Would You Like Some Ursolic Acid?

Another reason to eat an apple a day… to put ursolic acid in your body.  Ursolic acid is a healthy compound found in the peels of fruit.  Apples have a high level of the compound, and have recently been shown to have mind-blowing benefits, according to a study published in the medical journal Cell Metabolism.  Some of the benefits include increases in muscle mass, fat loss, and improvements in blood glucose and cholesterol levels.  Is this a joke or is there some validity to these claims?

The Ursolic Acid Apple Peel Study

The researcher Dr Christopher Adams, an endocrinologist from the University of Iowa, and his team examined studies that looked at how genes changed under a fasted state (no food consumption).

They found, after much comparison, that ursolic acid was a compound that helped to counteract the effects of the genes that made muscles lose their strength (muscle atrophy).  This is interesting because when one is in a fasted state for a long period of time, muscle atrophy is inevitable.

When the researchers gave ursolic acid to fasted lab rats, they found that the acid did in fact protect the muscle atrophy.  Then, when the ursolic acid was added to the rats’ diets, it helped grow the lab rats’ muscles.  The researchers also noticed that the rats were leaner and had better blood glucose levels, along with total cholesterol.

Bottom-line

Since the study was done on rats, we cannot say whether or not the findings apply to humans.  We also do not know how many skins of an apple that you as a human will have to consume in order to produce such effects.  My own experience tells me that more than three apples in one day is a stupid idea (think: frolicking in a super fun apple orchard, chomping your heart out along the way).

That said, apples are known as one of the healthiest foods to eat for many other reasons (including high fiber and having a compound called, Quercetin, a flavanol that has anti-inflammatory properties).  They should be included as an everyday item, if you enjoy them!

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