http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healt ... o-eat.html
800-year-old apple 'healthiest to eat'
An apple a day may keep the doctor away but an organic variety first grown more than 800 years ago could be the healthiest to eat, according to a new study.
By Kate Devlin, Medical Correspondent
Published: 7:00AM BST 08 Sep 2009
Researchers claim that the Pendragon apple, which has been grown in England since the 12th century, contains higher levels of plant chemicals linked to health benefits - including reducing inflammation and lowering blood sugar - than other varieties.
The apple came top in a test of 12 organic and three normally grown apples, beating rivals such as Golden Delicious, Royal Gala and Cox.
“Of all the organic varieties, Pendragon was the best apple variety and contained seven of the eight kinds of healthy components at the highest levels,” said pharmacist Michael Wakeman, who led the study and presented his findings to the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s annual conference in Manchester.
“In contrast, the non-organic apples consistently had low levels … in both the flesh and the peel,” said Mr Wakeman, who works for Eden Healthcare Technologies in Leicestershire.
Runners up to Pendragon were an organically grown variety of Golden Delicious, a cider apple called Collogett Pippin, and old Cornish and Devon apple varieties, Ben’s Red and Devonshire Quarrenden.
They were tested for a range of plant compounds which have been linked to reducing cholesterol, inflammation and blood sugar levels as well as potential anti-cancer properties.
Mr Wakeman said that the absence of pesticides could mean that organic apples produce larger amounts of many of the compounds to protect themselves from infection.
His findings come just weeks after the Food Standards Agency found little, if any, nutritional difference between organic and non-organic foods.
Mr Wakeman said: “This research confirms that while some measures of organic versus non-organic food benefits might appear equivocal, more sophisticated analysis of compounds which are newly recognised as being of importance to good health do show a significant difference.”
The compounds are disappearing from many people’s diet because of modern farming techniques designed to produce sweeter fruits in more uniform shapes, he added.
The Pendragon is not available to buy in supermarkets and had to be sourced by the researchers from a private orchard in Cornwall which specialises in conserving older varieties of the fruit.
The other organic apple varieties tested also included Robbie graham seedling (bramley), two types of Boulder seedling, Gala, Hockings Green, Nye, Queen Cox, another cider apple called Torr Hill (Cider apple).
The three non-organic varieties included in the study were Golden Delicious, Royal Gala and Cox.
The apples were tested for chemicals called phenols.
Studies have suggested that flavanoids, a type of phenol, could protect against the development of lung cancer as well as reduce inflammation.
However, some experts have questioned the health benefits of phenols, which can appear in small quantities and some of which are poorly absorbed by the body.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/ ... amins.html
Organic food does not have more vitamins
Organic food is no richer in vitamins than food grown with pesticides and artificial chemicals, according to a new study.
By Jessica Salter
Published: 1:30AM BST 08 Aug 2008
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Shoppers can pay up to a third more for organic produce, but the researchers said that with no more nutrients, it was a "lifestyle choice".
Dr Susanne Bugel and a team at the University of Copenhagen's Department of Human Nutrition, studied fruit and vegetables on most families' shopping lists, including carrots, peas, apples and potatoes.
The team found no clear evidence of any difference in the vitamin and mineral content between the organically and the chemically grown crops.
Their findings are published in the Society of Chemical Industry's Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.
Dr Alan Baylis, from the society, said: "Modern crop protection chemicals to control weeds, pests and diseases are extensively tested and stringently regulated, and once in the soil, mineral nutrients from natural or artificial fertilisers are chemically identical.
"Organic crops are often lower yielding and eating them is a lifestyle choice for those who can afford it."
The research was the first to look at the retention of minerals in fruit and vegetables.
However it did not examine the food for any health risks associated with the use of chemicals.
Earlier this year Delia Smith put herself on a collision course with the organic movement by declaring that she did not "do organic" and understands why people buy battery-reared chickens.