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Apple a Day Study: They May Not Actually Keep the Doctor Away After All

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By    |   Tuesday, 31 Mar 2015 08:18 AM

An apple a day may not actually keep the doctor away, but it could work on the pharmacist, according to a new study published online this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine.

While researchers studying the apple-eating habits of more than 8,000 people for three years did not see a significant different in physician visits, they did notice marginally fewer prescriptions being filled, according to ABC News.

Dr. Sharonne N. Hayes, a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, said since the study was self-reported, the number of doctor visits could not be explicitly linked to eating apples.

"The apple eaters were highly educated and less likely to smoke," she told ABC News. "It could be that their visits to the doctor were for preventive reasons rather than illness."

The data for the study came from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted during 2007-08 and 2009-10, according to MedicalNewsToday.com.

"While the direction of the associations we observed supports the superiority of apple eaters over non-apple eaters at avoiding the use of healthcare services, these differences largely lacked statistical significance," the study said.

Hayes added that when the saying "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" became popular in the 1800s, people saw doctors for illnesses and not for preventive reasons.

"Apples probably won't cure the woes of our healthcare system, but they're cheap enough and they certainly won't hurt," she added.

The JAMA study concluded that the apple eating, even if it did not lead to less visits to the doctor, had other health benefits, according to USA Today.

The study found numerous possible health benefits associated with apple consumption, including weight loss, reduced cancer risk, and improved cardiovascular health.

Apples come in more than 7,500 varieties, according to Samantha Heller, a nutritionist at New York University's Langone Medical Center.

"Eating an apple a day is unlikely to undo the ill effects of the typical 'Western diet' that is high in red and processed meat, junk food and fast food and low in plant foods," Heller told the New York Daily News.

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An apple a day may not actually keep the doctor away, but it could work on the pharmacist, according to a new study published online this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine.
apple a day, study, pharmacy, doctor, health
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2015-18-31
Tuesday, 31 Mar 2015 08:18 AM
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