Debunking “An Apple A Day Keeps A Doctor Away” Using Scientific Evidence!

Written By Fam Staff
Medically Reviewed By Dr. Adnan Maqsood
is it true - does an apple keeps doctor away - debunking myth.

Ever wondered if eating apples can actually keep you away from the doctor? This age-old saying has opened new doors of debate among researchers and people. 

Therefore, it is time to unfold the science behind the famous proverb and find out what research has been done to back the claim. 

In this blog, you’re about to discover the reality of whether an apple a day can reduce your visits to a doctor. 

So, grab your plate of apples and take a seat as you’re about to slice through the back story of how this famous saying originated and what health benefits you can savour by eating apples daily. 

Origin of The Famous Proverb “An Apple A Day Keeps A Doctor Away”

This famous phrase was first heard in Wales in 1866 in a different sentence: “Eat an apple on going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread.”

Later in 1913, The saying was then modified into the phrase we know today: “An apple a day keeps a doctor away.” In the 19th and 20th centuries, people used plants and fruits to keep their health at bay. In fact, plants and fruits were widely used to treat various ailments in the Middle Ages. 

Therefore, this saying came into existence and highlighted the importance of eating fruits, mainly apples. Within these few years, multiple researches have been done to study the immense health benefits of this well-known fruit. 

But can eating an apple daily really prevent frequent visits to a doctor’s office? Let’s find out more!

The Scientific Truth Behind “Eating An Apple A Day Keeps Doctor Away”

Contrary to the widely heard proverb, robust evidence is lacking to firmly support the notion.

In fact, a deep dive into the available research reveals a need for more substantial backing to validate this health claim. 

However, one study in US adults revealed the distribution of physician visits between apple eaters and non-apple eaters. The researchers concluded that people who added apples frequently to their diet were more likely to avoid prescription medications than non-apple-eaters. 

Although eating more apples doesn’t link to fewer visits to the doctor’s office scientifically, this fruit is highly rich in nutrients. It offers scientifically proven benefits for disease prevention and long-term improvement of health.

Four Common Health Benefits of Eating An Apple A Day 

Multiple studies have been found on the health benefits of eating apples. Listed here are the most common benefits you can’t ignore to improve your health.

  1. Known To Support Heart Health.

Research has approved that adding apples to your diet can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as dyslipidemia (dysregulation of abnormal lipid levels), coronary heart disease(a disease where arteries cannot deliver oxygen-rich blood to the heart), endothelial dysfunction (the narrowing of the blood vessels), etc. 

In fact, a popular Finnish study on 10,054 men and women reports an overall reduction in cardiovascular diseases due to the frequent consumption of apples in their daily lives. 

The pronounced benefit of apples is due to the presence of a high amount of flavonoids, particularly flavones, flavanols and flavonols that are responsible for improved heart health. Not to mention, they are highly rich in soluble fibre and polyphenols that lower the chance of heart disease.

  1. Reduce The Risk Of Diabetes.

Apples have a relatively low glycemic index, meaning they cause only a minimal rise in blood glucose levels. It consists of fructose instead of sucrose and glucose. Hence, when fructose is consumed by eating the whole apple, there is enough evidence that it causes a very minimum rise in blood glucose compared to glucose consumption. 

Apples contain about 4 gm of dietary fibre that helps control high blood sugar spikes. It does so by lowering the absorption of sugar from the stomach and reducing the rapid rise in blood glucose levels. 

Not to mention, the polyphenols in apples also slow the absorption and digestion of carbs and sugar.  

  1. Apples Can Reduce Cancer Risk 

In a meta-analysis of various studies, recent evidence has found a positive impact of consuming apples in reducing various types of cancers like lung cancer, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and overall digestive cancers. 

To elaborate more, this reduction in cancer risk is primarily due to the high levels of polyphenols that have promising anti-cancer activities. 

A polyphenol named phloretin in apples is well known to prevent the migration of breast cancer cells by inhibiting the energy supply to the cancer cells. 

Therefore, we can say that eating apples may offer a natural and beneficial strategy to inhibit various types of cancers. 

  1. Improves Overall Digestive Health

Some of the most common digestive issues in the US are heartburn, diarrhoea, bloating, and constipation. 

If you experience constipation, consider incorporating apples into your diet. Several studies and clinicians have reported apples as an excellent choice for digestive health. They contain higher amounts of fibre that can help improve immunity, support optimal digestion, and reduce inflammation. 

Furthermore, pectin is a soluble fibre present in apples and it absorbs water in the digestive tract, promoting the formation of softer stools for easier passage.


All in all, we can say that eating more apples may not ensure reducing your doctor visits because every individual has unique health needs, responses, and clinical conditions. 

However, scientific evidence proves that apples have diverse health benefits that can help in disease control and prevention, eventually reducing your chances of going to a doctor. 

Therefore, you can take a proactive step in leveraging your health by adding apples to your daily diet, preventing health issues and promoting your overall well-being.

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