The amount of dried apple was roughly equivalent to one fresh apple.
The women eating apple experienced a 23% decrease in LDL cholesterol, or bad cholesterol. Also, the HDL cholesterol, or good cholesterol, increased.
Apple consumption also lowered inflammatory compounds linked with artery-clogging plaques.
Even though an extra 240 calories a day were consumed from the apple, the women actually lost weight.
The benefits of apples are likely due to multiple different reasons. Apples contain pectin, a soluble fiber, which makes people feel full and also blocks cholesterol absorption in the gut.
Also, antioxidants called polyphenols, which are found in fruits like apples and blueberries, help protect cells from free radical damage.
Researchers were not expecting such a dramatic decrease in cholesterol. When you compare the results with those of common cholesterol lowering medications like Lipitor, which lowers LDL by around 40% or so, apples were shown to be pretty effective.
The research team hopes to confirm the results of this study in a possible future nationwide study.