Apple juice inhibits human low density lipoprotein oxidation

Debra A. Pearson, Christine H. Tan, J. Bruce German, Paul A. Davis, M. Eric Gershwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

126 Scopus citations


Dietary phenolic compounds, ubiquitous in vegetables and fruits and their juices possess antioxidant activity that may have beneficial effects on human health. The phenolic composition of six commercial apple juices, and of the peel (RP), flesh (RF) and whole fresh Red Delicious apples (RW), was determined by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), and total phenols were determined by the Folin-Ciocalteau method. HPLC analysis identified and quantified several classes of phenolic compounds: cinnamates, anthocyanins, flavan-3-ols and flavonols. Phloridzin and hydroxy methyl furfural were also identified. The profile of phenolic compounds varied among the juices. The range of concentrations as a percentage of total phenolic concentration was: hydroxy methyl furfural, 4-30%; phloridzin, 22-36%; cinnamates, 25-36%; anthocyanins, n.d.; flavan-3-ols, 8-27%; flavonols, 2- 10%. The phenolic profile of the Red Delicious apple extracts differed from those of the juices. The range of concentrations of phenolic classes in fresh apple extracts was: hydroxy methyl furfural, n.d.; phloridzin, 11-17%; cinnamates, 3-27%; anthocyanins, n.d.-42%; flavan-3-ols, 31-54%; flavonols, 1-10%. The ability of compounds in apple juices and extracts from fresh apple to protect LDL was assessed using an in vitro copper catalyzed human LDL oxidation system. The extent of LDL oxidation was determined as hexanal production using static headspace gas chromatography. The apple juices and extracts, tested at 5 μM gallic acid equivalents (GAE), all inhibited LDL oxidation. The inhibition by the juices ranged from 9 to 34%, and inhibition by RF, RW and RP was 21, 34 and 38%, respectively. Regression analyses revealed no significant correlation between antioxidant activity and either total phenolic concentration or any specific class of phenolics. Although the specific components in the apple juices and extracts that contributed to antioxidant activity have yet to be identified, this study found that both fresh apple and commercial apple juices inhibited copper-catalyzed LDL oxidation. The in vitro antioxidant activity of apples support the inclusion of this fruit and its juice in a healthy human diet.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1913-1920
Number of pages8
JournalLife Sciences
Issue number21
StatePublished - Apr 16 1999


  • Apple
  • Apple juice
  • Flavanoids
  • Human low density lipoproteins
  • In vitro oxidation
  • Phenolics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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