When I was studying Traditional Chinese Medicine, I had a remarkable, inspiring teacher named Master Chiang. Typically, the Chinese do not eat a lot of raw fruit, but Master Chiang ate an apple a day and insisted that most of his patients do the same. When I returned to the U.S., I began studying apples. I found that apples are extraordinary! They have a very high procyanidin content and contain a unique polyphenol called phloridzin. Several studies have demonstrated the amazing effects apples can have on our health.
In one such study, researchers had a total of 71 moderately obese patients ingest either a capsule of apple polyphenols or a placebo every day for 12 weeks. By the end of the study, those who consumed the polyphenols had significantly lower levels of both total and LDL cholesterol. Plus, their visceral fat levels had decreased, indicating that the apple polyphenols were helping them regulate their fat metabolism.
Another study had similar good news to report. This study focused on cholesterol oxidation products (COPs), which interfere with metabolic process. The researchers found that feeding rats apple polyphenols decreased exogenous COP levels. This minimized the disruption of lipid metabolism and promoted the excretion of COPs, cholesterol, and acidic steroids. This suggests that apples could actually help move toxic material that we ingest (think fast food) out of our bodies.
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It seems that the humble apple actually improves fat digestion, metabolism, and even insulin sen-sitivity. An apple a day truly might keep the doctor away! In order to ensure that the results of these studies weren't biased, the researchers had to use polyphenol capsules. After all, it's hard to create a fake apple to use as a placebo or to regulate just how much a rat will eat. But you can get all the polyphenol benefits of apples plus the added benefit of fiber by eating the whole fruit. Give it a try and see how you feel.
If you're worried about your waistline or your cholesterol in particular, try an apple a day. You'll be pleasantly surprised by your results. If eating one apple a day isn't enough, then try taking AppleBoost capsules. These contain apple peel extract, much like the extract used in the studies. It's a powerful way to add concentrated apples to your diet.
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