Malus sylvestris / Appelboom

De appel is dé hongerstillende vrucht bij uitstek, is redelijk rijk aan voedingsstoffen. Bovendien bevat hij weinig calorieën en ietwat suiker, en heeft hij een diuretische (vochtdrijvende) werking, waardoor hij de eliminatie van afvalstoffen uit de urine bevordert. De vezels in appelen, de zogenaamde pectines, zijn niet alleen nuttig om confiture mee te maken, maar bevorderen ook de goede werking van de darmflora. Dankzij die eigenschap regelen ze de darmtransit en zijn ze even doeltreffend om luie darmen te bestrijden als om diarree tegen te gaan. 

Appelen bevatten ook allerlei vitamines: vitamines B, een beetje bètacaroteen of provitamine A, en een matige hoeveelheid vitamine C. 
Vergeet daarbij niet dat de schil (4 tot 6 keer) meer vitamine C bevat dan het vruchtvlees. 
Gezien zijn lage relatieve gewicht vertegenwoordigt de schil echter slechts een klein deel (ongeveer 25 %) van de totale hoeveelheid vitamine C in appelen. Maar er zijn nog andere redenen waarom de schil van de appel gezond is. Hij bevat namelijk ook een andere, bijzonder krachtige antioxidant: quercetine. Vooral dan rode appelen: die zijn per portie één van de rijkste bronnen van quercetine in vergelijking met andere vruchten en groenten. Afgeleide producten (appelsap, compote enz.) daarentegen worden vooral bereid met het vruchtvlees en niet met de schil, en bevatten dan ook weinig quercetine. 
De voorbije jaren zijn wetenschappers vol lof over dit fruit. Zo is bewezen dat regelmatig een appel eten (2 à 3 per dag), het cholesterolgehalte (totale en slechte cholesterol) kan helpen normaliseren, vooral als u ook de schil opeet, en een te hoge bloedsuikerspiegel kan doen dalen. De meest waarschijnlijke verklaring daarvoor is het feit dat de vezels de spijsvertering en de darmflora stimuleren. Een ander domein van de geneeskunde waarin de appel bijzonder hoopvolle perspectieven biedt, is de neurologie. Zo doen dierenproeven vermoeden dat de quercetine in appelen de neuronen zou beschermen tegen alzheimerletsels. 

The word apple shows up twelve times in my King James version, scattered through eight works, most frequently (four citations) in the Song of Solomon. Although I concluded that apricot or pomegranate might better be the apple of the Garden of Eden (BIB), Israeli botanist Michael Zohary
seems to favor the apple over the apricot, although apples were not mentioned in narratives regarding the Garden of Eden. The Hebrew tappuah occurs five times in the Bible as an apple tree, six times as a place name, and once as a proper name. Other biblical scholars have sometimes referred to the tappuah as apricot or bitter orange, although these plants were reportedly introduced much later than the apple, which dates in Europe from the Neolithic. Still, although no remains of apple are found among the prehistoric remains of the Middle East, ancient Egyptian papyri circa Ramses
II (1298–1235 b.c.) show Nile delta fields with pomegranate, apple, olive, and fig. Zohary adds that the Arabic tuffah refers exclusively to apple trees, justifying its identification with the Hebrew tappuah.
Apples may have been introduced to the Holy Land from Armenia, Iran, Syria, or Turkey circa 4000 b.c. (ZOH). AH2 and USN maintain Malus domestica (USN) or Malus pumila (AH2) for the apple, and both retain for the crab apple name, Malus sylvestris. I would wager that the crab apple is better medicine, ounce for ounce. As a matter of fact, I would speculate that one crabapple (proportionately more phytochemicals) would almost equate (dosage-wise) to one big juicy McIntosh (proportionately more water).

Liu and Chen (2005) state, rightly or wrongly, that “Apples are … the major contributors of phytochemicals in human diets.” Extracts exhibit strong antioxidant and antiproliferative activities.
Whole apple extracts prevent mammary cancer in rats (comparable to a human eating one, three, and six apples a day (X15769178). Hamauzuta et al. (2005) evaluated phenolics in apple and quince; the latter, with more 3-caffeoylquinic acid and 5-caffeoylquinic acid and polymeric procyanidins, had more antiflu activity (X15713000). Apple antioxidants may help prevent gastric diseases (X15647180). Several procyanidin fractions inhibit tyrosinase and melanogenesis (X16029003).
Epicatechin and procyanidin B2 were the major contributors to the antioxidant activity of whole apple. Hydroxycinnamic acids may have a significant role in the flesh (X15941346).
Duke’s Handbook of Medicinal Plants of the Bible

Neurology. 2012 Apr 10;78(15):1138-45. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e31824f7fc4. Epub 2012 Apr 4. Habitual intake of dietary flavonoids and risk of Parkinson disease. Gao X, Cassidy A, Schwarzschild MA, Rimm EB, Ascherio A.

