Columbus, OH—The famous phrase about apples and the doctor may actually be true, at least when it comes to their concern over our cholesterol. A new study conducted at Ohio State University and published in the Journal of Functional Foods reveals that consuming one apple per day for four weeks was apparently enough to reduce levels of LDL cholesterol by 40%.

The researchers also studied the effects of consuming capsules containing apple polyphenols, and while these benefited cholesterol, the effects were not as great as in those who consumed whole apples. The study was funded by the U.S. Apple Association and Futureceuticals Inc., which supplied the polyphenol extract.

The study consisted of 16 healthy adults eating a large Red or Golden Delicious apple for four weeks. Seventeen other individuals took 194 milligrams of mixed apple polyphenols, and 18 more took a placebo. The researchers speculated that one possible reason for the disparity in benefits between whole apples and supplements could be the level of absorption taking place.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, November 2012