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Compound Found In Apple Peels Wards Off Muscle Atrophy

June 8, 2011: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. researchers looking for a way to ward off muscle wasting that results from illness and aging have discovered that a compound found naturally in apple peels protects against atrophy and causes normal muscles to grow. When the compound, ursolic acid, was added to the diet of fasting mice, their muscles resisted the wasting effect of the minimal diet. When ursolic acid was given to normal mice, their muscles grew. In addition, mice given ursolic acid became leaner and had lower blood levels of glucose, cholesterol and triglycerides. The researchers traced the effect to enhanced insulin signaling in muscle and to corrections in the gene signatures linked to atrophy.
Steven D. Kunkel, et al., "mRNA Expression Signatures of Human Skeletal Muscle Atrophy Identify a Natural Compound that Increases Muscle Mass", Cell Metabloism, June 08, 2011, © Elsevier Inc.
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