A compound found in apple skin’s waxy sheen has been found to reduce obesity and increase muscle and brown fat to help the body burn extra calories, a study conducted at the University of Iowa says.
The study authors found that the compound, ursolic acid, helped mice burn calories and lose weight. Researchers also observed that the compound kept health problems like pre-diabetes and fatty liver disease at bay, even if mice were fed with a a high-fat diet.
The study, which was published on June 20 in the journal PLoS ONE, revealed that ursolic acid, which is also found in cranberries and basil, boosts the growth of muscle and brown fat.
Explaining the result, lead study author Christopher Adams, associate professor of internal medicine, said ”From previous work, we knew that ursolic acid increases muscle mass and strength in healthy mice, which is important because it might suggest a potential therapy for muscle wasting.”
“In this study, we tested ursolic acid in mice on a high-fat diet – a mouse model of obesity and metabolic syndrome. Once again, ursolic acid increased skeletal muscle. Interestingly, it also reduced obesity, pre-diabetes and fatty liver disease”, Adams added.
He explained that as muscle are good at burning calories, the increased muscle in ursolic acid-treated mice explains how ursolic acid reduces obesity, adding that they were surprised to see ursolic acid affect on brown fat.
Researchers now want to validate whether or not apple peel is as good for people as it is for mice, as this is let them work out how many apples will be needed to increase muscles and reduce waistline.