To prospectively examine whether higher intakes of total flavonoids and their subclasses (flavanones, anthocyanins, flavan-3-ols, flavonols, flavones, and polymers) were associated with a lower risk of developing Parkinson disease (PD).
In the current analysis, we included 49,281 men in the Health Professional Follow-up Study and 80,336 women from the Nurses' Health Study. Five major sources of flavonoid-rich foods (tea, berry fruits, apples, red wine, and orange/orange juice) were also examined. Flavonoid intake was assessed using an updated food composition database and a validated food frequency questionnaire.
We identified 805 participants (438 men and 367 women) who developed PD during 20-22 years of follow-up. In men, after adjusting for multiple confounders, participants in the highest quintile of total flavonoids had a 40%lower PD risk than those in the lowest quintile (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.60; 95% confidence interval 0.43, 0.83; p trend = 0.001). No significant relationship was observed in women (p trend = 0.62) or in pooled analyses (p trend = 0.23). In the pooled analyses for the subclasses, intakes of anthocyanins and a rich dietary source, berries, were significantly associated with a lower PD risk (HR comparing 2 extreme intake quintiles were 0.76 for anthocyanins and 0.77 for berries, respectively; p trend < 0.02 for both).
Our findings suggest that intake of some flavonoids may reduce PD risk, particularly in men, but a protective effect of other constituents of plant foods cannot be excluded.

Int J Mol Med. 2012 Jul;30(1):100-6. doi: 10.3892/ijmm.2012.953. Epub 2012 Mar 26. Apple polysaccharides induce apoptosis in colorectal cancer cells Zhang D, Sun Y, Yue Z, Li Q, Meng J, Liu J, Hekong X, Jiang F, Mi M, Liu L, Mei Q. Department of Pathogen Biology and Immunology, Xi'an Medical College, Xi'an 710021, Shaanxi, P.R. China.
Certain components of apples have been shown to prevent cancer growth and impede cancer progression. We hypothesized that extracted apple polysaccharides (APs) might, therefore, have anticancer effects, through a mechanism involving the induction of apoptosis in cancer cells, partly via the NF-κB pathway. Two human colorectal cancer (CRC) cell lines, HT-29 and SW620, were exposed to different concentrations of APs (0.01, 0.1 or 1 mg/ml). Cell apoptosis was measured by the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay by flow cytometry and incorporation of 5'-bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) into DNA to identify the proliferating cell fraction, using fluorescence microscopy in vitro. The protein levels of NF-κB/p65, I-κBα, pI-κBα, Bax, Bcl-xl and Bcl-2 were evaluated by western blotting. The target sites of APs on CRC cells were assessed by flow cytometry. At concentrations of 0.1 and 1 mg/ml, APs showed apoptosis-inducing effects, increased expressions of Bax, nuclear p65 and cytoplasmic pI-κBα, and decreased expressions of Bcl-2, Bcl-xl and cytoplasmic I-κBα. APs induced apoptosis by slightly activating the NF-κB pathway; the AP target site could be the Toll-like receptor 4 on the cell membrane. These results demonstrate the potential of APs as agents for clinical prevention and treatment of CRC.

Apple polyphenol phloretin potentiates the anticancer actions of paclitaxel through induction of apoptosis in human hep G2 cells.
Yang KC, Tsai CY, Wang YJ, Wei PL, Lee CH, Chen JH, Wu CH, Ho YS. Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, Shin Kong Wu Ho-Su Memorial Hospital, School of Medicine, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan.
Phloretin (Ph), which can be obtained from apples, apple juice, and cider, is a known inhibitor of the type II glucose transporter (GLUT2). In this study, real-time PCR analysis of laser-capture microdissected (LCM) human hepatoma cells showed elevated expression (>5-fold) of GLUT2 mRNA in comparison with nonmalignant hepatocytes. In vitro and in vivo studies were performed to assess Ph antitumor activity when combined with paclitaxel (PTX) for treatment of human liver cancer cells. Inhibition of GLUT2 by Ph potentiated the anticancer effects of PTX, resensitizing human liver cancer cells to drugs. These results demonstrate that 50-150 microM Ph significantly potentiates DNA laddering induced in Hep G2 cells by 10 nM PTX. Activity assays showed that caspases 3, 8, and 9 are involved in this apoptosis. The antitumor therapeutic efficacy of Ph (10 mg/kg body weight) was determined in cells of the SCID mouse model that were treated in parallel with PTX (1 mg/kg body weight). The Hep G2-xenografted tumor volume was reduced more than fivefold in the Ph + PTX-treated mice compared to the PTX-treated group. These results suggest that Ph may be useful for cancer chemotherapy and chemoprevention.

