The study, published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, identified that the Annurca apple, a variety grown in southern Italy, is capable of slowing down aging by reducing oxidative stress on cells. These apples, in particular, have the highest concentrations of phenolic compounds among other apple cultivars. This led to Annurca apples having potent anti-aging and antioxidant effects, which the researchers tested in three experiments.
To determine cell viability, researchers exposed brewer’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) to Annurca apple extracts. This allowed the team to observe the cells’ ability to create microcolonies using a yeast extract peptone dextrose (YPD) agar for 24 hours. A viability spot assay was carried out as well.
Researchers also conducted a hydrogen peroxide sensitivity assay to evaluate the extract’s ability to protect against oxidative stress. This involved subjecting rapid-growing cells to varying amounts of hydrogen peroxide at 28 Celsius for four hours, then counting the microcolonies afterward. Finally, the researchers studied the cells’ mitochondrial morphology under a fluorescent microscope following the addition of plasmid pYX232-mtGFP.
The results showed that a 10 mg/mL dosage of apple extract had the most significant and positive impact, in terms of extending cell viability even after several days of growth. The same dose enhanced cell survival until the third dilution in the viability spot assay and better protected the yeast cells that had been exposed to hydrogen peroxide. Furthermore, analysis of mitochondrial morphology revealed that the number of fragmented nuclei dipped from 62.3 percent to 8.1 percent after three days of growth with 10 mg/ml of apple extract.
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“We found that the apple extracts can extend yeast lifespan and reduce ROS [reactive oxygen species] levels protecting cells from oxidative stress,” the researchers concluded. (Related: Apples could hold key for increasing lifespan.)
Other health benefits you can get from apples
If you want time to pass a little slower, there a lot of worse things you can do than munch on an apple a day. Still, if you need more reasons to make apples a regular part of your diet, here are some healthy ones:
- Apples are rich in essential nutrients: In addition to polyphenols, apples are loaded with a wide array of vitamins and minerals. A medium apple can deliver 14 percent of the recommended daily allowance (RDI) of vitamin C, six percent of the RDI of potassium, and five percent of the RDI of vitamin K. People who are watching their weight should note that an apple of this size is only 95 calories but contains four grams of fiber. In fact, the fiber and water content of apples makes them very filling, so if you’re aiming to lose some weight, give apples a shot.
- Apples are good for your heart: The fiber content isn’t just great for weight loss, it’s beneficial for your heart too. According to Healthline.com, apples have soluble fiber, which can reduce blood cholesterol levels. Apples also have epicatechin, a polyphenol that’s been shown to lower blood pressure.
- Apples are great for your gut: On top of soluble fiber, apples have pectin as well. This type of fiber can act as a prebiotic and feed friendly gut bacteria.
If you’d like to learn more about apples, visit FoodScience.news for studies and news articles about this amazing fruit.