A new study on apples reveal that consumption of one apple daily lowered levels of oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL) cholesterol in blood by 40% after only 4 weeks.
Consumption of dietary supplements containing apple polyphenols had a similar effect, but its effect was not as great.
“Since both the apples and polyphenols extract gave an effect, the apple effect seemed to be due, at least in part, to the polyphenols present,” said the researchers. “However, the apple effect was greater than the capsule effect.”
According to the lead researchers, daily consumption of an apple seems to be significantly more effective at lowering oxLDL than other antioxidants he has studied--including curcumin, green tea and tomato extract.
Although the polyphenol extract did register a measurable effect, it was not as strong as the straight apple. Recognizing this, the researchers note a few possible explanations could explain why the supplements did not perform as well. First, the increase effect from apples was derived from factors besides polyphenols. Second, whole apples allow better absorption of the polyphenols than the extracts. Or third, the difference resulted from the variance in polyphenol composition between the extract (which came from a number of apple varieties) and the whole apples (where just two varieties were consumed).
However the lead researcher said the polyphenol extracts may still be useful in some situations, particular for those who don't like to eat apples. He also sugested that perhaps a higher dose of polyphenols than that which was studied may be needed to get the same effect as whole fresh apples.
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Source: Intakes of apples or apple polyphenols decease plasma values for oxidized low-density lipoprotein/beta2-glycoprotein I complex