Recent research from the University of Florida has shown that  postmenopausal women eating two apples a day for 6 months lowered their bad cholesterol, or LDL, by nearly 25 percent.  The average reduction in LDL across all classes of  statin drugs is 18 percent.  Another recent study found that just one apple a day eaten for a month lowered levels of oxidized LDL by 40 percent. Oxidized LDL is the form of cholesterol that actually causes atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries.

Statins also  come with a number of severe side effects. A recent report in JAMA confirmed in study of nearly 14000 patients that statins  markedly increase musculoskeletal pains such as leg cramps, strains, sprains and even dislocations.  In addition recent studies also increasingly point to the role of statins in increasing risk for diabetes.   Memory loss is also a well documented side effect, and U of A researchers have  found that statins actually change the structure of neurons in some people.  By the way statins are the number one selling drug in the world.

Apples are considered low glycemic fruits, so are fine to eat for anyone trying to limit sugar intake. The benefits of apples probably come from their high content of polyphenols, a major antioxidant, as well as pectin, a fiber which can bind cholesterol and pull it out of the body.  Apples do have one significant risk.  Non organic apples are first on the “dirtiest dozen” list , which is a ranking of fruits and vegetables containing the most pesticides.  Therfore only organic apples should be ingested.  Organic apples are great when mixed in green drinks, and work especially well with the parsley drink we often recommend (superdrink-parsley).

Shi Zhao, Joshua Bomser, Elizabeth L. Joseph, Robert A. DiSilvestro. Intakes of apples or apple polyphenols decease plasma values for oxidized low-density lipoprotein/beta2-glycoprotein I complexJournal of Functional Foods, 2012; DOI: 10.1016/j.jff.2012.08.010

A. A. Carter, T. Gomes, X. Camacho, D. N. Juurlink, B. R. Shah, M. M. Mamdani. Risk of incident diabetes among patients treated with statins: population based study.BMJ, 2013; 346 (may23 4): f2610 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.f2610

For a balanced look at the evidence that cholesterol causes disease take a look at