Consumption of Organic vs. Conventional Apples and Antioxidant Activity

Background and methodology:

This study compared the effects of consumption of organic and nonorganic apples on antioxidant activity and DNA damage under controlled conditions. Six volunteers ate either organically or conventionally grown apples (Golden Delicious) from two neighboring commercial farms in a double-blind, randomized, crossover study. Blood samples were taken from each volunteer and used for extensive analysis of antioxidant and DNA activity. 


The study found no statistically significant differences in total phenolic compounds, nor did they cause any changes in antioxidant capacity of low-density lipoproteins (lag time test), endogenous DNA strand breaks, Fpg protein-sensitive sites, or capacity to protect DNA against damage caused by hydrogen peroxide. There was a statistically significant decrease in the levels of endonuclease III sensitive sites and an increased capacity to protect DNA against damage induced by iron chloride 24 hours after consumption in both groups, indicating similar antigenotoxic potential of both organically and conventionally grown apples. 


Briviba, K., Stracke, B. A., Rufer, C.E., Watzl, B., Weibel, F. P., & Bub, A. (2007). Effect of consumption of organically and conventionally produced apples on antioxidant activity and DNA damage in humans.  Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 55(19), 7716-7721. Available on-line at: