Apple (Malus domestica) is the name for both the tree and fruit. The word "apple" is thought to come from the Old English word æppel. Experts have suggested that the word "apple" may be one of the oldest Indo-European words in the English language. The scientific name, Malus, is derived from the Latin word for apple and from the archaic Greek mālon.
Apple is one of the most widely cultivated fruits. It can be stored for months and still have nutritious value. Winter apples, which are picked in late autumn and stored at just above freezing, are considered an important food in Europe, Asia, Argentina, and the United States. Apples have always been consumed as a food, but their constituents and potential medicinal uses remain under investigation.
Apples can be canned, juiced, pureed, baked, stewed, and fermented. They can be used to make juice, cider, applesauce, vinegar, pectin, and baked goods. Dried apples can be mixed with water, alcohol, or other liquids for later use. Apples can also be used to make alcoholic drinks such as applejack, Calvados, and wine.
Apples are high-fiber, low-calorie fruits that contain vitamin C. They are also rich in antioxidants, which are compounds that may help prevent colon, prostate, and lung cancer. Studies have found that phenolics, a type of antioxidant found in apples, may protect nerve cells from damage and reduce the risk of diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. However, more research is needed to confirm these findings.
Apples are considered to be a safe part of the human diet. They are thought to be an effective treatment for diarrhea in children, high blood cholesterol, hair growth, burn wounds, allergies, mercury poisoning, and the side effects of radiation. Some studies suggest that apples may help slow cancer development, manage diabetes, and help patients prepare for surgery.
Apple contains pectin, a type of fiber that may prevent high cholesterol, colon cancer, high blood pressure, and gallstones. Pectin may also reduce diarrhea, although more evidence is needed to confirm this. Apples also have a compound called quercetin, which is thought to prevent heart attacks, eye diseases, and arthritis. Quercetin may help control asthma, stomach disorders, and chronic heartburn. Other compounds found in apples called phenolic phytochemicals may protect the brain from damage that can lead to Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. However, further research is necessary.
Æble (Danish), apal (Norwegian), apel (Swedish), Apfel (German), appel (Dutch), appelaar (Dutch), äpple (Swedish), apple extract, apple fiber, apple juice, apple pectin, apple pectin powder, apple picking, apple polyphenols, apple procyanidin, apple scab, apple tree, apple wassail, apple-John, applesauce, appleseed, B-linked proanthocyanidins, Cameo®, divja gozdna jablana (Slovenian), divlja jabuka (Croatian), ezonoko ringo (Japanese), hime ringo (Japanese), hua hong (Chinese), iablonia (Russian), jabloň domáca (Slovakian), jablon plonka (Polish), jabuka (Croatian), koma (Nepalese), lai ch'in (Chinese), maça (Portuguese), malum (Latin), Malus acerba Mérat, Malus asiatica Nakai, Malus asiatica Nakai var. argutisserrata, Malus baccata (L.) Borkh., Malus baccata (L.) Borkh. f. gracilis Rehder, Malus baccata (L.) Borkh. f. jackii Rehder, Malus baccata (L.) Borkh. subsp. himalaica (Maxim.) Likhonos, Malus baccata (L.) Borkh. var. baccata, Malus baccata (L.) Borkh. var. mandshurica (Maxim.), Malus baccata (L.) Borkh. var. sibirica, Malus communis Poir., Malus communis Poir. subsp. sylvestris (Mill.) Gams, Malus dasyphylla Borkh., Malus dasyphylla var. domestica Koidz., Malus domestica Borkh., Malus domestica Borkh. var. asiatica (Nakai), Malus domestica Borkh. var. rinki (Koidz.), Malus dulcissima Koidz. var. asiatica Koidz., Malus dulcissima var. rinki (Koidz.) Koidz., Malus floribunda, Malus floribunda Siebold ex Van Houtte, Malus malus (L.), Malus malus (L.) Britton nom. inval., Malus mandshurica (Maxim.) Kom., Malus matsumurae Koidz., Malus niedzwetzkyana Dieck, Malus pallasiana Juzepãuk ex Komarov, Malus paradisiaca (L.) Medik., Malus praecox (Pall.) Borkh., Malus prunifolia Borkh., Malus prunifolia Borkh. var. ringo Asami, Malus prunifolia Borkh. var. rinkii (Koidz.), Malus pumila auct., Malus pumila auct. var. domestica (Borkh.), Malus pumila Mill., Malus pumila Mill. var. niedzwetzkyana (Dieck), Malus pumila Mill. var. paradisiaca (L.), Malus pumila Mill. var. rinki Koidz., Malus pumila var. domestica, Malus pumila var. dulcissima, Malus pumila var. niedzwetzkyana (Dieck), Malus pumila var. paradisiaca (L.), Malus ringo Siebold ex Carrière, Malus rockii Rehder, Malus sargentii Rehder, Malus sibirica Borkh. ex Roem., Malus sibirica (Maxim.) Kom., Malus sylvestris, Malus sylvestris American auth. auct. non Mill., Malus sylvestris auct., Malus