Eating a New York apple a day is really keeping the doctor away, especially the oncologist.
Studies on apples published in the past year by a Cornell researchers add to growing evidence that apples are truly effective in fighting breast cancer.
“Research continues to show the great impact apples can have on promoting good health and fighting diseases like cancer,” said Linda Quinn, M.S.R.D., a dietitian and spokeswoman for the New York Apple Association, which partially funded the studies.
“Since apples taste so good, this is an easy way to protect your family every day,” added Quinn.
In the most revealing study, scientists found that extracts from apples significantly inhibited the size of mammary tumors in lab rats – and the more extracts they were given, the greater the inhibition.
“We not only observed that the treated animals had fewer tumors, but the tumors were smaller, less malignant and grew more slowly compared with the tumors in the untreated rats,” according to Dr. Rui Hai Liu, a Cornell associate professor of food science who conducted the research. “New York State is extremely fortunate to be home to not only some of the best apples in the country, but also to Cornell, a world renowned university with expert researchers such as Dr. Liu,” said New York Apple Association President, Jim Allen.
His findings were published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
In another study, Liu found that apple extracts lowered the rate of tumors when the rats were given higher and higher extract doses.
Malignant tumors developed in only 57 percent, 50 percent and 23 percent of the rats fed low, middle and high doses of apple extracts (the equivalent of one, three and six apples a day in humans), respectively, during a 24-week study.
The studies highlight the important role of phytochemicals, known as phenolics or flavonoids, found in apples and other fruits and vegetables. Most phytochemicals are found in the peel of the apple, other research shows.
“These studies add to the growing evidence that increased consumption of fruits and vegetables, including apples, would provide consumers with more phenolics, which are proving to have important health benefits. I would encourage consumers to eat more and a wide variety of fruits and vegetables daily,” Liu said.
Other recent research by Cornell and other leading food science universities show that apples can help reduce cholesterol, improve breathing, strengthen bones, help in memory function and can even help dieters lose weight.
New York ranks second in apple production nationwide and harvested nearly three billion apples last fall.
NYAA is the nonprofit agricultural trade association representing the commercial apple growers in New York State. It supports profitable growing and marketing of New York apples through increasing demand for apples and apple products; representing the industry at state and federal levels and serving as the primary information source on New York apple related matters. It is headquartered in Fishers, N.Y.