Apple juice consumption reduces plasma low-density lipoprotein oxidation in healthy men and women

J Med Food. Winter 2000;3(4):159-66. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2000.3.159.


ABSTRACT Epidemiological studies show that consumption of fruits and vegetables is associated with beneficial effects on human health including reduced risk of coronary artery disease (CAD). Fruits and their juices contain phytochemicals that inhibit in vitro low-density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation and may account, in part, for their protective effect. However, reports of in vivo antioxidant effects from fruit intake are limited. We conducted a human trial to examine the in vivo effect of consumption of apples (both whole and juice) in an unblinded, randomized, crossover design. Healthy men and women added 375 ml of unsupplemented apple juice or 340 g of cored whole apple to their daily diet for 6 weeks, then crossed over to the alternate product for 6 weeks. Blood samples were obtained at baseline and after each dietary period. Compliance was monitored via biweekly 5-day food records, bodyweight checks, and meetings with study personnel. There were no significant differences between groups in intake of dietary fat, cholesterol, total carbohydrate, sugar, or calories throughout the study. Dietary fiber intake increased by 22% with whole apple consumption. Body weight, fasting serum lipid concentration, and other lipoprotein parameters were unchanged. Apple juice consumption increased ex vivo copper (Cu(++))-mediated LDL oxidation lag time by 20% compared with baseline. Apples and apple juice both reduced conjugated diene formation. Moderate apple juice consumption provides in vivo antioxidant activity. In view of the current understanding of CAD, the observed effect on LDL might be associated with reduced CAD risk and supports the inclusion of apple juice in a healthy human diet.