January 20, 2010 --Scientists say they think they now know why an apple a day keeps the doctor away. They've discovered that a component of fruit, called pectin, boosts levels of friendly germs in the digestive system. In the study, researchers discovered that rats eating a diet high in pectin had increased amounts of certain bacteria that may improve intestinal health. They say that when apples are eaten regularly and over a prolonged period of time, these bacteria help produce fatty acids that provide ideal PH conditions for ensuring a beneficial balance of microorganisms.
Authors of the study say they now need to determine whether the findings in rats apply to humans.