An apple a day could keep excess weight away

September 30, 2014 in Nutrition Topics in the News, Weight Management

An apple a day could keep excess weight away

Scientists at Washington State University have concluded that non-digestible compounds in apples -- specifically, Granny Smith apples -- may help prevent disorders associated with obesity.

It’s known that apples are a good source of these non-digestible compounds but there are differences in varieties.

Granny Smith apples benefit the growth of friendly bacteria in the colon due to their high content of non-digestible compounds, including dietary fiber and polyphenols, and low content of available carbohydrates. Despite being subjected to chewing, stomach acid and digestive enzymes, these compounds remain intact when they reach the colon. Once there, they are fermented by bacteria in the colon, which benefits the growth of friendly bacteria in the gut.

The study showed that Granny Smith apples surpass Braeburn, Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious, McIntosh and Red Delicious in the amount of non-digestible compounds they contain.

"The non-digestible compounds in the Granny Smith apples actually changed the proportions of fecal bacteria from obese mice to be similar to that of lean mice," researchers said.

The discovery could help prevent some of the disorders associated with obesity such as low-grade, chronic inflammation that can lead to diabetes. The balance of bacteria in the colon of obese people is disturbed. This results in microbial byproducts that lead to inflammation and influence metabolic disorders associated with obesity.

What determines the balance of bacteria in our colon is the food we consume. Studies suggest that re-establishing a healthy balance of bacteria in the colon stabilizes metabolic processes that influence inflammation and the sensation of fullness.

Source: Food Chemistry, 2014.

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