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Food Chem. 2012 Dec 15;135(4):2378-86. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2012.07.067. Epub 2012 Jul 20.

Evaluation of cardiovascular protective effect of different apple varieties - Correlation of response with composition.

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  • 1Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Avenida da República, Estação Agronómica Nacional, 2780-157 Oeiras, Portugal.


Epidemiological evidence supports the concept that diets rich in fruits and vegetables promote health and attenuate or delay the onset of cardiovascular disease (CVD). In particular, a reduced risk of CVD has been associated with apple consumption, probably due to the cholesterol-lowering effect of the main bioactive compounds, namely fibre and polyphenols. In this work, the effect of diet supplementation with 20% of three Portuguese apple cultivars (Bravo de Esmolfe, Malápio Serra and Golden), containing distinct phenolic and fibre concentrations, on serum lipid profile and oxLDL of male Wistar rats fed a cholesterol-enriched diet (2%) was evaluated. After 30 days, only Bravo de Esmolfe apple was able to decrease significantly serum levels of triglycerides, total and LDL cholesterol concentrations (reductions of 27.2%, 21.0% and 20.4%, respectively, in relation to the cholesterol-enriched diet group, P<0.05). The levels of oxLDL were also significantly improved with the consumption of this apple variety (reductions of 20.0% and 11.9%, in relation to the cholesterol-enriched diet group and control group, respectively, P>0.05) as well as with Malapio da Serra apple (reductions of 9.8% in relation to the cholesterol-enriched diet group, P<0.05). Correlation of the bioactive response with chemical composition showed that catechin, epicatechin, procyanidin B1 and β-carotene are the major phytocompounds responsible for the cholesterol lowering ability of apples. The antioxidant potential may have also contributed to this beneficial effect.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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