A new laboratory study has claimed that a waxy compound present in apple peel, as well as in prunes, cranberries and some herbs, could help to reduce obesity and combat pre-diabetes and fatty liver disease.
The research on mice, carried out at the University of Iowa in the United States, showed that the peel of an apple contains a calorie-burning compound called ursolic acid, which was shown to increase both muscle and brow, calorie-burning, fat.
The team knew that ursolic acid could increase muscle mass and strength in healthy mice, so it could be of use as a possible treatment for muscle wasting. Here, they tested the acid on mice that were on a high-fat diet, again showing that ursolic acid increased skeletal muscle, but also that it lowered obesity, pre-diabetes and fatty liver disease .
The mice that received ursolic acid with their food were seen to eat more than the ones not taking the supplement, with the former also putting on less weight and with their blood sugar levels staying normal. It also promoted their skeletal muscle, increasing their strength and endurance, and producing higher levels of brown fat.
Lead author, Christopher Adams, commented “Since muscle is very good at burning calories, the increased muscle in ursolic acid-treated mice may be sufficient to explain how ursolic acid reduces obesity.”
He added “However, we were surprised to find that ursolic acid also increased brown fat, a fantastic calorie burner. This increase in brown fat may also help protect against obesity.”

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