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Does an Apple a Day Work?

Posted on 05/5/2015

You may have heard over the years the saying that, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Well, not exactly but sort of, it seems. According to recent findings by researchers from the University of Michigan, apples do help keep prescription medicine away, according to a recent analysis of studies on eating apples. 

Does an Apple a Day Really Keep the Doctor Away?

What researchers found may surprise you, since the 100+ year-old saying, “an apple a day, keeps the doctor away” is being called into question or modified it appears. Especially since several studies have analyzed the health benefits of eating apples, including a Dutch study in 2011, that found eating apples and pears was associated with a lower risk of stroke. But until now, no one had examined whether the saying was actually true. 

Researchers were intrigued, so they set out to design what they called, “an apple study.” Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which asked more than 8,000 adults what they ate during the previous 24 hours, the researchers were able to identify 753 apple-a-day eaters and over 7,000 people termed “non-apple eaters.” 

What Were the Results?

The results from the apple-a-day eaters were not more likely to keep the doctor away, were not hospitalized any less and did not see mental health professionals any less than their counterparts. They did keep prescription medications away though. 

So, the old saying is somewhat correct I suppose in that those who consume an apple a day are less likely to take prescription drugs than those who do not eat apples. Researchers warn that this does not prove a cause-and-effect between eating apples and taking less medicine, rather it’s an association that they do not want to overstate. 

Eat Your Fruits & Veggies!

Regardless of the findings, it is recommended to consume a variety of fruits and vegetables every day for their health benefits. 

The study is published in JAMA Internal Medicine. 

post-author

Seattle Sutton, BSN, RN

She made healthy eating her mission in life long before anyone else did, in hopes of helping her own obese father. A registered nurse by training and entrepreneur at heart, she lives, eats and breathes everything about healthy eating and helping to improve people’s eating habits and overall health. She enjoys never having to bother with grocery shopping, cooking and counting calories. Her favorite SSHE meal, although it’s hard to pick just one, is the Potato Gnocchi with Basil Pesto Sauce.

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