It’s never too late to look after your health
I was heartened this week when an 87 year old told me he was taking care of himself better. A friend of his who was older had just lost a leg because of diabetes.
As the man I am talking about is taking chemotherapy medication and is at risk of leg ulcers he has started raising his legs when seated, using his exercise bike and eating an apple a day. He has even stopped adding sugar to anything. I am impressed.
Does an apple a day really keep the doctor away? Apparently it does.
A study, by the University of Western Australia, tracked 1,456 women aged 70 to 85 for 15 years. In research findings earlier this year from Dr Hodgson he said apples may help to prolong life because of their high levels of fibre, which has been linked to lower cholesterol and blood pressure and a reduced cancer risk.
Apples are also a good source of magnesium, potassium, vitamin C and flavonoids, which are concentrated in the skin. Flavonoids help to relax blood vessels and have been linked to lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
Dr Hodgson said it may be that the combination of these ingredients may help to reduce the risk of mortality in ways that scientists do not yet understand.
“It is possible it is a combination of factors,” he said. “Flavonoids and fibre may be combining to prevent disease.”
Dr Hodgson said people who eat apples may be more likely to have healthy lifestyles and consume other fruits and vegetables, which may also have led to their longer life expectancy.
The researchers accounted for lifestyle choices in their analysis and found that apples still reduced the risk of mortality but by a rate less than 35 per cent.