Apples prevent obesity. Non-digestible compounds impact on gut bacteria.

applesA study published in the journal Food Chemistry has concluded that non digestible compounds in apples may prevent disorders associated with obesity. The researchers note differences in variety with Granny Smith apples having the most impact, surpassing Braeburn, Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious, McIntosh and Red Delicious in the amount of nondigestible compounds they contain.

“We know that, in general, apples are a good source of these nondigestible compounds but there are differences in varieties,” said food scientist Giuliana Noratto, the study’s lead researcher. “Results from this study will help consumers to discriminate between apple varieties that can aid in the fight against obesity.”

The non digestible compounds in Granny Smith apples benefit the growth of friendly bacteria in the colon. Despite being subjected to chewing, stomach acid and digestive enzymes, these compounds remain intact when they reach the colon. Once there, they are fermented by bacteria in the colon, which benefits the growth of friendly bacteria in the gut.

“The nondigestible compounds in the Granny Smith apples actually changed the proportions of fecal bacteria from obese mice to be similar to that of lean mice,” Noratto said.

The researchers suggest that this discovery impacts on the disorders associated with obesity which can lead to diabetes and inflammation. This results in microbial byproducts that lead to inflammation and influence metabolic disorders associated with obesity, Noratto said. “What determines the balance of bacteria in our colon is the food we consume,” she said. The non digestive compounds found in apples re-establish the healthy balance of bacteria in the colon and stabilized metabolic process that influence inflammation and the sensation of feeling satisfied.


Luis Condezo-Hoyos, Indira P. Mohanty, Giuliana D. Noratto. Assessing non-digestible compounds in apple cultivars and their potential as modulators of obese faecal microbiota in vitro. Food Chemistry, 2014; 161: 208 DOI: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2014.03.122

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