Ursolic acid from apple peels could help to fight obesity by increasing calories burned, according to new research in mice.
The study – published in PLoS ONE – suggests the natural substance found in apple peel can partially protect mice from obesity and some of its harmful effects.
Led by Dr Christopher Adams from the University of Iowa, USA, the researchers noted that ursolic acid – a waxy substance found in apple peel – increases muscle and brown fat mass in mice fed a high-fat diet. The research team reveled that mice supplemented with the compound in addition to a high fat chow burned more calories and had a reduced incidence of obesity, pre-diabetes and fatty liver disease than mice not receiving the supplement.
"From previous work, we knew that ursolic acid increases muscle mass and strength in healthy mice, which is important because it might suggest a potential therapy for muscle wasting," said Adams.
"In this study, we tested ursolic acid in mice on a high-fat diet -- a mouse model of obesity and metabolic syndrome. Once again, ursolic acid increased skeletal muscle. Interestingly, it also reduced obesity, pre-diabetes and fatty liver disease.