People who are overweight or obese tend to have higher levels of inflammation, which is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Researchers set out to find out whether eating apples can reduce inflammation. To do this, the researchers measured markers of inflammation in the blood, as well as markers of cardiovascular health.
The randomized controlled trial included 46 participants who were overweight or obese. As part of the study, these participants ate three Gala apples per day for a period of six weeks. To compare with this group, the researchers had another group of participants not eat any apples for the same six-week period. Blood samples were taken from the participants both before and after the study period.
Eating apples reduces markers of inflammation in the blood
The study reported reductions in the markers of inflammation – C-reactive protein and LPS-binding protein – in the blood of participants who ate three apples a day, compared with those who did not eat any apples. Two other biomarkers were also reduced in the group who ate apples – these were IL-6 and IL-17.
An increase in antioxidant capacity – an indicator of antioxidant activity – was also noted in participants who ate apples.
Apples and cardiovascular risk markers
The researchers also assessed whether there were any changes in cardiovascular risk markers, and found no changes.
According to the researchers, eating apples can reduce inflammation and “may be an effective dietary strategy to mitigate the obesity-associated inflammation that exacerbates CVD risk, without weight loss.”
Danyelle M Liddle, Xinjie Lin, Liam C Cox, Emily M Ward, Rufaida Ansari, Amanda J Wright, Lindsay E Robinson, Daily apple consumption reduces plasma and peripheral blood mononuclear cell–secreted inflammatory biomarkers in adults with overweight and obesity: a 6-week randomized, controlled, parallel-arm trial, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2021;, nqab094. https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqab094