The Muscle is in the Peel
It turns out an apple a day does more than keep the doctor away, it also helps you to build muscle. The beneficial agent in apples, ursolic acid, is a natural compound found in apple peels called pentcyclic triterpenoid. This compound was shown in a recent study at the University of Iowa to help burn fat and build muscle. The study used mice, and showed that apple peels lowered blood sugar levels, cholesterol and triglycerides. The study results were published in the June 2011 issue of Cell Metabolism by senior author and endocrinologist Dr. Chris Adams.
The study also showed that apple peels may be helpful in the treatment of muscle loss and muscle wasting that occurs in diseases. It also showed the possibility of using the natural compound to treat metabolic diseases such as diabetes. In addition, the muscle building compound would be helpful in treating the infirmed and elderly.
Dr. Adams shared his thoughts on the possibility of the study findings:
We found that it actually promoted the growth of muscle, so the mice got bigger muscles and actually got stronger. It didn’t have any harmful effect on the kidneys or liver or anything like that which makes sense because it’s a natural compound that we actually eat.
While these results do show promise, further testing is required before it can be determined that eating apple peels has the same positive effect for humans.
So think twice the next time you want to peel your apple before eating it. The skin may help you GET IT IN on your fitness goals.
Ursolic acid is also found in cranberries, hawthorn, prunes, elder flowers, lavender, oregano, thyme and peppermint. It has already been recognized as an inhibitor of various types of cancer cells, and is used in the cosmetics industry for its skin care properties.