Apples 'Protect the Lungs'

Researchers at St George's Hospital Medical School, London, have discovered, eating an apple a day may be good for the lungs. The team studied the diets and lung function of more than 2,500 men aged 45-49.

The researchers measured the ability to breathe out sharply using a special test called an FEV1.

They found that good lung function was associated with high intakes of vitamins C, E, and beta-carotene, citrus fruits, apples, and fruit juices.

However, after they took into consideration factors such as body mass, smoking history and exercise the only food that seemed to make a significant difference were apples.

It was found that eating five for more apples a week was linked to a slightly better lung function. Those who ate apples had a lung capacity 128 milliliters higher than those who did not.

There was no evidence to suggest that the natural decline in lung function with age could be slowed by short term increases in the number of apples eaten. But the fruit might slow deterioration caused by other factors such as pollutants.

Eating a lot of apples might simply reflect a healthy diet, suggest the authors.