Apples contain compounds that are non-digestible, which promote an increase of good bacteria in your gut and can help you to lose weight.
Fiber and polyphenols
The non-digestible compounds in apples are fiber and polyphenols.
These compounds end up fermenting in the colon, which turns them into
food for good bacteria. This favorably tips the balance between good
bacteria and bad bacteria, which lives on junk food.
Chronic inflammation has been linked with increased risk of obesity; by restoring the microbial balance you reduce that inflammation and boost the feeling of fullness.
The effect on gut bacteria from eating an apple a day
In a study by Washington State University, a research team studied
the effects on gut bacteria from daily apple consumption, noting that
few studies have investigated the role of bioactive compounds in apples
and their effect on friendly gut bacteria. Good bacteria in the gut are
known to play a role in boosting immunity and assisting in body weight
maintenance. It was also noted that not many studies looked at the
differences in those effects among varieties of apples.
The research team, led by food scientist Giuliana Noratto, looked at
bioactive compounds from seven apple varieties including Braeburn, Gala,
McIntosh, Granny Smith, Fuji, Golden Delicious, and Red Delicious.
These bioactive compounds were tested on mice with diet-induced obesity
to determine their effect on good gut bacteria.
Researchers studied the proportions of bacteria present in the feces
of the obese mice and compared it to those in the feces of lean mice.
What they discovered was that after feeding a daily apple to obese mice,
the proportions in both were very similar.
Not all apples are equal
also showed that Granny Smith apples had the most significant
beneficial effect on good gut bacteria. This is largely because they
possess a high quantity of polyphenols and non-digestible dietary fiber,
as well as being low in carbohydrates.
Despite being thoroughly chewed and exposed to digestive enzymes and
stomach acid, the compounds are minimally damaged when they enter the
colon. As the compounds are fermented in the colon by bacteria, they
produce butyric acid, which encourages the growth of more good gut
The fight against obesity
By the latest estimates, 27 percent of American adults are obese.
Obesity greatly increases the risk of medical conditions such as cancer,
stroke, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
“Obese people have an out-of-balance gut,” said lead author of the
study Giuliana Noratto. “So changing our gut bacteria via what we eat,
making it similar to that of a lean person, could help prevent weight
Noratto went on to say, “we know that, in general, apples are a good
source of these non-digestible compounds, but there are differences in
varieties. Results from this study will help consumers to discriminate
between apple varieties that can aid in the fight against obesity.”
Have you had an apple today?
-The Alternative Daily
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