal, yogurt, soup or pasta dishes.
Source: Bahram H. Arjmandi, PhD, RD, Margaret A. Sitton Professor, chair, department of nutrition, food, and exercise sciences, director, Center for Advancing Exercise and Nutrition Research on Aging, The Florida State University, Tallahassee. The results of his study were published in Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!