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Can Apples Help Prevent The Risk Of Prostate Cancer?

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death among men. [1] Diet high in fruits and vegetables play a major role in preventing the risk of chronic diseases like cancer.

Apples are a widely consumed fruit across the globe due to their key role in lowering the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer. It contains many active compounds such as flavonoids, phenols and carotenoids which are responsible for its chemopreventive effect. [2]

In this article, we will discuss the association between apples and reduced risk of prostate cancer.


Apple And Prostate Cancer

Around one-third of the total deaths due to cancer can be prevented by increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables.

In a study based on 600 participants, it was found that people who consume one or more medium-sized apples every day are significantly at lower risk of prostate cancer by seven per cent. [3]


Vital Nutrients In Apples

100 g of apples contain 85.56 g of water and 52 kcal of energy. Apart from that, it also contains
dietary fibre (2.4 g), calcium (6 mg), iron (0.12 mg), magnesium (5 mg), potassium (107 mg), phosphorus (11 mg), vitamin C (4.6 mg), choline (3.4 mg), beta carotene (27µg) and vitamin k (2.2 µg).

These nutrients possess a lot of health benefits and may help prevent the risk of prostate cancer.


Natural Polyphenols In Apples

The natural polyphenols such as flavonoids and phenolic acids in the fruit are the main cause of its anti-cancer effect. Some of the main polyphenols in apples include:

1. Kaempferol

This natural polyphenol found in apples shows anti-proliferative effects on lung cancer cells, gastric cancer cells, colon cancer cells and breast cancer cells. Kaempferol induces apoptosis, a form of programmed cell death by activating the death receptors. This helps eliminate cancerous cells and maintains the balance of the body.

As apples are effective against the aforementioned cancer types, it may help prevent the risk of prostate cancer. [4]

2. Caffeic Acid

Caffeic acid is one of the primary polyphenols found in food sources, including apples. It has an anticarcinogenic mechanism as it helps counteract the harmful effects of carcinogens and prevents the onset of cancer. [5] Caffeic acid also possesses strong antioxidant activity that helps reduce the risk of cancer due to oxidative stress.

Some derivatives of this polyphenol also show cytotoxic effects that help suppress the proliferation or rapid increase in the number of cells.

3. Proanthocyanidins

Also known as condensed tannins, proanthocyanidins are loaded in apples (especially apple peels), which is also responsible for its astringency and bitterness. In a study, it was found that proanthocyanidins in other fruits such as grape seeds and blueberries demonstrate anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects and reduces the growth of tumour cells. [6]

This vital polyphenol is also found in apples; thus, consumption of the fruit may help prevent the risk of prostate cancer.

4. Gallic Acid

Gallic acid is present in apple peels as gallotannins. A study has shown the anti-cancer effect of gallic acid in the case of an oral tumour, leukaemia and oesophagal cancer. Gallic acid promotes the induction of apoptosis and helps prevent the onset of cancer. [7]

Another study shows the chemopreventive effect of gallic acid against human prostate carcinoma in grape seed. As apples are also packed with this potent polyphenol, it may help prevent the risk of prostate cancer. [8]

5. Fisetin

Fisetin is a flavonol (a type of polyphenol) similar to kaempferol. Fisetin possesses an anti-proliferative effect against prostate cancer cells and helps reduce the growth of cancerous cells with minimally impacting the normal epithelial cells of the prostate. [9]

Fisetin is also found in many fruits and vegetables such as cucumber, grapes, strawberries and onions.

To Conclude

Apple is a superfood which has a plethora of health benefits. Not only does it help prevent cancer, but also helpsprevent other diseases like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity, asthma, gastrointestinal problems and many more.

Include apples daily in your diet to get its benefits. Also, prevent peeling the fruit as maximum benefits of the fruit come from its peels.

Read more about: apple prostate cancer cancer fruit
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