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Would an Apple a Day Keep the Oncologist Away?

A systematic review and a met-analysis of 41 studies state that the consumption of apples is associated with a reduced risk of cancer in different anatomical sites. Comparing the highest with the lowest level of apple consumption, apples really made a big difference in the reduction of lung cancer risk. This association was statistically, highly significant in both case-control and cohort studies. Frequent apple consumption in many (but not all) studies seemed to be linked to less cancer of the digestive tract.1 Higher apple intake has been linked with lower risk for cancer mortality in elderly women.2

A combination of plant compounds, such as flavonoids and polyphenols, both in apples, particularly the skin — provide the fruit’s anti-oxidant and cancer-fighting activities.3 Fisetin is one such cancer- fighter and has been shown to inhibit or retard the growth of various cancer cells in culture and in rodent studies.4

Colon Protection

In one in vitro study, scientists studied the effect of apple extract on the proliferation of cancer cells. Colon cancer cells treated with 50 milligrams of apple extract (from the skin) were inhibited by 43 percent. The extract obtained from the apple flesh inhibited the colon cancer cells by 29 percent. 5  Polysaccharides in apples help to reduce inflammation in the colon caused by colitis-associated colon cancer. 6

Liver Protection

The researchers in the above study also tested the apple extract against human liver cancer cells. At 50 milligrams, the extract derived from the apple skin inhibited those cancer cells by 57 percent, and the apple extract derived from the fruit’s fleshy part inhibited cancer cells by only 40 percent. 7

And More!

Scientists analyzed data from multicenter, case-control studies conducted between 1991 and 2002 in Italy. They found that individuals who regularly consumed 1 apple a day reduced their risk for oral and throat cancers by 21%, lowered their risk for esophageal cancer by 25%, and decreased their risk of colorectal cancer by 42%.  The risk for breast cancer was reduced by 15%. 8

Will apple consumption or apple extract cure cancer in human beings? No, they are not a cure-all, but along with a plant-based diet, weight control, sufficient exercise and sleep, and refraining from harmful substances, their daily consumption could help reduce your risk for seeing an oncologist.

© 2018 – 2019, Wildwood Sanitarium. All rights reserved.

Disclaimer: The information in this article is educational and general in nature. Neither Wildwood Lifestyle Center, its entities, nor author intend this article as a substitute for medical diagnosis, counsel, or treatment by a qualified health professional.

Sources

  1. Fabiani R. Apple intake and cancer risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. Public Health Nutr.2016 Oct;19(14):2603-17.
  2. Hodgson JM. Apple intake is inversely associated with all-cause and disease-specific mortality in elderly women. Br J Nutr.2016 Mar 14;115(5):
  3. Cornell University. “Phytochemicals In Apples Are Found To Provide Anticancer And Anti-Oxidant Benefits, Cornell Researchers Show.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 June 2000. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/06/000625232319.htm
  4. Rengarajan T. The flavonoid fisetin as an anticancer agent targeting the growth signaling pathways. Eur J Pharmacol.2016 Oct 15; 789:8-16.
  5. Cornell University. “Phytochemicals In Apples Are Found To Provide Anticancer And Anti-Oxidant Benefits, Cornell Researchers Show.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 June 2000. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/06/000625232319.htm
  6. Zhang D. Apple polysaccharide reduces NF-Kb mediated colitis-associated colon carcinogenesis. Nutr Cancer. 2015;67(1):177-90.
  7. Cornell University. “Phytochemicals In Apples Are Found To Provide Anticancer And Anti-Oxidant Benefits, Cornell Researchers Show.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 June 2000. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/06/000625232319.htm
  8. Gallus S. Does an apple a day keep the oncologist away? Ann Oncol.2005 Nov;16(11):1841-4.

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