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April 23, 2013 by MAE CHAN
Apples - A Super Home-Grown Fruit With Anti-Inflammatory Compounds

Compounds extracted from apple peel may influence expression of key anti-inflammatory properties within the body, suggests new data from Germany.

Canadian scientists have previously found that apples are more effective than other "superfoods" including green tea and blueberries as a source of antioxidants and chemical compounds called flavonoids that combat potentially life-threatening conditions.

Some research has suggested that ursolic acid from apple peels can help to fight growing waistlines by increasing calories burned. The natural substance found in apple peel can partially protect mice from obesity and some of its harmful effects.

One study in the journal Food Chemistry found apple peel to be up to six times more effective in inhibiting an enzyme called ACE, which is known to cause hypertension and high blood pressure.

Scientists have also found that apples significantly lowered blood fat levels in postmenopausal women, the group most at risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Reducing IBD

Chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a multi-factorial disease likley caused by toxicity due to dietary, medical or environmental patterns.

After the industrial era, the prevalence of IBD rapidly increased in Europe and North America, and is reportedly becoming more common in the rest of the world as countries adopt a Western lifestyle.

According to new data published in Food Chemistry, triterpene compounds found naturally in apple peel may influence expression of a gene called IP-10, described as "playing an important role in inflammation and IBD".

"The present study confirms that triterpenoids present in apple peel [...] may be implicated in the anti-inflammatory properties of apple constituents, suggesting that these substances might be helpful in the treatment of IBD as nutrient supplements," wrote researchers from the University of Kaiserslautern.

Apple – a super home-grown fruit

While consumer interest in many exotic 'superfruits' has been high for several years, extracts specialist John Hunter stated, "that many fruits that are not currently labeled as super fruits may well be seen as such in future".

Take apples, some of which contain polyphenols shown to prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, making them potentially exciting new players in the cardiovascular health arena.

Study details

The new study, led by Dolores Mueller, helps build the science of apple. The in vitro study examined the anti-inflammatory effects of various ursanic, oleanic and lupanic pentacyclic triterpenoids found in apple peel.

The compounds were tested using colon carcinoma cells. The cells were exposed to the individual triterpenoids and then stimulated with different pro-inflammatory cytokines.

Results showed that IP-10 expression was "inhibited in a dose-dependent manner by all the tested compounds", said the researchers.

"We showed that pure [triterpenoids from apple peel] exhibit anti-inflammatory effects by primarily acting on IP-10 gene expression, which plays an important role in inflammation and IBD's," concluded the researchers.

Use Organic Apples

In many commercial orchards, apples are sprayed 10 to 20 times per year. This is one fruit that is important to buy organic.

Organically produced apples have a 15 per cent higher antioxidant capacity than conventionally produced apples, said a study from Germany.

How To Grow Organic Apples Without Any Kind of Spray or Pesticide

Food Chemistry

Mae Chan holds degrees in both physiology and nutritional sciences. She is also blogger and and technology enthusiast with a passion for disseminating information about health.

Reference Sources 184
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