June 8, 2011
Apples Can Help Keep Muscles Strong
Scientists claim that an apple a day helps to boost muscles and fight fat.
Researchers discovered that ursolic acid - a waxy substance found in apple peel - has natural body building qualities and could help people stay toned and slender.
According to the new study, it also helps reduce blood sugar levels, cholesterol and harmful fatty acids.
Dr. Christopher Adams, the study leader at the University of Iowa, said the substance could be useful in the elderly who naturally lose body muscle.
"The old saying goes that 'an apple a day keeps the doctor away'," he said.
"Muscle atrophy causes big problems. It's also very common "“ it affects most people at some point in their lives, during illness or aging. But, there's no medicine for it.
"We studied muscle gene activity in people with atrophy and used that information to find chemicals that might block atrophy.
"One of those chemicals was especially interesting. It's called ursolic acid and it's particularly concentrated in apple peels."
The study showed that ursolic acid reduced muscle wasting in mice.
They believe the substance works by reprogramming genes that cause muscle wasting and fat build up.
"Interestingly, although ursolic acid increased muscle weight in mice, it did not increase total body weight, and further investigation showed that mice fed ursolic acid had less body fat than mice that were not fed the compound," he said in a statement.
The findings are reported in the June issue of Cell Metabolism, a Cell Press publication.
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