Nutrients Found in Pears and Apples Reduce Asthma Risks

Research Links Fruit to Lung Health

Australian researchers studying the relationship between diet and asthma have reported that eating apples and pears provide protection against the growing health risk.
Asthma is a serious and growing U.S. health threat. The American Lung Association reports that, in 2000, nearly 5,000 Americans died from asthma, or nearly two of every 100,000 Americans. Asthma is a major children’s health issue, as children aged 5-17 are most likely to be diagnosed with asthma than persons 18 or older.
The Australian study involving 1,607 young adults aged 20-44 was published in a recent issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Of all the fruits and vegetables studied, study participants who ate apples and pears had the lowest risk of asthma.
The Australian study is the latest research to suggest we might breathe easier - literally - by eating apples. In December 2001, London-based researchers reported that people who ate at least two apples per week had a 22-32 percent lower risk of developing asthma than people who ate fewer apples, based on their population-based case-control study.
Researchers at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, additionally, reported that smokers eating moderate amounts of fruits and vegetables - and particularly apples - cut their risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) nearly in half.
While the recent studies suggest apples’ high content of plant-based compounds called Flavanoids to be the potential health benefactor, the Australian study did not identify specific nutrients as being protective, but rather pointed to the whole food.
“We found that the consumption of whole fruit, in the form of apples and pears, did protect against asthma,” wrote Dr. Rosalie Woods and her colleagues.

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