More than 8,500 lives could be saved in the UK if everyone over the age of 50 ate just one apple a day, according to UK researchers.
'An apple a day keeps the doctor away'
Fatal heart attacks and strokes could be avoided by a small diet change that would give a similar boost to cardiovascular health medicines such as statins.
The report comes from researchers at the University of Oxford and is based on modelling as opposed to direct scientific study. The analysis was reported in the light-hearted Christmas edition British Medical Journal that investigated the 150-year-old proverb ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’.
The investigation focused on how effective this Victorian adage would be in modern times in preventing heart disease in people over 50 years old.
Using detailed statistical models, researchers found that an apple a day prescribed to each person aged over 50 would prevent 8,500 deaths every year. In comparison if everyone over the age of 50 who is not already taking statins was prescribed the cholesterol-lowering heart drugs, 9,400 lives would be saved.
The research was based on numerous scientific studies and observations involving hundreds of thousands of patients.
Figures show that 90% of us do manage to east at least one portion of fruit and vegetable a day, although Dr Adam Briggs, from the British Heart Foundation Health Promotion Research Group at Oxford University, believes we would all benefit from eating more portions.
Dr Briggs said: “The Victorians had it about right when they came up with their brilliantly clear and simple public health advice, 'An apple a day keeps the doctor away'.
"It just shows how effective small changes in diet can be, and that both drugs and healthier living can make a real difference in preventing heart disease and stroke.
“While no-one currently prescribed statins should replace them for apples, we could all benefit from simply eating more fruit."
Health insurance providers can offer cashback incentives on your monthly premiums if you lead a healthy diet and lifestyle.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2013