Anti-inflammatory apples

Ever since the apple induced the fall from divine grace of the human race this tasty fruit has been at the centre of our consciousness. If it wasn’t a means of apocryphal temptation then it was all that was needed to maintain health and “keep the doctor away”. In recent years many other fruits have heavily studied and have leapt ahead of the apple being dubbed “superfoods” and the like. Yet the power of the apple, while perhaps not as trendy as some berries, persists and now a new study has shown that apples have a unsuspected quality.

In the new study mice with colitis, inflammation of the bowel, were treated either with a placebo or a daily dose of polyphenols derived from apples. The results clearly showed that mice treated with apple were protected against colitis.

The researchers also found that mice given apple in their diet had less activated T cells in their colon. In mice lacking T cells there was no protective effect from apple which tells us that apple exerts its protective effect through suppressing these T cells, which are inflammatory parts of the immune system.

This is the first study to show that polyphenols, from any source, can relieve autoimmune disease such as colitis via T-cells. It suggests that apple, and apple derived polyphenols, might be a viable future treatment for people with bowel inflammation like ulcerative colitis or even Crohn’s Disease and colitis-associated colorectal cancer.

It seems then that the adage is at least partially true and that an apple a day will at least keep the colo-rectal surgeon away.

The WellBeing Team

The WellBeing Team

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