The Simple Change That Slims
An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but only if you keep the peel on, according to a new study in PLoS ONE on mice with diet-induced obesity. When University of Iowa researchers supplemented half of the group’s diet with ursolic acid—a substance found in the waxy skin of apples, as well as in other fruits and herbs—those mice ate more but gained less weight, maintained near-normal blood sugar levels, and failed to develop obesity-related fatty liver disease. “Our study suggests that ursolic acid increases skeletal muscle and brown fat leading to increased calorie burning, which in turn protects against diet-induced obesity, pre-diabetes and fatty liver disease,” said lead study author Christopher Adams, MD, PhD, in a press release. Further study showed that the increased muscle mass also provided two added benefits: increased strength and endurance. The researchers aren’t sure ursolic acid will have the same effect on people, but if you want to give it a shot, add more apples cranberries, prunes, basil, peppermint, rosemary, oregano, and thyme to your diet.
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