‘An Apple A Day Keeps Doctor Away’, But Brings 100 Million Bacteria? Find Out

This juicy red fruit apple is one of the most popular fruits across ages, especially among the health-conscious and fitness lovers. That’s probably because of the popular saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” but really? Let’s find out.

Apple is known to be nature’s original superfood! So when our great forefathers coined the phrase – “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”, they did not intend it to be taken too literally. No doubt apples are healthy and good for us but it wasn’t their medicinal properties that were being exalted when the phrase was coined.

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To be honest, finding out your food is covered in bacteria might make you feel a bit queasy. But in the case of apples, it’s probably a good thing. The new study which published in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology, a single apple can harbor as much as 100 million bacteria, and organic ones carry a much more diverse colony.

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“The bacteria, fungi, and viruses in our food transiently colonize our gut,” said Professor Gabriele Berg, of Graz University of Technology, Austria. “Cooking kills most of these, so raw fruit and veg are particularly important sources of gut microbes,” Berg said. To help us choose our colonic colonists wisely, the team analyzed the microbiome of one of the world’s favorite fruits: the apple.

“83 million apples were grown in 2018, and production continues to rise. But while recent studies have mapped their fungal content, less is known about the bacteria in apples,” said Berg. “Putting together the averages for each apple component, we estimate a typical 240-gram apple contains roughly 100 million bacteria,” said further.

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The majority of the bacteria are in the seeds, with the flesh accounting for most of the remainder. So, if the core is discarded, the intake falls to nearly 10 million, researchers said.

The results also mirrored findings on fungal communities in apples. “Our results agree remarkably with a recent study on the apple fruit associated fungal community, which revealed the specificity of fungal varieties to different tissues and management practices,” said Birgit Wasserman, lead author of the study.

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