An apple a day may very well keep the doctor away. As a matter of fact, it could keep the doctor away for a very long time. Mounting research points to apples as an amazing source of health benefits, including cancer prevention and heart health. In addition to specific disease-prevention, a new study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry suggests apples could even extend your life.
First, a disclaimer. This research was conducted on fruit flies. Humans are not fruit flies. However, apples are apples regardless of who is eating them, and the beneficial compounds within apples could very well affect different species in similar ways. This is exactly what researchers with the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s Food and Nutritional Sciences Program are hoping.
According to the lead researcher Zhen-Yu Chen, PhD., polyphenols found in apples actually extend the lifespan of fruit flies. The average lifespan of a fruit fly was extended by 10% in their study. In humans, this could equate to an additional 7 years or so.
As reported by NaturalNews:
“The scientists found that apple polyphenols not only greatly extended the average lifespan of fruit flies but also preserved the ability of the oldest insects to walk, climb and move about. Moreover, the apple polyphenols actually reversed the levels of a host of biochemical substances found in older fruit flies that are known to be markers for age-related deterioration and approaching death.”
This Chinese study isn’t the only one to link apple polyphenols and extended lifespan. As a matter of fact, three different labs had similar findings in other species.
One similar study looked at the effects of apples on a tiny worm known as C. elegans, which is commonly used in aging studies because it “succumbs to many of the same basic destructive processes as do humans.” In that research, apple polyphenols increased life span by 12%.
Polyphenols protect cells from free-radical damage. They are antioxidants. The highest concentration of apple antioxidants are found in the peels. In other words, eat the entire apple to get the most benefits.
Evidence of the anti-aging effects of antioxidants is nothing new. And because such valuable compounds are found in plants, the research indicates a diet rich in organic produce could help fight the signs of aging while extending your life.