From the annals of food cures comes a study that uncovered something interesting inside apple peels. It seems it isn’t only the juicy innards that rank among the world’s healing foods, but also the skin of the apple. This bit of health advice centers on ursolic acid.
In this fascinating study, researchers found that ursolic acid from apple peels reduced muscle atrophy (muscle wasting) and promoted muscle growth in mice.
It also reduced…
- blood sugar,
- and triglyceride levels.
An apple a day keeps muscle weakening & diabetes away
The findings suggest that this natural remedy may be useful for treating muscle wasting and possibly metabolic disorders, such as diabetes.
Could ursolic acid be the real reason behind that old saying an apple a day keeping the doctor away?
Muscle atrophy, which is common as we grow older, can cause big problems. And there’s no medicine you can take for it that will be effective. The researchers studied people with atrophy and used that information to find chemicals that might block the condition. One of those chemicals is ursolic acid — and it’s particularly concentrated in apple peels.
Testing it in mice, which is where new medical ideas tend to begin, the researchers found that ursolic acid increased the size and strength of the mice’s muscles. It did so by helping two hormones that build muscle: insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF1) and insulin.
Urosolic acid could lower body fat, blood sugar & cholesterol
Because ursolic acid increased muscle, it reduced muscle atrophy. The additional benefits were a surprise: lowering body fat, blood glucose, and cholesterol.
When searching for a compound that could prevent atrophy, the researchers found that ursolic acid caused a pattern of gene expression that is the opposite of the pattern caused by atrophy. This suggested that ursolic acid might reverse atrophy. In follow-up experiments, the mice fed ursolic acid were, indeed, protected from muscle atrophy caused by both fasting and nerve damage. Furthermore, healthy mice fed ursolic acid developed larger, stronger muscles than mice that did not receive the compound.
All of this is something to consider for those who tend to peel their apples prior to munching on them. As is the case with many fruits, you never know what goodness might be sitting in the roughage that you wind up putting in the compost.
Dr. Victor Marchione received his Bachelor of Science Degree in 1973 and his Medical Degree from the University of Messina in 1981. He has been licensed and practicing medicine in New York and New Jersey for over 20 years.
Dr. Marchione is a respected leader in the field of smoking cessation and pulmonary medicine. He has been featured on ABC News and World Report, CBS Evening News with Dan Rather and the NBC Today Show and is an editor at the popular Doctor's Health Press website.
Dr. Marchione has also served as Principal Investigator in at least a dozen clinical research projects relating to serious ailments such as bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
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