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An Apple A Day Boosts Beneficial Bacteria 

Here's a possible explanation for the old saying "an apple a day keeps the doctor away." Danish researchers looked into the question of why apples are good for us by analyzing the microbial content of the digestive systems of rats. The study animals were put on a diet rich in apples, apple juice, and apple purée and their gastrointestinal flora was compared to the microbial content of animals on a regular rat diet. They reported that rats eating a diet high in pectin¸ a component of dietary fiber in apples, had increased amounts of beneficial bacteria - the kind known to improve intestinal health. The investigators concluded that as a result of eating apples regularly, the friendly bacteria "help produce short chain fatty acids that provide ideal pH conditions for ensuring a beneficial balance of microorganisms." They also found that the good bacteria produce butyrate, a chemical that is an important fuel for cells of the intestinal wall. More research is needed to see if pectin has the same effects in humans. The study was published Jan. 20, 2010 in BMC Microbiology.

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Reader Comments (3)

I agree that apples can have postive health benefits and have seen it in children. When parents ask about juices in the diet of young children I always tell them to dilute with water but that apple often is a good first choice. As children get older they like cider and can reap even greater benefits. Apples make a great healthy snack, washed cut and eaten-very simple, very filling. Children need healthy food choices, keep fresh fruit available when you can and they will eat it.

March 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSandra McTernan RN, MSN

Health always a great wealth for all. Why we will not achieve this? In this consideration everyone want to have good health. Let us build our healthier life with controlled food habit,discipline, keep pace with work, rest and or exercise. While Health is the root of happiness let us build a Happier life.

March 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHealthier Living

The fiber in apples has a lot to do with the correlation between eating apples and intestinal health. The Prebiotics found in apples help support the growth of good bacteria called probiotics which are essential for healthy digestion and immune system function. If you want to see the foods highest in prebiotics check out this chart on wikipedia:

Also, here is another article I wrote on fiber:

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