A new study discovered recently that some of the key components in an apple and a green tomato's peel can actually help to prevent muscles weakening and a loss of muscle mass in senior citizens. Researchers based out of the University of Iowa discovered that eating the skin off of the fruits for just two months can transform an elderly person's atrophic muscles into muscles that look like they could be on a young adult.
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Their findings were published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.
Due to the chemical properties in the peels, both apples and green tomatoes can jump start the muscle tissue. Researchers hope to use this breakthrough to benefit senior citizens and those with diseases that eat their muscles. It could help all people stay physically active and fit for a longer time. Muscle weakness and loss is a major problem as humans become older. It can also be devastating on people's health and quality of life.
Muscle loss is common in old age because of a protein called ATF4 that changes the genetic structure of the muscles, stealing proteins that muscles need to stay strong - resulting in a lack of muscles and strength. The researchers discovered that the two natural compounds that lower ATF4 activity are actually found in the foods we eat. Ursolic acid is found in apple peels, primarily. The other compound if tomatidine which we find in green tomatoes and only green tomatoes.
The researchers used the ursolic acid and tomatidine to treat muscle weaknesses in older adults and the chemicals boosted muscle mass by about 10% and muscle quality by 30% in two months.
The chemicals in apples' and green tomatoes' skins lower ATF4 activity, according to RTT Times. This reverses aging's effects on skeletal muscle.
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The loss of muscle tissue frequently starts in males during their 20s. Meanwhile, atrophy often begins in females in their 40s.