sylvestris auct. var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf., Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill., Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill. var. niedzwetskyana (Dieck), Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill. var. praecox, Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill. var. praecox (Pall.) Ponomar, Malus sylvestris Mill. subsp. mitis (Wallr.) Mansf., Malus sylvestris var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf., Malus sylvestris var. niedzwetskyana (Dieck), manzana (Spanish), marjaomena (Finnish), mela (Italian), nai (Japanese), pomi (Latin), pomme (French), pomo (Italian), procyanidin B-2, Pyrus acerba DC., Pyrus acerba (Mérat) DC., Pyrus baccata L., Pyrus baccata var. aurantiaca Regel, Pyrus baccata var. genuina Regel, Pyrus baccata var. himalaica Maxim., Pyrus floribunda G.Kirchn., Pyrus malusastracanica, Pyrus malus L., Pyrus malus L. subsp. acerba (Mérat) Syme, Pyrus malus var. astracanica, Pyrus malus var. paradisiaca L., Pyrus matsumurae (Koidz.) Cardot, Pyrus niedzwetzkyana (Dieck) Hemsl., Pyrus prunifolia Willd., Pyrus praecox Pall., Pyrus pumila (P.Mill.), Pyrus ringo Wenzig, Pyrus sargentii (Rehder) Bean, Rosaceae (family), sargentapal (Norwegian), Siberian crab apple, sufferjang (Hindi), tapuach (Hebrew), tuffahh (Arabic), ursolic acid, villiepli (Icelandic), yag wang na mu (Korean).
Selected combination products: Anticholest (apple-pectin-guar soft drink), Applephenon™, Classic AU-701, Diarrhoesan® (apple pectin-chamomile extract).
These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Allergic rhinitis (persistent)
Apple polyphenols are effective in alleviating symptoms of persistent allergic rhinitis (nasal mucous membrane inflammation). Furthermore, the polyphenols did not cause the adverse events associated with antihistamines and steroids. However, the effect of apple alone cannot be determined from the available information. Further research is required before conclusions can be made.
There is some evidence in support of soy increasing antioxidant status in humans. In general, diets high in plant foods may offer antioxidant benefits. Further research is required in this field before conclusions can be made.
Treatment with apple pectin on burn wounds demonstrated positive effects and was well tolerated. The most significant improvements were shown when pectin application was performed from the first day after burn injury. Randomized trials are still required on apple and apple products before firm conclusions can be made.
Some studies have linked the intake of apples with a reduced risk of various cancers. The analysis revealed a consistent association between apples intake and the decreased risk of various cancers.
Fiber consumption may result in lower fasting blood sugar and cholesterol values. Overall, high-carbohydrate, high-fiber diets showed the most potential for long-term use. The benefits of increasing apple fiber were not clear from this review, and randomized controlled trials in support of apple fiber for diabetes are limited.
A combination of apple pectin and chamomile extract may improve diarrhea symptoms in children. Clear apple juice was found to be more likely to promote diarrhea than cloudy apple juice.
Preliminary research suggests the potential for benefit of apple powder in patients with chronic enteritis (intestinal inflammation). Further research is needed in order to form conclusions in this field.
Some studies found that an apple-derived tonic showed promising results in the treatment of male-pattern baldness. The tonic demonstrated effectiveness in hair growth and increased hair diameter in men who received the active treatment. The effect of apple itself cannot be determined from these interventions.
Human studies show conflicting evidence on whether apple juice, powder, and pectin increase total mean cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations. Further randomized studies involving apple are required before conclusions can be made.
Poisoning (mercury intoxication)
A preliminary study of apple pectin in children exposed to mercury showed that pectin may be effective in mercury intoxication treatment. Further research is required in this field before recommendations can be made.
Preparation for surgery
Drinking apple juice before surgery may provide beneficial effects on anxiety, thirst, and hunger in children. Further research is needed.
Radiation side effects (radiotherapy adjunct)
Dietary supplementation with apple pectin appears to have a positive effect on radiation. Further research is needed.
Studies have tested the effects of pectin on ulcer recurrence in patients with recently healed ulcers. At this time, there is insufficient evidence to recommend the use of apple for duodenal ulcers. Caution is warranted.