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An Apple a Day actually does keep the doctor away

Updated: May 19, 2022

It's true that there is a lot of truth behind those old sayings, and 'an apple a day keeps the doctor away' is a case in point.

hands full of apples

The American Medical Association actually published an article titled 'To examine the relationship between eating an apple a day and keeping the doctor away'. Admittedly it was in an internal journal, but the study took 8,000 people and asked them if they had eaten an apple in the last 24 hours. Sadly only 10% had, and a comparison of the number of visits to the doctor or hospital of the apple eaters and non-apple eaters didn't show a significant difference. However, the apple-eaters did use fewer prescription drugs, so the authors of the report suggested the saying should be revised to be 'an apple a day may keep the pharmacist away'.

The British Medical Journal also published some light-hearted apple research, comparing the data from existing studies and using these to assess the benefits of eating an apple a day with taking a statin, and they concluded that an apple a day is 'likely to have a similar effect' on stroke and heart attack mortality as giving everyone a statin. And of course, apples only have good side effects. 'Choosing apples rather than statins may avoid more than a thousand excess cases of muscle damage* and more than 12 000 excess diabetes diagnoses.

While these studies are relatively light-hearted, there is a clear evidence from published research that the more fruit you eat, the lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. So, it doesn't have to be apples, but they are delicious as well as healthy!

*And, if you do take a statin, you can reduce your risk of mucle damage by also taking CoQ10.

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