Barbara's Blog

An Apple a Day Keeps the Aging Away

An apple peel that is!  Muscle atrophy (the weakening and breaking down of muscle tissue) impacts most people at some time in their life due to illness or aging.  Unfortunately, there is no medication available to treat muscle atrophy.

By studying muscle gene activity in people experiencing atrophy, Christopher Adams, M.D., Ph.D., and University of Iowa endocrinologist and senior author of the newly published study Cell Metabolism, was able to locate body chemicals that naturally block atrophy.  This chemical, ursolic acid, is found in highly concentrated forms in the peels of apples.

While testing mice, Dr. Adams and his colleagues found that not only did the ursolic acid increase both the size and strength of the mice’s muscles, but it also reduced body fat and lowered both blood glucose and cholesterol levels.

Human trials will soon be underway, as are plans for turning ursolic acid into a consumable drug.  In the meantime, look for some organic apples and have a peel a day!


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