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Apples Reduce 'Bad Cholesterol' in Post-menopausal Women

Update Date: Jul 27, 2012 09:30 AM EDT

A latest research has found that eating apples regularly could help postmenopausal women lower the amount of blood cholesterol. They found that consuming the fruit for six months resulted in cholesterol levels going down by almost a quarter. 

Postmenopausal women are at the highest risk of heart attacks and strokes and consumption of apples was found to be most effective in the reduction of low-density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol) in them.

The so-called 'bad' cholesterol is known to jam up the arteries and cause life-threatening clot, leading to cardiac arrest or stroke.

The findings of the current study support previous studies which have shown apples to be good for heart. 

However, the latest study focuses on a group which is at the highest risk of heart attacks and strokes. 

Women have a natural immunity towards heart disease but seem to be suddenly at risk after undergoing menopause, around the age of 50 onwards. 

For the study, a team of researchers at Florida State University in the US examined if eating two apples a day showed any significant effect on heart disease risk.

They observed 160 postmenopausal women for the study, half of whom they assigned to eat 75 gms of dried apple every day (equivalent of two medium-sized fresh apples) and half were told to eat the same quantity of prunes. The blood of participants was tested once every three months for one year.

After three months, the findings displayed a nine percent cut down in total cholesterol levels and 16 percent cut down in LDL cholesterol in women consuming apples.

Subsequently, the levels went down further after six months with total cholesterol down 13 per cent and LDL levels dropping by 24 per cent. 

However, there was no more decline seen the cholesterol levels in the remaining six months of the experiment. 

Prunes were found to be slightly helpful in lowering the levels of cholesterol but not as much as the dried apples.

"Consumption of about two medium-sized apples can significantly lower cholesterol levels as early as three months," researchers wrote about their findings according to the Telegraph.

According to a Polish study of the year 2009, two apples a day also halve the risk of bowel cancer in adults.

The results were published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

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