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Pick Apples for Good Neurological Health, Says New Research

For those who think that picking and eating apples this time of year is just for fun and for the great taste of America’s favorite fruit, you may want to think again. //Apples and apple juice may be among the best foods that anyone could add to their diet, finds a collection of recent research studies, the latest of which was presented today at the Society of Neuroscience annual conference in Atlanta. Researchers G. Bureau and M. Martinoli from the University of Quebec a Trois-Rivieres, found that quercetin (one of the antioxidants found abundantly in apples) was one of two compounds that helped to reduce cellular death that is caused by oxidation and inflammation of neurons.

This finding was previously confirmed not just by testing quercetin by itself, but by using apples as a whole food. Published in the May 2006 issue of Experimental Biology and Medicine, researcher Eric Gershwin, M.D., with the University of California, Davis Health System, discovered a way in which flavonoid-rich apples and apple juice protect cells from damage. Gershwin exposed human cells to an extract of apple mash made from different apple varieties, similar to outcomes presented today at the Society of Neuroscience meeting. The UC Davis researchers then challenged these cells by exposing them to tumor necrosis factor (TNF), a protein-like compound found in the body that usually triggers cell death and promotes inflammation via a mechanism called the “nuclear factor kappa B pathway” (this pathway involves chemical signaling between cells). The UC Davis research revealed that apple extract protected the cells from the normally lethal effects of TNF by interfering with this pathway that would otherwise damage or kill cells in the body. Gershwin noted that the method by which apple extract protects cells is different than that reported for other flavonoid-rich foods.

Other more recent research demonstrated how apples and apple juice can help boost neurological health,
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