Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Wham: New Research Suggests Apples and Aspirin a Good Combination

The British Journal of Nutrition is reporting that extracts from apples can play a strong role in protecting stomachs from ulcers and other complications associated with aspirin. This new study from Italy shows how increases in hormone-like substances associated with inflammation and related damage were lessened by an apple extract, a compound called a polyphenol.

There is quite a market now for supplements and functional foods associated with improved gastrointestinal health -- other apple derived substances such as pectin are already sold into this market.

One problem with the popular aspirin therapy recommended by many doctors is that stomach or peptic ulcers can develop. These are small holes or erosion in the gastrointestinal tract, and according to statistics from the US National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, they can affect as many as 14.5 million Americans.

It's nice to know that many of the complications of aspirin can be mitigated by simply eating an apple. While the researchers did not go so far as to recommend that, I would say that this is an obvious first step for anyone on an aspirin regimen. Later, there will no doubt be a number of supplements that offer this biochemical compound in a concentrated capsule form.

Polyphenols are getting a lot of press due to their antioxidant activity and the associated health benefits they bring with them. Many similar compounds have also been seen as possible protection against diseases such as cancer or cardiovascular disease. Other polyphenols have been reported to potentially offer protection from Alzheimer's.


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