New Findings about Apple Peels
According to Rui Hai Liu, Cornell associate professor of food science, an apple peel a day might help keep cancer away. Liu has identified a dozen compounds (triterpenoids) in apple peels that either inhibit or kill cancer cells in laboratory cultures. Of these compounds, three have not previously been described.
Liu, the senior author of the study which was published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, says: "We found that several compounds have potent anti-proliferative activities against human liver, colon and breast cancer cells and may be partially responsible for the anti-cancer activities of whole apples."
In previous studies at Cornell involving animals, apples had been found to fight cancer cells in the laboratory and to reduce the number and size of mammary tumors in rats as well. The current thinking is that the triterpenoids is the key workhorse compound in play.
"Some compounds were more potent and acted differently against the various cancer cell lines, but they all show very potent anti-cancer activities and should be studied further," says Liu.
The researchers analyzed the peel from 230 pounds of red delicious apples from the Cornell Orchard. After isolating the individual compounds and identifying the structures in the peel, the researchers tested the pure compounds against cancer cell growth in the laboratory. Previously, compounds called phytochemicals have been identified, mainly flavonoids and phenolic acids, in apples and other foods that appear to have anti-cancer properties as well, including inhibiting tumor growth in human breast cancer cells.
"We believe that a recommendation for consumers to eat five to twelve servings of a wide variety of fruits and vegetables daily is appropriate to reduce the risks of chronic diseases, including cancer, and to meet nutrient requirements for optimum health," stated Rui Hai Liu.
Additional recent researches have shown that eating apples are linked to reducing cancer risk:
• A flavonoid abundant in apples, called Quercetin, has been found to help prevent the growth of prostate cancer cells.
• Phytonutrients in the skin of apples inhibited the growth of colon cancer cells by 43%.
• Food containing flavonoids like those in apples may reduce risk of lung cancer as much as 50%.
• Dietary phenolics such as flavonoids (found in apples) have inhibitory effects on the developments of carcinogenic substances in the bladder, thereby reducing risk of bladder cancer, especially in smokers.
Eating apples could also improve lung function and reduce the risk of respiratory diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease due to antioxidants present in apples.
Studies have also shown that a diet rich in apples could help to lower the blood cholesterol level utilizing Pectin, a soluble fiber found in apples. Studies have shown that apple juice has been found to inhibit the oxidation of a harmful form of cholesterol (LDL).
But the amazing benefits of apples doesn't stop there: they are also found to play a role in inhibiting ageing-related problems, preventing wrinkles and promoting hair growth.