advertisement
21 January 2010

How the Apple Keeps the Doctor Away

Good bacteria in the gut may get a boost from the fruit, study finds

0

This article has not necessarily been edited by Health24.

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Common wisdom holds apples to be a healthy snack, and a new study agrees, finding that a component of fruit called pectin boosts levels of friendly germs in the digestive system.

Microbiologists at the University of Denmark's National Food Institute tested the effect of apple consumption by feeding rats a diet of whole apples as well as apple-derived products such as apple juice and puree.

The researchers then checked the bacteria in the guts of the rats to see if consuming apples affected levels of "friendly" bacteria, which are bacteria that are beneficial for digestive health and may reduce the risk of some diseases.

The study findings were published online Jan. 20 in the journal BMC Microbiology.

"In our study we found that rats eating a diet high in pectin, a component of dietary fiber in apples, had increased amounts of certain bacteria that may improve intestinal health," study co-researcher Andrea Wilcks said in a news release from the journal's publisher.

"It seems that when apples are eaten regularly and over a prolonged period of time, these bacteria help produce short-chain fatty acids that provide ideal pH conditions for ensuring a beneficial balance of microorganisms. They also produce a chemical called butyrate, which is an important fuel for the cells of the intestinal wall," Wilcks added.

The study authors noted that more research is needed to determine whether the findings in rats apply to humans.

More information

The U.S. National Institutes of Health has details on friendly bacteria.

 
NEXT ON HEALTH24X
advertisement

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Myths busted! »

Breastfeeding may reduce pain from C-section Breastfeeding and work - how to make it work

9 breastfeeding myths busted

Breastfeeding will help me lose my baby weight, right? Wrong! We bust nine myths about breastfeeding.

Eat right. »

How watching porn can cause erectile dysfunction 7 scientific ways to cure erectile dysfunction

7 foods that could relieve erectile dysfunction

If you experience erectile dysfunction from time to time, you may be able to manage the problem without any medical help.