ripe apples and bunch of grapes on wood

The skinny on apple peel

Since early blemishes on its reputation after skirmishes in the Garden of Eden the apple has been largely redeemed. The fruit that brought about the downfall of humanity has since gained a reputation for bringing health to all who consume so it, so much so in fact that its existence threatens to make the medical community redundant. The health promoting stocks of apples have now been boosted even further by a new study suggesting that an ingredient from apple peel can protect against obesity.

The study involved feeding two groups of mice on the same high fat diet for three weeks. The only difference was that one group was fed ursolic acid from apple peel in their food as well.

By the end of the study they found that the mice fed ursolic acid actually ate more food but gained less weight and their blood sugar stayed at near normal levels even though their physical activity was no greater than the mice in the other group. There was also no sign of fatty liver disease in the ursolic acid group.

This means that not only does ursolic acid help prevent weight gain it also protects against the effects of weight gain like diabetes and liver damage.

Further examination showed that the ursolic acid mice had more skeletal muscle leading to increased strength and endurance. The ursolic acid fed mice also had more brown fat than the other mice. Brown fat in humans is found in the neck and between the shoulder blades and studies have linked it to reduced levels of obesity and better levels of blood fats and sugars.

At this point exactly how ursolic acid increases brown fat levels remains unknown and whether it will do it in humans as well as in mice remains to be proven. In the meantime though, eating your apples with the skin on to increase your ursolic acid intake appears to be an ap-peeling option.

Terry Robson

Terry Robson

Terry Robson is the Editor-in-Chief of WellBeing and the Editor of EatWell.

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