An Apple Peel a Day Could Keep Obesity at Bay

Research indicates a compound in apple peels could help ward off obesity

We already know that apples are pretty healthful, in addition to being tasty, but new research indicates that they might help protect against obesity, as long as you leave the peel on.

In a recent study with mice likely to develop obesity, researchers found that the mice on a high-fat diet that included a compound called ursolic acid, which is found in apple peels, developed more muscle mass and more calorie-burning brown fat than mice that did not consume ursolic acid, but otherwise ate the same diet as the healthier mice.

Overall, the mice eating ursolic acid gained less weight and were less likely to develop problems like pre-diabetes and fatty liver syndrome, even though they actually ate more food than the other mice and all the mice had the same activity level. Testing the mice’s energy expenditure revealed that the ursolic acid mice burned more calories, too.

"Brown fat is beneficial and people are trying to figure out ways to increase it," said researcher Christopher Adams, according to Fox. "Our next step is to determine if ursolic acid can help patients."

Ursolic acid has not been tested in humans, and rodent research doesn’t necessarily produce the same results in people, so Adams said they’re still not sure if ursolic acid will do anything to benefit humans. But it can’t hurt to try, and apples are still delicious, so you might as well try out some of our best apple recipes.