An apple a day lowers risk of early death by 35pc - study
Eating an apple a day reduces the risk of dying early by 35pc, an Australian study has found.
Researchers found women who ate more than 100g - or one small apple - a day were likely to have a longer life expectancy than those who ate less than 5g a day, or up to 15 apples a year.
The study, by the University of Western Australia, tracked 1,456 women aged 70 to 85 for 15 years. Dr Jonathan Hodgson, from the university's School of Medicine and Pharmacology, said apples may boost health because of their high levels of fibre and flavonoids.
"The women who ate more apples had a lower risk of dying," he said. "It is a fairly large reduction in risk. The message is not to eat apples in preference to other fruits. Apples are a healthy fruit that are contributing to better health and potentially longer life expectancy."
The researchers examined the impact of apples because they are a commonly consumed fruit.
Dr Hodgson said apples may help to prolong life because of their high levels of fibre, which has been linked to lower cholesterol and blood pressure and a reduced cancer risk.
Apples are also a good source of magnesium, potassium, vitamin C and flavonoids, which are concentrated in the skin. Flavonoids help to relax blood vessels and have been linked to lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
Dr Hodgson said it may be that the combination of these ingredients may help to reduce the risk of mortality in ways that scientists do not yet understand. "It is possible it is a combination of factors," he said. "Flavonoids and fibre may be combining to prevent disease."
Dr Hodgson said people who eat apples may be more likely to have healthy lifestyles and consume other fruits and vegetables, which may also have led to their longer life expectancy.
The researchers accounted for lifestyle choices in their analysis and found that apples still reduced the risk of mortality but by a rate less than 35pc. (© Daily Telegraph London)