The old adage, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” isn’t only applicable to a healthy immune system. According to a new study from the University of Iowa, eating apples might even boost muscle growth.
Researchers discovered that a natural compound called ursolic acid, which forms the waxy coating on many fruits [it's also found in cranberries, pears and prunes], reduced muscle breakdown [atrophy] and stimulated muscle growth [hypertrophy] when fed to mice. One of the study's lead researchers reported that ursolic acid promotes two hormones that build muscle while counteracting genetic changes that cause them to weaken.
Mice that ingested ursolic acid had lower body fat and better glucose levels than those that were not fed the compound, reports menshealth.com.
Future research is needed to determine whether the findings apply to human muscle, but the study suggests a possible antidote for muscle breakdown and potentially other metabolic diseases.