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Howard G. Smith, M.D. is a former radio medical editor and talk show host in the Boston Metro area.  His "Medical Minute" of health and wellness news and commentary was a regular weekday feature on WBZ-AM, WRKO-AM, and WMRE-AM.   His popular two-way talk show, Dr. Howard Smith OnCall, was regularly heard Sunday morning and middays on WBZ.

Trained at Harvard Medical School and a long-time faculty member at Boston Children’s Hospital, he practiced Pediatric Otolaryngology for 40 years in Boston, Southern California, and in central Connecticut.

If you have questions or suggestions about this content, please email the doctor at or leave him a message at 516-778-8864.  His website is:

Please note that the news, views, commentary, and opinions that Dr. Smith provides are for informational purposes only.  Any changes that you or members of your family contemplate making to lifestyle, diet, medications, or medical therapy should always be discussed beforehand with personal physicians who have been supervising your care.

Aug 2, 2019



Studies of our gut’s microbiome, our gastrointestinal tract’s collection of bacteria, show that it has a huge role in our body’s health.  Most of our gut bacteria come from raw fruit and vegetables, since cooking kills the majority of those in other foods we eat.  The most ubiquitous raw fruit is the apple, and it supplies many of the bacteria in our systems.


An Austrian study of apples just published in the journal Frontiers of Microbiology shows that the most beneficial bacteria are found in apples grown organically.  The highest numbers of bacteria are found in the seeds, the stems, and the ends of the apple, and those numbers are consistently higher for the organically-grown fruit.


If you look closely at the data though, the organic advantage is not huge.   Often the price difference is.  The bottom line is eat apples, any apples, and get the best price so that you can buy more.


Birgit Wassermann, Henry Müller, Gabriele Berg. An Apple a Day: Which Bacteria Do We Eat With Organic and Conventional Apples? Frontiers in Microbiology, 2019; 10 DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.01629


#Apples, microbiome, organic