When mice consumed ursolic acid, they developed more muscle and calorie-burning brown fat, despite eating more than other mice.
A compound found in apple peels called ursolic acid may protect against obesity
, a new study in mice suggests.
In the study, mice that ate a high-fat diet over several weeks that included ursolic acid developed more muscle mass, and more calorie-burning brown fat
, than mice eating the same diet without the chemical.
“Since muscle is very good at burning calories, the increased muscle in ursolic acid-treated mice may be sufficient to explain how ursolic acid reduces obesity,” said study researcher Dr. Christopher Adams, an associate professor of internal medicine at the University of Iowa.
However, the increase in brown fat — an unexpected finding — may also help protect against obesity, Adams said, noting that researchers don’t know how the compound might exert this effect on brown fat.