An apple a day keeps a statin away

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An Assessment modelling study from the UK in 2013 came to the surprising conclusion that (assuming constant caloric intake) simply by adding one apple per day to elderly people’s diet the number of deaths prevented from vascular disease would approach those prevented from taking a statin, and with far fewer side-effects.[1]

...the increased time and difficulty associated with consuming an apple compared with a statin - statins need a glass of water and a quick gulp, whereas apples require the more complex and time consuming process of coordinated mastication and swallowing...

The authors state that statins could reduce or delay vascular disease in 9400 people, whereas an apple was only capable of delaying vascular disease in 8500 people. However, cautions have been raised with the use of statin drugs and development of diabetes, especially in elderly patients, whereas there is no evidence that apples increase diabetes.[2] 

The importance of the message of a healthy diet is missed by the authors, who state, “...the increased time and difficulty associated with consuming an apple compared with a statin - statins need a glass of water and a quick gulp, whereas apples require the more complex and time consuming process of coordinated mastication and swallowing...” is irresponsible and absurd! 

One can only hope the writers intended this comment to be tongue-in-cheek...

REFERENCES

  1. Briggs ADM, Mizdrak A, Scarborough P. A statin a day keeps the doctor away: comparative proverb assessment modelling study. BMJ 2013;347:f7267. [Full text]
     
  2. Statins Safety Alert 2012. Therapeutic Goods Administration, Canberra. [Article]

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Andrew Whitfield-Cook

Andrew is a registered nurse of 32 years, with more than 20 years experience in the natural medicine industry. As a Senior Educator at with one of Australia's leading nutraceutical companies, he has the responsibility of explaining complex biochemical processes using simple analogies to help individuals understand how they apply to wellbeing. He delights in researching biochemistry, pathophysiology as well as nutritional and herbal medicines. His favourite patient interests include: gastroenterology, immunology and oncology. He has lectured to nutritionists, naturopaths, nurses, dietitians, pharmacists and doctors Australia-wide.