Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Apple ingredient keeps muscles strong: Component of apple peels found to help prevent muscle weakening in mice

Date:
June 7, 2011
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
In search of a way to prevent the muscle wasting that comes with illness and aging, researchers have landed a natural compound that might just do the trick. The findings identify a component of apple peels as a promising new drug candidate for the widespread and debilitating condition that affects nearly everyone at one time or another.

Researchers have identified a component of apple peels that helps prevent muscle weakening in mice.
Credit: Anyka / Fotolia

In search of a way to prevent the muscle wasting that comes with illness and aging, researchers have landed a natural compound that might just do the trick. The findings reported in the June issue of Cell Metabolism, a Cell Press publication, identify a component of apple peels as a promising new drug candidate for the widespread and debilitating condition that affects nearly everyone at one time or another.

Related Articles


"Muscle wasting is a frequent companion of illness and aging," said Christopher Adams of The University of Iowa, Iowa City. "It prolongs hospitalization, delays recoveries and in some cases prevents people from going back home. It isn't well understood and there is no medicine for it."

Motivated by the desire to change that, Adams' team first looked at what happens to gene activity in muscles under conditions that promote weakening. Those studies turned up 63 genes that change in response to fasting in both people and mice and another 29 that shift their expression in the muscles of both people who are fasting and those with spinal cord injury. Comparison of those gene expression signatures to the signatures of cells treated with more than 1300 bioactive small molecules led them to ursolic acid as a compound with effects that might counteract those of atrophy.

"Ursolic acid is an interesting natural compound," Adams said. "It's part of a normal diet as a component of apple peels. They always say that an apple a day keeps the doctor away…"

The researchers next gave ursolic acid to fasted mice. Those experiments showed that ursolic acid could protect against muscle weakening as predicted. When ursolic acid was added to the food of normal mice for a period of weeks, their muscles grew. Those effects were traced back to enhanced insulin signaling in muscle and to corrections in the gene signatures linked to atrophy.

Animals given ursolic acid also became leaner and had lower blood levels of glucose, cholesterol and triglycerides. The findings therefore suggest that ursolic acid may be responsible for some of the overall benefits of healthy eating.

"We know if you eat a balanced diet like mom told us to eat you get this material," Adams said. "People who eat junk food don't get this."

It is not yet clear whether the findings in mice will translate to human patients, Adams says, but his goal now is to "figure out if this can help people." If so, they don't yet know whether ursolic acid at levels that might be consumed as part of a normal diet might or might not be enough.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cell Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Steven D. Kunkel, Manish Suneja, Scott M. Ebert, Kale S. Bongers, Daniel K. Fox, Sharon E. Malmberg, Fariborz Alipour, Richard K. Shields, Christopher M. Adams. mRNA Expression Signatures of Human Skeletal Muscle Atrophy Identify a Natural Compound that Increases Muscle Mass. Cell Metabolism, 2011; 13 (6): 627-638 DOI: 10.1016/j.cmet.2011.03.020

Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "Apple ingredient keeps muscles strong: Component of apple peels found to help prevent muscle weakening in mice." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110607131718.htm>.
Cell Press. (2011, June 7). Apple ingredient keeps muscles strong: Component of apple peels found to help prevent muscle weakening in mice. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110607131718.htm
Cell Press. "Apple ingredient keeps muscles strong: Component of apple peels found to help prevent muscle weakening in mice." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110607131718.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Stray Dog Follows Adventure Racing Team for 6-Day Endurance Race

Stray Dog Follows Adventure Racing Team for 6-Day Endurance Race

Buzz60 (Nov. 24, 2014) A Swedish Adventure racing team travels to try and win a world title, but comes home with something way better: a stray dog that joined the team for much of the grueling 430-mile race. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Red Panda Cubs Explore the Bratislava Zoo

Red Panda Cubs Explore the Bratislava Zoo

AFP (Nov. 24, 2014) Four-month old Red Panda twins Pim and Pam still rely on their mother for breast milk at the Bratislava Zoo in Slovakia, but the precocious cubs have begun to branch out to solid foods, as well. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Millions of American suffer from seasonal depression every year. It can lead to adverse health effects, but there are ways to ease symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins