Doctor Mom's admonition, "Don't peel your apple," is getting new scientific support from scientists in New York, who are reporting isolation of chemical compounds from apple peel that may be involved in the apple's beneficial health effects.
In the study, Rui Hai Liu and Xiangjiu He point out that apple consumption has been linked to a reduced risk of chronic health problems such as lung cancer, heart disease, and stroke. Traditional advice on eating apple peel was based mainly on its fiber content, with peel packing about 75 percent of the dietary fiber in an apple. More recently, however, scientists have shown that the peel also contains most of the beneficial phytochemicals believed to be responsible for the apple-a-day-keeps-the-doctor-away effect.
Until now, however, scientists had not identified the specific phytochemicals responsible for apple's anti-cancer effects. Xiangjiu He and Liu processed 231 pounds of Red Delicious apples and extracted phytochemicals from about 24 pounds of peel. They screened the compounds for anti-cancer effects in laboratory cultures of human liver, breast, and colon cancer cells. In doing so, they identified a group of compounds with "potent" anti-cancer effects.
Article: "Triterpenoids isolated from Apple Peels Have Potent Antiproliferative Activity and May be Partially Responsible for Apple's Anticancer Activity"
Their report is scheduled for publication in the May 30 issue of ACS's Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
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