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An Apple a Day Helps Keeps Disorders Linked With Obesity at Bay

First Posted: Sep 30, 2014 04:11 AM EDT

Researchers say that an apple a day helps keeps disorders linked with obesity at bay.

In this latest finding, researchers at the Washington State University have discovered a new health benefit of apples. They found that a non digestible compound present in apples, mainly the Granny Smith apples, helps prevent disorders associated with obesity.

"We know that, in general, apples are a good source of these nondigestible compounds but there are differences in varieties," said food scientist Giuliana Noratto, the study's lead researcher. "Results from this study will help consumers to discriminate between apple varieties that can aid in the fight against obesity."

The crisp tart Granny smith apples that make a delicious snack or are tasteful additional to recipes, are known to be high in antioxidant activity and fiber.  The apples benefit the growth of friendly bacteria in the colon due to their high content of non-digestible compounds and polyphenols and  low content of available carbohydrates.

Even after being crushed by chewing, exposed to stomach acid and digestive enzyme, these compounds stay intact on reaching the colon. On reaching there, they are further fermented by bacteria present in the colon, which boosts the growth of the friendly bacteria in the gut.

This study reveals that the tangy Granny Smith apples are much better than Braeburn, Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious, McIntosh and Red Delicious due to the high amount of nondigestible compounds they contain.

"The nondigestible compounds in the Granny Smith apples actually changed the proportions of fecal bacteria from obese mice to be similar to that of lean mice," Noratto said.

This finding could lead to prevention of certain disorders linked with obesity such as low-grade, chronic inflammation that lead to diabetes. The balance of bacterial communities in the colon of obese people is distributed. This results in the microbial byproduct that triggers inflammation and influences metabolic disorders linked with obesity.

"What determines the balance of bacteria in our colon is the food we consume," she said. "Re-establishing a healthy balance of bacteria in the colon stabilizes metabolic processes that influence inflammation and the sensation of feeling satisfied, or satiety."

The finding was documented in Food Chemistry.

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