An apple a day can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s, say scientists
The key is in the phytonutrients in the fruit, which improve brain function.
The names of the following substances may sound complicated to you, but it does not hurt to take them into account, since they are good friends of your physical state: quercetin and dihydroxybenzoic acid.
The first is in the peel of the apple and the second in its pulp and, according to new research, they help the generation of neurons in the brain in a process known as neurogenesis.
To understand it better, it must first be remembered that neurons are highly excitable cells that transmit information to all parts of the body through electrical signals and stimulate memory and learning abilities.
The aforementioned components of the apple, or phytonutrients, demonstrated their remarkable beneficial effects on neurogenesis (the growth of new neurons), in a study carried out by the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE, by its initials in German), based in Bonn.
The tests were carried out in adult mice, whose stem cells multiplied significantly and generated more neurons when they were given high doses of these apple phytonutrients.
“The effects of quercetin and dihydroxybenzoic acid on neurogenesis were comparable to those seen after exercise, which are also known to stimulate neuron production,” said the experts, whose findings were published in Stem Cell Reports.
The good performance of this function, therefore, prevents the advance of diseases.
The researchers took into account that in many countries there is a high consumption of apple juice, so they analyzed whether it has the same benefit as fruit.
“The concentration of quercetin in apple juice is very low (less than two milligrams per liter) and we conclude that it is insufficient to intervene in neurogenesis,” explained the scientists.
His recommendation, ultimately, is that you have to consume a whole apple a day to access its preventive effects on Alzheimer’s disease, which is the cause of more than 60 percent of dementia cases, which affects about 50 million people around the planet, according to data from the World Health Organization.
The good news about this fruit that is associated with sin and discord, due to the Bible and mythology, comes amid an ever-growing interest among scientists to discover the benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
However, only a few have been thoroughly studied, according to data from Britain’s Produce for Better Health Foundation.
“Many phytonutrients have antioxidant properties that help prevent damage to cells throughout the human body,” reiterated Unlock Food, the foundation’s newsletter.
If a daily apple can protect the brain against Alzheimer’s, the scientific press also recalls that a study conducted in 2019 found that two have effects that protect the heart system and the brain.
The analysis was carried out by the nutrition unit at the University of Reading in England, which selected 40 people with high cholesterol and asked them to eat two large apples a day for eight weeks.
The result was that their levels of bad cholesterol were lowered by four percent, which, accumulated in the arteries, is one of the great triggers of embolism and heart attack.
Nutritionists, meanwhile, warn that the good thing about the apple is that it likes people of all ages and is easy to consume.
Fruit, likewise, can also be key to losing weight. This was determined by another investigation, carried out by Harvard Medical School, in the United States, and the University of East Anglia, in England.
The study wanted to determine the relationships between this health factor that worries so many and flavonoids, which is the type of phytonutrients in which quercetin and dihydroxybenzoic acid are located.
Taking into account age and its relationship with body weight, the scientists determined that increasing the consumption of apple, among other fruits, and tea is associated with weight maintenance and even favors a modest reduction in those extra kilos.
“Modest” may sound like a trifle, but doctors and nutritionists clarify that even small benefits help prevent disease and improve health.
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