Crabapple (Malus sylvestris) is a kind of apple growing in a natural environment in western and middle Europe including Turkey and is considered to be the ancestor of the apple we know. It is a fruit of a member of the Rosaceae species that grows in the forests [2]. The fruits are small and have quite a sour taste. The leaves of some cultivars, such as Malus are often used as tea, and the fruits are consumed and utilized in the production of fruit beverages due to the fact that they are rich in antioxidant flavonoids [16]. Although most crabapple fruits are edible, very little has been reported on their biological activities in human [15]. In terms of the content it is very rich in polyphenols and malic acid. Malic acid is a natural compound that is found commonly in fruits and vegetables, including apples. Moreover it is also known as apple acid. Malic acid present in crabapple has been shown to exert medicinal effects [5]. Malic acid is not only required for energy production, but it was also found to play role in detoxification and removal of poisons from the body [1]. There are protective properties of crabapple from the toxic effects of metals such as aluminum and strontium. In a study conducted in the United States, malic acid along with magnesium has been found to be very useful for the treatment of muscle cramps and muscle pain [11]. In clinical trials performed in Spain it has been shown to be beneficial when used as a spray for the treatment of dry mouth as a comprising side effect of certain medications (including antidepressants) [4]. In addition, in a clinical study conducted in recent years malic acid has been shown to have positive effects in the treatment of kidney stones [10]. Moreover, boiled roots of crabapple are known to have sedative, hypnotic and headache relieving effects in traditional medicine.

Abnormal blood glucose and lipid levels are common health problems which are quite often in many diseases, especially diabetes and metabolic syndrome. In particular, glucose and lipid level abnormalities are preparing ground for the precipitation of cardiovascular disease in diabetes. Therefore, keeping these values within normal limits is very important in terms of protective and preventive medicine. Accordingly, the potential effects of various molecules on regulation of blood glucose and lipid levels are being studied in certain disease models. Although it has been known since ancient times, crabapple has been studied rarely and only very little information has been published about the potential medical effects of this fruit. 

1] Abraham, G., and Flechas, J., “Management of fibromyalgia: rationale for the use of magnesium and malic acid, “ J Nutr Med, 3.49-59. 1992.     

[2] Coart, E., VAN Glabeke, S., DE Loose, M., Larsen, AS., and Roldán-Ruiz, I., “Chloroplast diversity in the genus Malus: new insights into the relationship between the European wild apple (Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill.) and the domesticated apple (Malus domestica Borkh.), “ Mol Ecol 15. 2171-2182. 2006.View Article PubMed

[3] Eisenberg, DM., Davis, RB., Ettner, SL., Appel, S., Wilkey, S., Van Rompay, M., and Kessler, RC., “Trends in alternative medicine use in the United States, 1990-1997: results of a follow-up national survey,” JAMA 280. 1569-1575. 1998.View Article PubMed

[4] Gómez-Moreno, G., Aguilar-Salvatierra, A., Guardia, J., Uribe-Marioni, A., Cabrera-Ayala, M., Delgado-Ruiz, RA., and Calvo-Guirado, JL., “The efficacy of a topical sialogogue spray containing 1% malic acid in patients with antidepressant-induced dry mouth: a double-blind, randomized clinical trial,” Depress Anxiety 30. 137-142. 2013.
View Article PubMed

[5] Hulme, AC., and WL., “Seperation of the enzymes present in the mitochondrial fraction from apple peel,” Nature 196. 388-389. 1962.
View Article

[6] nternational Diabetes Federation. “IDF Diabetes Altas Globally,” International Diabetes Federation, 6th edition, 2013.      

[7] Kearney, PM., Whelton, M., Reynolds, K., Whelton, PK., and He, J., “Worldwide prevalence of hypertension: a systematic review,” J Hypertens 22. 11-19. 2004.View Article PubMed

[8] Li, N., Shi, J., and Wang, K., “Profile and antioxidant activity of phenolic extracts from ten crabapples (Malus wild species).” J. Agric. Food Chem 62. 574-581. 2014. View Article PubMed

[9] Pang, B., Yu, XT., Zhou, Q., Zhao, TY., Wang, H., Gu, CJ., and Tong, XL., “Effect of Rhizoma coptidis (Huang Lian) on Treating Diabetes Mellitus,” Evid Based Complement Alternat Med, 2015 921416. 2015.

[10] Rodgers, AL., Webber, D., de Charmoy, R., Jackson, GE., and Ravenscroft, N., “Malic acid supplementation increases urinary citrate excretion and urinary pH: implications for the potential treatment of calcium oxalate stone disease,” J Endourol 28. 229-236. 2014.
View Article PubMed

[11] Russell, IJ., Michalek, JE., Flechas, JD., and Abraham, GE., “Treatment of fibromyalgia syndrome with Super Malic: a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled, crossover pilot study,” J Rheumatol 22.953-958. 1995.   

[12] Tindle, HA., Davis, RB., Phillips, RS., and Eisenberg, DM., “Trends in use of complementary and alternative medicine by US adults: 1997-View Article

[16] Zhao, H., and Yang, H., “Exogenous polyamines alleviate the lipid peroxidation induced by cadmium chloride stress in Malus hupehensis,” Rehd. Sci. Hortic. 116. 442-447. 2008.View Article