Tuesday, September 25, 2018
News Roundup

Two apples a day keep bad cholesterol away

It raises good cholesterol, lowers bad cholesterol and contributes to weight loss. • What is this miracle substance? • An apple. • "I consider apples a magic food," said Bahram H. Arjmandi, Ph.D., director for the Center for Advancing Exercise and Nutrition Research on Aging at Florida State University. "Apples are not my favorite food, but I buy a bag a week and try to eat two per day. I am convinced this is what I should do if I want to remain healthy."

According to Arjmandi, apple pectin — the white stuff under the skin — binds to cholesterol in the gut and ferries it out of the body. This is well-known, but what surprised Arjmandi is how much cholesterol a couple of apples per day can remove from the body.

In one recent study, he divided 160 women between the ages of 45 and 65 into two groups. One group ate 75 grams of dried apple per day — about 2 1/2 ounces — while the other ate the same amount of dried prunes. To his amazement, the women who ate apples experienced a 23 percent decrease in their LDL "bad" cholesterol, and increased their HDL "good" cholesterol by 3 to 4 percent — a boost difficult to achieve with drugs or exercise.

On top of that, the women who ate the apples, which contained about 240 calories, lost an average of about 3 pounds over the course of the year, probably because the apple helped satisfy their appetite with relatively few calories. The women who ate the dried prunes experienced no such effects on their cholesterol, although another study found that women who ate 10 prunes per day, while taking calcium and vitamin D supplements, had higher bone density in their forearms and spine than women who ate apples .

Cholesterol is manufactured in the liver. Statin drugs, such as Lipitor and Crestor, reduce cholesterol very effectively by blocking an enzyme needed to make it. The problem is that statins can be hard on the liver, which is why people who take them must have a blood test periodically to make sure their liver is not becoming irritated and inflamed.

"The liver is one of the largest organs in the body, and it can remain pretty functional if only 50 percent of it stays healthy," said Arjmandi. "You do not see an abnormality in the blood unless you do substantial damage to the liver. Drugs have their place, but if you have to check your liver enzymes, that means the drug is doing something not so good for you, and I don't understand why we would go for drug therapies when eating two apples a day reduces LDL cholesterol so effectively. Eat apples and you not only don't harm your liver, but you substantially benefit your health."

So why aren't apples prescribed for high cholesterol as avidly as statin drugs?

Statins account for about 6.5 percent of all drug sales in the U.S., according to Forbes magazine, and earn drug companies about $26 billion per year.

"You'd have to sell a lot of apples to make that kind of money," Arjmandi said. "If the drugs earn that kind of money, why would a business bother with apple pectin?"

Tom Valeo writes frequently about health matters. He can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
USF football attendance on the rise

USF football attendance on the rise

Even as college football attendance suffers a general decline, USF's turnout appears to be on the uptick.Average actual attendance for the Bulls' first three home games is 24,815, an increase of more than 18 percent from the first three home contests...
Updated: 23 minutes ago
FEMA rolling out new flood zone maps for Tampa Bay counties

FEMA rolling out new flood zone maps for Tampa Bay counties

Thousands of Tampa Bay-area property owners could soon find themselves with new flood zone designations on their homes and businesses.The Federal Emergency Management Agency has completed a years-long study to update flood zone maps in Hillsborough, ...
Updated: 25 minutes ago
Wesley Chapel High instructional assistant accused of abusing special needs student on bus

Wesley Chapel High instructional assistant accused of abusing special needs student on bus

A Wesley Chapel High School special education instructional assistant was arrested Monday on two counts of child abuse after a school bus video showed him pushing a restrained special needs student down by the back of the head multiple times, accordi...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Madeira Beach's dirty laundry gets aired during ethics hearing

Madeira Beach's dirty laundry gets aired during ethics hearing

By Sheila Mullane EstradaTimes CorrespondentCLEARWATER — For seven hours, attorneys questioned and sometimes shouted at witnesses testifying either for or against Madeira Beach Commissioner Nancy Oakley in an ethics hearing that will determine...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rep. Charlie Crist urges federal consumer watchdog to investigate Marlin Financial

Rep. Charlie Crist urges federal consumer watchdog to investigate Marlin Financial

U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist is calling for the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to investigate Marlin Financial, saying he was "disturbed" by a recent Tampa Bay Times’ investigation into the online auto finance company. In a letter Tuesday af...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bucs’ Gerald McCoy heard apologizing to Ben Roethlisberger mid-hit

Bucs’ Gerald McCoy heard apologizing to Ben Roethlisberger mid-hit

For all of his accomplishments on the field, Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy has been dogged by criticism throughout his career that he's too nice.One moment during Monday's 30-27 loss to the Steelers isn't going to help him in that rega...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Markeis McGlockton’s autopsy shows he turned away from shooter

Markeis McGlockton’s autopsy shows he turned away from shooter

The autopsy for Markeis McGlockton, who was killed in a shooting that set off a debate about Florida’s stand your ground law, shows the bullet entered his body at an angle and tore through his heart and both lungs.The Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner’...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Updated: 2 hours ago
Buccaneers AfterMath: Tampa Bay’s defense is raising red flags

Buccaneers AfterMath: Tampa Bay’s defense is raising red flags

You might have walked away from the game Monday night feeling pretty good about your Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Sure, the first half was about as ugly as it gets. After the Steelers returned Ryan Fitzpatrick’s third interception for a touchdown late...
Updated: 2 hours ago
For starters: Rays vs. Yankees, with Faria on the hill

For starters: Rays vs. Yankees, with Faria on the hill

UPDATE, 5:47: Expect LHP Jalen Beeks to pitch tonight after Faria.UPDATE, 5;45: Longtime Rays minor-league pitching guru Dick Bosman to retire, has been with organization since 2001. Pitched parts of 11 seasons in majors, threw no-hitter for Indians ...
Updated: 2 hours ago