Science has lots of busy corners. Technology, even more. I can’t use up all my blog time on health related stuff. It wouldn’t be fair to physics, chemistry, biology, and North Korean tablets. But I would be a b-a-d science blogger if I didn’t tell you about apples.
You know about statins? They’re drugs that lower cholesterol. Doctor’s love them. Pitivistatin, lovostatin, atorvastatin, , zocor are statins. Others too. Long list.
Statins are amazing. They don’t just lower cholesterol, it seems they do other good stuff. They help with cataracts and dementia, and gum inflammation. They also reduce the incidence of heart attacks and strokes, and one study even says that statins might slow aging by protecting your telomeres. Supposedly they can cause some problems with muscles but, for most people, that shouldn’t be a problem.
I’ve seriously toyed with trying to talk my way on to statins, myself.
Well here’s the thing.
Dr Adam Briggs (BHF Health Promotion Research Group at Oxford University) looked at the effect of eating a single apple each day (that’s right – “an apple a day”) vs statins. The results, cardiovascular wise, were about the same for apples as statin drugs. Dr. Briggs’ conclusion was that you could do as good a job for yourself eating apples as taking statins (probably because apples contain pectin which has similar effects on cholesterol to statins).
If you can lower your cholesterol and lower your heart risk without taking drugs, who am I to say you shouldn’t?
This report didn’t get into whether apples did all the good stuff that statins do.
Apples? Hot dang!
A final point: Statins, like anything, have pluses and minuses. Don’t rush off and stuff yourself full of statins on my account. First go over the particulars with your doctor. Better yet? Try fruit.
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A reader left a comment (see comments) suggesting that this study from the BMJ is less than serious. Perhaps so. But you’ve gone out and bought all those apples, right? You might as well eat them.
What could it hurt?
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I drew that apple!
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