Saturday, September 17, 2011


The saying is true. "An apple a day, keeps the doctor away".
Dr Linda M Oude Griep and colleagues at the Wageningen Uni of the Netherlands did a study relating veges and fruits to the risk of strokes. This study is published in the latest online edition of strokes.
What they did was to enrol 20,069 subjects, both male and females, age 20-65 years, with no heart disease or strokes. Let them answer a 178 items fruits and veges questionaire ( the Dutch are very patient people ). Follow them up for 10 years, and not their incidence of chronic lifestyle diseases, especially strokes. In their questionaire, they divided veges and fruits into 4 colour category, namely green would comprise of broccoli, brussel sprouts, orange / yellow would comprise of cirus fruits like oranges, carrots, cantaloupe, red / purple would include grapes, cherries, red cabbage, tomatoes and white would include hard fruits like apple and pear, cauliflower and cucumber. Their theory was that different colour fruits and veges may contain different kinds of bio-active chemicals like carotenoids, anthocyanins, and flavonoids, and so confer different benefits on the human body. They are not the same.
Well, at the end of a 10 year follow-up, what they found ( after adjustments for all the confounding factors ), was that white fruits, the hard fruits confer a 9% reduction in risk of strokes for every 25gms consumes. If you consume 5 servings of white fruots and veges, it could mean a 45-50% reduction in the risk of strokes. If this is proven true by other collaborative studies, then taking 5 servings of fruits maybe better then aspirin, or plavix, or for that matter, BP reduction pills. ( I am talking only on stroke prevention, and only if this study is proven true by other studies ).
Very interesting.
We obviously need more studies, and more people to confirm this findings. This is the first study of this kind that I have come across. I do not see many such studies, because it would have to be public funded ( and the public has not much moeny now, with all the crisis ) and pharmas will not fund it as there is no money to make. I doubt that the fruit sellers and vege sellers will fund it.
As there is little downside, it would be good medical advice for all of us to try and take 5 servings of fruits a day, mainly white fruits if possible. The only good thing about white fruits is that it is hard, quite sweet and you can take it on the run.
So the saying is true. " an apple a day keeps the doctor away ".

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