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J Nutr. 2002 Jul;132(7):1969-76.

Lyophilized apple counteracts the development of hypercholesterolemia, oxidative stress, and renal dysfunction in obese Zucker rats.

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Unité des Maladies Métaboliques et Micronutriments, INRA de Clermont-Ferrand/Theix and CRNH d'Auvergne, 63122 St-Genes-Champanelle, France.


Apples may have selective effects on abnormalities associated with the plurimetabolic syndrome. Therefore, the effects of 20% lyophilized apple supplementation on plasma and tissue lipids and on protection against susceptibility to oxidative stress and renal dysfunction were investigated in Zucker lean (Fa/-) or obese (fa/fa) rats. The experimental diets were equilibrated for sugar supply, contained 0.25 g/100 g cholesterol and provided only one third of the vitamin E requirement. Obese Zucker rats were hypercholesterolemic with cholesterol accumulation in LDL and HDL fractions. The apple diet lowered plasma and LDL cholesterol (-22 and -70%, respectively, P < 0.01) in obese Zucker rats and, in parallel, reduced triglyceride accumulation in heart and liver. Zucker rats fed the apple diet also had a larger intestinal pool and greater fecal excretion of bile acids. The heart concentration and urinary excretion of malondialdehyde were reduced by apple consumption in obese Zucker rats, suggesting better protection against peroxidation. Glucosuria and proteinuria in obese Zucker rats were also suppressed by the apple diet. In conclusion, despite their moderate fiber content, apples improve substantially the lipid status and peroxidative parameters in obese Zucker rats, suggesting that other plant constituents such as polyphenols are involved in these effects.

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