Researchers at the University of Iowa concluded a study by finding that there is a protein in the human body that causes atrophying in muscles. More importantly, they also found that certain compounds that are found in apple peels and tomatoes can neutralize the effect of this protein.
The main cause of muscle weakness is aging. The Iowa researchers claim that they may have possibly help muscles regain or at least maintain their strength by using the compounds from apples and tomatoes.
Dr. Christopher Adams, professor at the University of Iowa, explained what are the main issues with muscles and why was the study so important for him and his team. As we become older, we find out through our own experiences that our muscles weaken and atrophy to the point they become rather useless. These problems always were a major impediment in our quality of life and overall health.
The researchers first experimented whether the ursolic acid found in tomatidine and apple peels is effective at preventing muscle atrophying caused either by malnutrition or inactivity.
A large number of elderly mice with muscle atrophy were fed diets rich in ursolic acid or tomatidine (which is found in green tomatoes) for about two months. The results were favorable, as both compunds increased the muscle mass of the mice by about 10%. But that is not the only thing, the muscle strength also increased by 30%, which is almost the equivalent of returning muscle potency to that of an adult.
After further analyses of the mice, the researchers also found that the miraculous compounds from apple peels and tomatoes turned off the genes that were controlled by the activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4). In order to test this, the scientists genetically modified mice to lack ATF4. Similarly to the mice which were fed with ursolic acid and tomatidine, turns out their muscles were immune to the effects of aging.
The scientists are currently planning to investigate possible ways to efficiently extract both compounds from apples and tomatoes so they can put it into supplements or drugs that may help old people restore their muscle mass or strength.
Photo Credits wikipedia