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The Fruit That Burns Off Calories


Ursolic acid, a waxy substance found in a certain fruit, may increase muscle and calorie-burning brown fat. Lab studies show that it may reduce your weight and lower your risk of fatty liver.

Ursolic acid is a waxy substance found in apple peels. Research at the University of Iowa shows that it may help boost metabolism by encouraging the growth of new muscle tissue.

“From previous work, we knew that ursolic acid increases muscle mass and strength in (lab animals), which is important because it might suggest a potential therapy for muscle wasting,” says researcher Christopher Adams. “In this study, we tested ursolic acid in (animals) on a high-fat diet — a mouse model of obesity and metabolic syndrome. Once again, ursolic acid increased skeletal muscle. Interestingly, it also reduced obesity, pre-diabetes and fatty liver disease.

“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. However, we were surprised to find that ursolic acid also increased brown fat, a fantastic calorie burner. This increase in brown fat may also help protect against obesity.”

Filed Under: Alternative MedicineEasy Health Options NewsNutritionWeight Loss

About the Author: Carl Lowe has written about health, fitness and nutrition for a wide range of publications including Prevention Magazine, Self Magazine and Time-Life Books. The author of more than a dozen books, he has been gluten-free since 2007.

Facebook Conversations

  • Scott

    There are many other fruits high or higher in ursolic acid that do not depend on insecticide use to the extent that apples do. I’d prefer to eat my pesticide-free guyabas/guavas, but I live in the tropics. A good home-grown source that thrives with virtually no encouragement in many climates is the pyracantha “berry”, which is actually a very small apple that grows in large clusters on large, thorny shrubs. I love apples, but have become very concerned about the negative health effects of eating them, especially the ursolic-acid-rich peels.

  • DAN

    The article is vague in that nothing lwas mentioned lthe dosage of apple peels given to the test rats and what the equivalent dosage”might be” if human testing was performed in order to achieve the test results. In other words, there was no workable n the article.
    It was all “Wow, gee whiz!” information.

  • http://yahoo Barbara

    I have a pyracanyha bush – could i eat the berries ?

    • Scott

      From what I have read on line, they are edible and make good preserves – depending on variety and your tastes, they may be good raw, as well. I grew up around them and was always told that they were inedible, but I was always tempted because they smelled like apples. If I had any here, I would definitely give them a try, and I will probably look for someone who has them, if they grow here in Costa Rica.

      The key mpoint that I was trying to make is that apples also are among the products that require (or at least receive) the highest doses of pesticides, so, any other source of this nutrient is probably healthier.

      This substance is in many fruits and berries. Google “ursolic acid” to see the sources. he stuff they sell from China mostly appears to come from guava leaves. The guava plant and fruit are high in all kinds of good stuff. If you check out guava on the net, you will find that it is called the “perfect fruit.” I don’t know where you are, Barbara, but you might try growing guavas if you live in south Florida or have a large enough space that is protected from the cold. The plants grow easily from the little seeds – they come up in my yard all the time from fruit that has fallen onto the ground.

      Good luck with your pyracantha berries – be careful not to get pricked.