Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Apple Peels Said To Avoid Muscle Loss
They say that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but did you know that apples have plenty of benefits specific to personal training for muscle gain? As we get older, our muscles get weaker and smaller. But there’s a natural compound in apple peels that could be the key to prevent muscle loss. Aside from preventing muscular atrophy, it may also reduce body fat and lower cholesterol levels.
According to University of Iowa (UI) endocrinologist and senior author of the new study recently published in the journal Cell Metabolism, Christopher Adams, M.D., Ph. D., “Muscle atrophy causes big problems. It’s also very common, it affects most people at some point in their lives, during illness or aging. But, there’s no medicine for it.” Dr. Adams adds, “ We studied muscle gene activity in people with atrophy and used that information to find chemicals that might block atrophy. One of those chemicals was especially interesting. It’s called ursolic acid and it’s particularly concentrated in apple peels.”
Dr. Adams and his colleagues tested ursolic acid in mice and found that it increase both the size and strength of their muscles. "It did this by helping two hormones that build muscle: insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF1) and insulin. Because ursolic acid increased muscle, it reduced muscle atrophy," he explained. "Surprisingly, it had some other beneficial effects in mice: for example, it reduced body fat, and lowered blood glucose and cholesterol."
Dr. Adams and his research team zeroed in on ursolic acid by using a relatively new research technique called connectivity maps. This allowed them to compare gene expression patterns in cells under different conditions. They were able to figure out which genes are turned on or off in human muscle during atrophy and compared that pattern with gene expression patterns in cultured cell lines treated with a long list of different compounds. This method revealed ursolic acid from apple peels causes a pattern of gene expression that is the opposite of the pattern caused by muscle wasting, indicating the natural compound could reverse muscle atrophy.
The mice were fed with ursolic acid in lab experiments and the researchers found the apple compound protected the animals from muscle atrophy caused by both fasting and nerve damage. Furthermore, healthy mice that ate ursolic acid developed larger, stronger muscles than mice that didn't receive the substance.
In addition, even though ursolic acid increased muscle weight in mice that ate it, it did not increase total body weight. The mice fed with ursolic acid had less body fat than mice who didn't receive the apple peel compound.
To keep your muscles strong and your body lean, maintain a workout routine with your personal trainer and munch on organic apples, and make sure you eat the peel.