Evaluation of cardiovascular protective effect of different apple varieties - Correlation of response with composition

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

58 Citations (Scopus)


Epidemiological evidence supports the concept that diets rich in fruits and vegetables promote health and attenuate or delay the onset of cardiovascular disease (CVD). In particular, a reduced risk of CVD has been associated with apple consumption, probably due to the cholesterol-lowering effect of the main bioactive compounds, namely fibre and polyphenols.In this work, the effect of diet supplementation with 20% of three Portuguese apple cultivars (Bravo de Esmolfe, Malapio Serra and Golden), containing distinct phenolic and fibre concentrations, on serum lipid profile and oxLDL of male Wistar rats fed a cholesterol-enriched diet (2%) was evaluated. After 30 days, only Bravo de Esmolfe apple was able to decrease significantly serum levels of triglycerides, total and LDL cholesterol concentrations (reductions of 27.2%, 21.0% and 20.4%, respectively, in relation to the cholesterol-enriched diet group, P < 0.05). The levels of oxLDL were also significantly improved with the consumption of this apple variety (reductions of 20.0% and 11.9%, in relation to the cholesterol-enriched diet group and control group, respectively, P > 0.05) as well as with Malapio da Serra apple (reductions of 9.8% in relation to the cholesterol-enriched diet group, P < 0.05). Correlation of the bioactive response with chemical composition showed that catechin, epicatechin, procyanidin B1 and beta-carotene are the major phytocompounds responsible for the cholesterol lowering ability of apples. The antioxidant potential may have also contributed to this beneficial effect.
Original languageUnknown
Pages (from-to)2378-2386
JournalFood Chemistry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012

Cite this