Apple peel compound may help fight obesity

Wednesday, June 27, 2012 by: Mary West
Tags: apple peel, obesity, ursolic acid

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(NaturalNews) Those who peel an apple before eating it may be discarding a helpful tool for fighting obesity. A study involving mice finds that a compound in apple peel called ursolic acid may curtail obesity by increasing muscle mass and boosting calorie burning. In addition to the weight control benefit, it may also deter fatty liver disease and pre-diabetes.

In the research published in PLoS ONE, all the mice were fed a high fat diet, but only half of them received food augmented with ursolic acid. Although the half that received the ursolic acid ate more, they gained less weight. Additionally, the investigators found they burned more calories, had more muscles and displayed greater endurance than the group who did not receive the compound. Furthermore, their blood sugar levels were near normal and they did not incur obesity related-fatty liver disease.

The mechanism of action responsible for the obesity-fighting benefit appears to be two-pronged. Author Christopher Adams explains that since muscle tissue is a good calorie burner, the muscle-building effect of ursolic acid may account for part of it. While the researchers were aware of this effect from prior research, they were surprised to find this compound also increases a substance called brown fat, which is a superb fat burner.

Adams notes that because of brown fat's healthful properties, scientists are endeavoring to discover how to increase it. Some research has associated greater levels of brown fat with reduced levels of obesity, along with improved blood sugar and lipids, indicating this substance can assist in weight management and in preventing diabetes.

Earlier studies show apple peels are richly abundant in antioxidants and polyphenols. Also, eating an apple a day lowers the risk of lung and colon cancer.

Adams intends to study the effect of ursolic acid on humans to determine if it is as beneficial for them as for mice. If this proves to be the case, the next step would be to ascertain the number of apples a person would need to eat to experience the positive effects. In the meantime, eating an apple a day seems like a good idea, but it is best to choose the organically grown ones to avoid insecticides and wax present in the peel.

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About the author:
Mary West is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You may visit her website to learn more at

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