Apples are often described as a healthy food. But what’s the association with protection from cancer?

In 2005, researchers from Italy compared about 6600 cancer-free people to 598 who had cancer. Those who reported eating at least 1 apple per day were at lower risk (compared to eating less than 1 apple per day) of getting cancer of the oral cavity and pharynx, esophagus, larynx, colorectal, breast, ovary, and prostate.

The bottom line?
The authors recognized that apples might simply be an indication of a healthy diet. However, in this study, “Even after further allowance for consumption of vegetables and other fruit, the association with apples did not change, and became even stronger for some cancer sites.”

Here are some facts about apples, thanks to my local newspaper.

  • To grow an apple tree, you don’t plant a seed. You graft a twig or branch with a bud on a root. (Does that mean Johnny Appleseed was wasting his time?)
  • It takes 3 to 7 years for an apple tree to produce apples.
  • Red is not necessarily ripe. It might be red because it grew on the inside of a tree and didn’t get enough sun.
  • Cool nights make an apple red.
  • Sunny days make the sugar.
  • Refrigerate an apple to keep it fresh.

9/30/07 18:50 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.