PERUGIA, Italy, Monday October 3, 2016 – An apple a day might really keep the doctor away, with new research indicating that eating apples regularly could dramatically reduce the risk of up to five different types of cancer.
Scientists at the University of Perugia in Italy found that people who ate at least one apple a day were far less likely to get lung, bowel, mouth, digestive tract or breast cancers than those who rarely or never consumed the fruit.
The scientists reviewed over 40 previous studies and found that the most significant benefits were seen in cancer of the stomach and oesophagus, where some data suggested that apples almost halved the risk of tumours.
Lung tumour rates among those who ate apples regularly were found to be about 25 percent lower, while breast cancer cases were down by about 20 percent.
The experts undertook the review to try to establish whether apples, as one of the most widely consumed fruits in the world, played a significant role in tumour prevention.
The results, which were published in the journal Public Health Nutrition, were persuasive, showing that the highest consumers of the fruit had significantly lower cancer rates than the lowest.
Apples are rich in flavonoids, compounds that are thought to reduce the risk of heart disease as well as cancer, so an apple a day may help keep the cardiologist away as well.
According to the experts: “Because of the peculiar chemical composition and the potential molecular mechanisms involved, it is possible some types of fruits and vegetables may be much more strongly associated with cancer risk than others.
“Our interest was attracted by apples as they are the most consumed fruit in European countries and a rich source of phytochemicals.”
Phytochemicals are naturally occurring plant substances which are believed to have potent anti-cancer properties.
The researchers concluded that apples are one of the most powerful dietary weapons against life-threatening tumours.
They nevertheless noted that further studies were necessary to clarify the effects in other parts of the body.