apples improve lung function
British researchers last month announced persons eating more
than five apples a week had better lung function and lower risk of respiratory
disease than non-apple eaters. Apple eaters also reported less wheezing,
said the researchers from the University of Nottingham. Their report
was based on a study of the potential relationship between foods and
respiratory health in 2,633 adults between 1991 and 2000.
"We suspect that what we are seeing is an antioxidant
effect," University of Nottingham lead researcher Dr. Emma Broadfield
told Reuters Health, noting apples' high antioxidant content. Dr. Broadfield
presented the study's findings May 20 at the American Thoracic Society's
annual meeting in San Francisco.
The results were publicized in nationwide news
reports. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates
the prevalence of asthma has grown 75 percent between 1980 and 1994.
The American Cancer Society reports that lung cancer is the leading
cause of cancer deaths in the United States.
"This research adds to the growing body of science
demonstrating that eating apples may improve health, including lung
function," said Dr. Dianne Hyson, a registered dietitian and nutrition
researcher with the University of California-Davis Medical Center. Hyson
and her colleagues reported in the February Journal of Medicinal Food
that daily consumption of antioxidants in apples and apple juice may
help reduce damage caused by oxidation of the "bad" type of cholesterol.