Guest post from Dahn Yoga: Nutrient in apples may reduce inflammation

If you're working on New Year's resolutions, you may want to consider taking the phrase "an apple a day" a little more literally.  Or carve out more time to focus on healthful practices, like yoga and meditation. Thanks to Dahn Yoga for contributing this guest post. 

Just about everyone is familiar with the old saying "an apple a day keeps the doctor away." Now, new research suggests that there may be to the old saw than previously thought. A team of researchers from Montana State University showed that a set of antioxidants in the peels of apples known as polyphenols may significantly reduce inflammation related to chronic bowel conditions like Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

The researchers reported their findings, which were based on an investigation involving treatment in lab mice, in the Journal Leukocyte Biology. The results showed that the polyphenols from apples lowered the activation levels of immune cells known as T cells.

These cells, under normal circumstances, fight infections from foreign bodies. However, they become overactive in individuals with chronic autoimmune diseases like Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis. By shutting down the action of these cells, polyphenols reduce inflammation levels and help minimize the symptoms of these health conditions.

"It appears that the old adage rings true in more ways than one," said John Wherry, deputy editor of the Journal. "In addition to the obvious health benefits of the nutrients and fiber in fruits and vegetables, this study indicates that even something as relatively common as the apple contains other healthy ingredients."

The findings indicate that there is far more benefit to eating apples than nutrition experts may have previously thought. The anti-inflammatory effects of the polyphenol-rich fruit could have implications beyond the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases. Inflammation plays a key role in heart disease and diabetes, two of the most common causes of death in theU.S.

So an apple a day may really keep the doctor away, particularly for individuals who are at risk from high levels of inflammation. This may include a large segment of society, as the high levels of salt and fat found in the typical Western-style diet is known to contribute to inflammation. This has led to an explosion in recent years of inflammation-related health conditions.

Results from the investigation further confirm that individuals should work to get more fruits and vegetables into their diet in place of less healthy options. Particularly for fruits like apples that have high levels of important nutrients, this may help limit the risk of a number of potentially serious health conditions.

Dahn Yoga is one of the largest yoga and tai chi companies in the world with its own unique style and brand of yoga.  Dahn Yoga is rooted in the rich history of an ancient Asian mind-body practice, Sun Do, and in the wisdom of the Chun Bu Kyung.

Wendy McMillanComment