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Fruit Juices Show Healthy Side

An apple a day may keep the doctor away, and grape juice can help, too, reports CBS This Morning Health Contributor Dr. Dave Hnida of CBS station KCNC-TV in Denver.

According to one study, the antioxidant effects of wine and tea also seem to apply to apple juice.

Researchers at the University of California-Davis Medical Center report that both apples and apple juice contain antioxidants, components that are thought to prevent disease.

Antioxidants work by stopping the oxidation of LDL, the "bad" cholesterol. Oxidation is believed to promote the buildup of plaque in arteries, which can ultimately lead to heart disease. Researchers tested commercial apple juices and apples on LDL cholesterol and found that the apple products significantly
slowed the oxidation process.

Meanwhile, a separate study at the University of Wisconsin found that a glass of purple grape juice may protect you from the dangerous effect secondhand smoke has on your heart.

Tobacco smoke increases the stickiness of blood platelets, which is a contributor to heart disease and strokes. The researchers found that grape juice reversed the platelet stickiness in monkeys that had been exposed to secondhand smoke and protected them from a second exposure.

It should be noted that the two studies were funded by the Processed Apples Institute and Welch Foods Inc., respectively.

Further research will be conducted in the coming months to see whether grape juice has the same effect on humans exposed to second-hand smoke.

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