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Overview Information

Apple is the fruit from an apple tree. People eat apples as a normal part of the diet or drink apple juice. Apples are also used as medicine.

People use apples for conditions such as cancer, diabetes, obesity, and many others, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

Apple is applied to the head for baldness.

How does it work?

Apples contain pectin, which helps bulk up the stool to treat diarrhea and constipation. Apples also contain some chemicals that seem to be able to kill bacteria, reduce swelling in the body, and kill cancer cells. Apple peel contains a chemical called ursolic acid that is suspected to have a role in building muscle and metabolism.


Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Hay fever. Early research suggests that taking a specific drink (Applephenon, Asahi Food and Healthcare Ltd) containing certain chemicals from apples, called polyphenols, daily for 4 weeks reduces symptoms of hay fever, such as sneezing and swelling inside the nose.
  • Alzheimer Disease. Early research shows that drinking apple juice might improve mood and behavior in people with Alzheimer disease. But it doesn't appear to improve memory or mental function.
  • Male-pattern baldness (androgenic alopecia). Early research suggests that applying a product containing procyanidin B-2, a chemical in apple, to the scalp might increase hair growth in men with male-pattern baldness.
  • Cancer. Early research suggests that eating one or more apples daily might be linked with a lower risk of developing foodpipe (esophageal), colorectal, or voice box (larynx) cancer.
  • Tooth plaque. Eating an apple to remove plaque does not work as well as brushing teeth. Eating an apple might even increase tooth plaque.
  • Diabetes. Early research suggests that replacing white wheat flour in bread with powdered, dehydrated apple does not improve blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes.
  • Diarrhea. Some early research suggests that taking a specific combination product containing apple pectin and German chamomile by mouth for 1-3 days might reduce the number of stools and improve symptoms in children with diarrhea. Other research suggests that drinking apple juice might actually worsen episodes of diarrhea in infants.
  • Softening and passing gallstones. Some early research suggests that drinking apple juice for 7 days and then adding olive oil on the seventh day before going to bed might soften gallstones and help them leave the body in a bowel movement.
  • Lung cancer. There is some early evidence that eating more apples might lower the risk of developing lung cancer.
  • Muscle strength. Early research shows that taking a specific blend of ancient peat and apple extract might increase strength and power in men participating in strength training.
  • Obesity loss. Some early research suggests that eating apples three times per day might modestly increase weight loss over a period of 12 weeks.
  • Cleaning teeth.
  • Constipation.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Fever.
  • Heart problems.
  • Metabolic syndrome.
  • Scurvy.
  • Warts.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate apple for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

When taken by mouth: Apples are LIKELY SAFE for most people, as long as the seeds aren't eaten. No side effects are generally known or expected to occur with apple fruit or apple juice. Taking a specific chemical found in apples, called apple polyphenols, is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth, short-term. Apple seeds, however, contain cyanide and are poisonous. Eating enough seeds (in one case, one cup of apple seeds) can cause death. The cyanide is released in the stomach as the seeds are digested, so it may take several hours for the symptoms of poisoning to appear.

When applied to the skin: Specific chemicals found in apples, called apple polyphenols, are POSSIBLY SAFE when applied directly to the skin, short-term.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Apple is safe in the amounts found in food. But there isn't enough reliable information to know if apple is safe in the amounts found in medicine when pregnant or breastfeeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid amounts greater than those found in food.

Children: Apples are LIKELY SAFE, as long as the seeds aren't eaten. Apple pectin is POSSIBLY SAFE for children when taken by mouth, short-term.

Allergy to apricot and related plants: Apple may cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to the Rosaceae family. Members of this family include apricot, almond, plum, peach, pear, and strawberry. Apple might also cause an allergic reaction in people allergic to birch pollen. If you have allergies, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking apple.

Diabetes: Apple, especially apple juice, can increase blood sugar levels. Monitor your blood sugar carefully if you use apple products and have diabetes.



Moderate Interaction

Be cautious with this combination

  • Fexofenadine (Allegra) interacts with APPLE

    Apple juice can decrease how much fexofenadine (Allegra) your body absorbs. Taking apple along with fexofenadine (Allegra) might decrease the effectiveness of fexofenadine (Allegra).



The appropriate dose of apple depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for apple. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

View References


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  • Anderson, J. W., Gustafson, N. J., Bryant, C. A., and Tietyen-Clark, J. Dietary fiber and diabetes: a comprehensive review and practical application. J Am Diet Assoc 1987;87(9):1189-1197. View abstract.
  • Asp, N. G., Agardh, C. D., Ahren, B., Dencker, I., Johansson, C. G., Lundquist, I., Nyman, M., Sartor, G., and Schersten, B. Dietary fibre in type II diabetes. Acta Med Scand Suppl 1981;656:47-50. View abstract.
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  • Bondonno NP, Bondonno CP, Blekkenhorst LC, et al. Flavonoid-Rich Apple Improves Endothelial Function in Individuals at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2018;62(3). View abstract.
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  • Tapaninen T, Neuvonen PJ, Niemi M. Orange and apple juice greatly reduce the plasma concentrations of the OATP2B1 substrate aliskiren. Br J Clin Pharmacol 2011;71:718-26. View abstract.
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