Eating apples regularly may reduce the risk of developing colorectal cancer, according to new research in Poland and reported in the European Journal Of Cancer Prevention.
The tests compared 592 patients suffering from the disease with 765 patients without at the same hospital.
Research concluded that those with cancer had eaten 9.5 servings a week, compared to those without the disease, who had 11 servings a week.
A reduced risk was observed with those who ate one apple a day, with the odds at 0.65, while eating more than one apple a day reduced the risk by about half.
Eating other fruit or vegetables did not have the same effects on the risk of colorectal cancer.
The protective properties of apples may be as a result of their high content of flavonoids.
These act as antioxidants found concentrated in the skin of apples, preventing molecules or free radicals from inflicting damage on tissue and which can inhibit cancer onset and cell proliferation.
Antioxidants were five times more prevalent in the apple skin than the actual flesh - so wash, but do not peel before you eat.
However, the World Cancer Research Fund says its research has shown that the risk of all cancers can be reduced by between 30 to 40 per cent by making simple lifestyle changes, such as eating more fruit and vegetables, taking regular exercise and watching our weight.