Despite their minute size and a difference in appearance, the fruit fly actually shares many genes with humans, which is why scientists selected this species for a new study.
The study in question involved feeding half of the fruit flies normally and the other half had apple extract added to their food.
The flies who were fed normally lived an average of 50 days, five days less than those who had apple extract added to their food.
The report, which has been published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry says that the researchers believe that antioxidants in the apple extract soaked up any dangerous chemicals and free radicals which cause illnesses and aging.
In addition, the flies that did live longer also found it easier to walk, climb and move as they aged and also exhibited reduced levels of biochemicals which are found in older fruit flies.
Though more studies need to be conducted involving humans before the benefits can truly be measured, a spokesman for the American Chemical Society said: ‘The results, obtained with fruit flies – stand-ins for humans in hundreds of research projects each year – bolster similar findings on apple antioxidants in other animal tests.’