I had ideas for umpteen blogs. Here is where they all somehow converge and I attempt to do something productive with my sprawling web presence.
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
New study finds that 'an apple a day keeps the pharmacist away'
The old adage, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” may not be as simple as the saying goes. A new study published this week by researchers at Dartmouth Medical school took in data by way of a survey and found that, "While the direction of the associations we observed supports the superiority of apple eaters over non-apple eaters at avoiding the use of health care services, these differences largely lacked statistical significance.” Further, though daily apple-eaters were not less likely to visit emergency rooms or even mental health centers, they didn’t use as many prescription medications, reported Time, March 30.
In the study, which was published online on Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine Journal, 8,399 participants, 7,646 of whom were not daily apple-eaters, were surveyed over the course of three years. Out of the small portion of the study group who were daily apple-eaters (753 people), only 39 percent avoided medical visits each year. That number wasn’t much different than the 33 percent of non-apple-eaters who also avoided doctor visits. Other factors were considered, as well, including education level, age and health habits. When applied, those factors seemed to whittle the idea ofapples nixing the need for doctor visits down to something not very significant.
The researchers did find that daily apple-eaters, who were usually more educated and didn’t smoke, filled less prescriptions than those who didn’t eat apples every day. “It could be that their visits to the doctor were for preventive reasons rather than illness,” said Dr. Sharonne N. Hayes to ABC News.
But, there are still a lot of questions. The study seems to be a bit limited. Two of the main limitations are that the study speaks from self-reported surveys and there was no clear link drawn between doctor’s visits and apple-eating. Further, the overall conclusion seems to point to less prescriptions, rather than doctor visits. Perhaps the adage should be changed, then? Instead of the former, try “an apple a day keeps the pharmacist away.” If nothing else, eating an apple a day will fulfill one daily fruit requirement and add to the inherent health benefits, like lowering the risk for heart disease and colon cancer.
*originally published on the now defunct Examiner.com