Eating apple peels may help your body build muscle mass and increase the amount of “brown fat” you have, two things that will make you burn more calories and thus lose weight. (In case you missed it, here’s why brown fat helps you lose weight.)
It’s specifically the peels that help because that’s the part of the apple that contains ursolic acid, which is what’s doing all the work in this case. Those were the findings from a recent study done on obese mice at the University of Iowa by Christopher Adams, M.D., Ph.D., UI associate professor of internal medicine and a Faculty Scholar at the Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center at the UI.
“Our study suggests that ursolic acid increases skeletal muscle and brown fat leading to increased calorie burning, which in turn protects against diet-induced obesity, pre-diabetes and fatty liver disease,” Adams says. “Brown fat is beneficial and people are trying to figure out ways to increase it. At this point, we don’t know how ursolic acid increases brown fat, or if it increases brown fat in healthy mice. And, most importantly, we don’t know if ursolic acid will benefit people. Our next step is to determine if ursolic acid can help patients.”
More work needs to be done to know if this will translate from helping overweight mice to helping overweight humans, but since apples are great for you anyway, this is just another reason for weighthackers to work them into their diets.