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....
"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 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% decrease in LDL 'bad' cholesterol, and increased their HDL 'good' cholesterol by 3 to 4% -- a boost difficult to achieve with drugs or exercise....
"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% of it stays healthy. You do not see an abnormality in the blood unless you do substantial damage to the liver.
" 'Drugs have their place,' said Arjmandi, '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.' "
Read the entire article, by Tom Valeo of the Tampa Bay Times.
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