An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor (and Statins) Away

Apples Match Statins for Cardiovascular Health

by BC Farms & Food  -  Permalink
December 29, 2013

red apple

New research shows that an apple a day is about as effective as statins for preventing cadiovascular deaths.

Just in time for 2014’s batch of new year’s resolutions comes an intriguing report from the British Medical Journal (BMJ) that an apple or more a day—especially for those over age 50— may be as effective at preventing cardiovascular deaths as taking statins. Statins are a widely-used class of drugs that lower cholesterol levels.

Recently, a group of University of Oxford researchers responded to calls for greater use of drugs in primary cardiovascular protection by asking the question: How would the diet advice recommended in the Victorian proverb, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” compare with the proposed increased consumption of statins?

Using a widely published comparative risk assessment program which allowed them to adjust the many parameters such as current apple consumption, current statin use, age, nutrition, caloric intake, usage compliance, and other factors the researchers discovered the following:

1. If everyone in the United Kingdom over 50 took statins as a primary cardiovascular prevention it would reduce vascular deaths by 9,400 per year.

2. If everyone in the United Kingdom over 50 ate an apple a day as a primary cardiovascular prevention it would reduce vascular deaths by 8,500 per year. However, it would also avoid statin side effects of 1,200 cases of myopathy (muscle disease) and 12,300 cases diabetes per year.

The researchers were careful to point out that this did not mean anyone who is currently taking statins should switch to apples. Only that across a large population apples were as effective as statins in preventing vascular deaths and with virtually no side effects.

If an apple a day is so useful, what could two do?

apple core

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