Study finds organic apples have a more diverse and balanced bacterial community than conventional apples
The old saying: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” may have to be changed to “an organic apple a day keeps the doctor away” in light of a new published study finding that organic apples contain a more diverse and balanced bacterial community than conventional apples. The researchers said this could make the organic apples healthier and tastier than conventional apples.
The study has found that a typical apple carries more than 100 million bacteria. Some of these microbes are important in maintaining a healthy gut environment, or microbiome, says Professor Gabriele Berg from Graz University of Technology, Austria, one of the authors of the research.
“The bacteria, fungi and viruses in our food transiently colonize our gut,” she said in an interview with The Guardian. “Cooking kills most of these, so raw fruit and veg are particularly important sources of gut microbes.”
Organic and conventional apples were occupied by similar numbers of bacteria, but the researchers found organic apples to contain a more diverse and balanced bacterial community.
Variety in the microbiome is thought to be key to a healthy gut and the researchers said there appeared to be more microbial diversity in organic apples.
“Freshly harvested, organically managed apples harbor a significantly more diverse, more even and distinct bacterial community, compared to conventional ones,” explained Berg. “This variety and balance would be expected to limit overgrowth of any one species, and previous studies have reported a negative correlation between human pathogen abundance and microbiome diversity of fresh produce.” In other words, the more varied your diet, the fewer harmful bacteria are found.
The study was published in Frontiers in Microbiology.
Source: The Guardian
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