Health News

Does an apple a day really keep the doctor away?

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An apple a day doesn’t necessarily keep the doctor away — but it may help cut your pharmacy bill. That’s according to new research that turned an analytical eye on the old wives’ tale and found daily apple eaters had just as many doctor visits as those who ate fewer or no apples.

The findings don’t mean apples aren’t good for you but they do underscore that it takes more than just one kind of food to make a healthy diet and avoid illness.

About one-third of the adults studied said they had no more than one doctor visit in the previous year; the remainder reported at least two visits. A preliminary analysis found people who eat apples regularly had slightly fewer doctor’s visits than people who don’t. But that difference disappeared when the researchers considered weight, race, education, health insurance and other factors that can influence frequency of medical visits.

Eating apples did not reduce the number of overnight hospital stays or mental health visits.

However, apple eaters were slightly less likely to use prescription drugs, the researchers found. The study lacks information on use of over-the-counter drugs and alternative medicine.

 

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