New Insights on the Apple and Health

Susanne Bügel, Gitte Ravn-Haren, Morten Poulsen, Tine Rask Licht, Andrea Wilcks, Jaroslaw Markowsky, Max Hansen, Britta N Krath, Tine Buch-Andersen, Eva N Jensen, Runa I Jensen, Witold Plocharsky, Lars O Dragsted

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearchpeer-review


Regular consumption of fruits and vegetables is associated with reduced risks of certain cancers, cardiovascular diseases, stroke, Alzheimer disease etc. In this project, we focused on apples as a model fruit for some of this research due to its high contents of soluble and insoluble fibers, flavonoids and phenolic acids and because of the high intakes of apples in northern parts of Europe. A series of 4-16 w rat feeding studies with fresh whole apples, dried apple, apple puree, clear and cloudy apple juices, apple pomace, and apple pectins have been conducted. A human cross-over dietary intervention study in 24 healthy volunteers with apple and apple products has also been performed. They supplemented a polyphenol and pectin restricted diet with whole apples, apple pomace, cloudy or clear apple juices or nothing for 4 weeks. Feeding rats with 10g apple/d reduced plasma total, HDL cholesterol, and VLDL cholesterol at 4w and 16w without significantly affecting cholesterol ratios, plasma triacylglycerols, or gastrointestinal transit times. Screening the genes coding for 16s RNA in the intestinal flora and applying multivariate statistics revealed significant changes in the flora related to feeding with apple or apple pectin. This was also reflected in changed gut flora enzymatic activities, whereas caecum short chain fatty acid concentrations were unaffected by feeding with all apple products, except high doses of apple pectins. In the human study the whole apple had the strongest hypocholesterolemic effect, followed by apple pomace and cloudy apple juice. The clear apple juice, which is free of cell wall components showed adverse effect on serum cholesterol concentration and the effect differed markedly compared to the other apple products. There was no effect on HDL-cholesterol, triacylglycerol, bile acid excretion, weight, waist-to-hip circumference or blood pressure. We conclude that the cholesterol-lowering effect of apples is most likely due to the content of soluble fibre in combination with other cell wall components.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2010
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventINTERPOMA - Bolzano
Duration: 1 Jan 2010 → …


Period01/01/2010 → …


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