Too much publicity has been in the news, reports the FDA, over the amount of “naturally-occurring” arsenic in apple juice. But the FDA still says apple juice is safe to drink. Check out the September 13 Sacramento Bee article from Stephanie Yao, from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), “FDA Consumer Health Information – FDA: Apple Juice is Safe to Drink.” Maybe you’d be better off eating the entire apple, but not the seeds as apple seeds are toxic. Or juice your apples in a blender where you get the fiber instead of the sugar and fructose with the ‘water’.
According to Donald Zink, Ph.D., senior science advisor at FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Nutrition, arsenic is present in the environment as a naturally-occurring substance or as a result of contamination from human activity. So even if the arsenic contamination is there because of human activity such as air, ground, and water pollution, the small amounts of arsenic in various foods and beverages such as fruit juices and concentrates, supposedly show no evidence of any public health risk from drinking these juices, reports the FDA.
The FDA has been testing fruit juices and concentrates for years. There’s no way to get the small amount of arsenic out, at least, not at an affordable price. So maybe you’d be better off buying organic apples and emulsifying them in your blender for juice. You also may be wondering whether arsenic gets into the processing or whether it’s in the soil, air, water, or the tree. Learn more about how FDA tests juices and concentrates for safety at the FDA’s Consumer Updates website. Or sign up for e-mail notices of new FDA Consumer Updates. Or view the FDA Consumer Update RSS feed.
According to the FDA Consumer Health Information site, you can see further information. Also, the FDA values feedback on its consumer health information. Send questions, comments, or story ideas to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
What does the University of California, Davis have to say about apples, since there are so many research projects focusing on apples as far as health benefits? Remember, it’s the whole apple, not just the juice with the fiber removed that has the scientists looking at health benefits of apples–specifically the polyphenols and flavonoids in the fruit.
UC Davis researches the health benefits of apples
UC Davis in the Sacramento and Davis regional area is one of several universities at the center of apple health benefits research. Sacramento and Davis scientists have been studying the health protective effects of apples. And now, a new study of apple polyphenols emphasizes more health benefits of eating apples. In fact, in test animals, in the newest study (at another university in March 2011) apples extended the animal’s life span by ten percent.
As yourself are eating apples healthy in small amounts? And what happens if you eat too many apples and their high natural fructose levels cause your blood sugar spikes to rise, possibly resulting in increased blood pressure and insulin resistance, if you’re genetically susceptible to developing insulin resistance, or if you eat too much fruit or sweets in general? Balance is the key, but how many apples should you eat? And are the studies of apple eating in animal tests applicable to humans?
How will apples affect people with a genetic mutation that makes them more prone to develop insulin resistance and later perhaps type 2 diabetes? Do the health benefits of eating apples outweigh the high fructose content of apples?
In the Sacramento and Davis regional areas, since 2006, the University of California, Davis has been studying the health benefits of eating apples and other flavonoid rich foods. See the article, UC Davis Researchers Reveal Apples’ Protective Ways – Molecular Mechanism Of Flavonoid-rich Fruit Discovered. It’s the health benefits of apple polyphenols that scientists are studying around the globe. Also see other studies results, for example, Apple polyphenols may ease food allergy: Nestlé study, and Apple Polyphenols, a Potent Antioxidant, and the article, An Apple A Day Really Keeps The Doctor Away. For example, in some studies, apple procyanidins may be linked to reduced risk of colon cancer.
UC Davis researchers have discovered one way in which flavonoid-rich apples inhibit the kinds of cellular activity that leads to the development of chronic diseases, including heart disease and age-related cancers. Flavonoids in fruits help to protect the body. The UC Davis School of Medicine studies found out how, at least in the case of apples.
Researchers found that apple extract was able to protect cells from damage and death by interfering with communication between cells. The research findings appear in the journal, Experimental Biology and Medicine. Earlier studies have shown that flavonoids–which are found in chocolate and green tea, as well as other fruits and vegetables–behave as anti-oxidants, taking up free oxygen radicals that can damage precious DNA.
The UC Davis study takes that research further by looking beyond the antioxidant effects of apple flavonoids. Check out the study or its abstract in its primary source, “Effect of Apple Extracts on NF-B Activation in Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells,” Experimental Biology and Medicine.
According to a new study at another university published in March 2011 in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, “Apple Polyphenols Extend the Mean Lifespan of Drosophila melanogaster,” scientists are reporting the first evidence that consumption of a healthful antioxidant substance in apples extends the average lifespan of test animals, and does so by 10 percent. The new results, obtained with fruit flies — stand-ins for humans in hundreds of research projects each year — bolster similar findings on apple antioxidants in other animal tests. Also check out a March 2, 2011 news release about this study, “Polishing the apple’s popular image as a healthy food.”
In the study, Zhen-Yu Chen and colleagues note that damaging substances generated in the body, termed free radicals, cause undesirable changes believed to be involved in the aging process and some diseases. Substances known as antioxidants can combat this damage. Fruits and vegetables in the diet, especially brightly colored foods like tomatoes, broccoli, blueberries, and apples are excellent sources of antioxidants.
A previous study with other test animals hinted that an apple antioxidant could extend average lifespan, according to the March 2, 2011 news release. In the current report, the researchers studied whether different apple antioxidants, known as polyphenols, could do the same thing in fruit flies.
The researchers found that apple polyphenols not only prolonged the average lifespan of fruit flies but helped preserve their ability to walk, climb and move about. In addition, apple polyphenols reversed the levels of various biochemical substances found in older fruit flies and used as markers for age-related deterioration and approaching death, according to the news release. Chen and colleagues note that the results support those from other studies, including one in which women who often ate apples had a 13-22 percent decrease in the risk of heart disease, and polish the apple’s popular culture image as a healthy food.