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To fend off muscle-wasting due to aging, we need not look any further than green tomatoes and apples.
A new study coming from the University of Iowa and led by Christopher Adams, M.D., Ph.D, and professor of internal medicine, indicated that two compounds present in apples and green tomatoes are effective in fighting the signs of muscle-wasting coming with older age.
The researchers looked at the effect that ursolic acid and tomatidine have on reducing the activity of ATF4 protein. ATF4 protein is altering gene expression and causes the protein synthesis in muscle to reduce, thus reducing muscle strength, particularly with the elderly. According to the research findings, both natural compounds are highly effective in reducing the activity level of ATF4 and restoring muscle strength.
As one ages, muscle atrophy due to a sedentary lifestyle settles in. It is well known how this can affect the quality of life and overall health, specifically with the elderly.
Drawing on the results of past studies that had proven ursolic acid and tomatidine prevent muscle wasting due to either malnutrition or sedentarism, the new research posits that the compounds found in apples and green tomatoes are also effective in reducing atrophy and muscle wasting.
The study was conducted on mice. All the mice included in the research were suffering from atrophy and muscle wasting due to old age. For two months their diets were altered to include a daily dose of either 0.27 percent ursolic acid or 0.05 percent tomatidine. The results showed that there was a significant difference in muscle strength compared to the beginning of the study.
The mice’s muscle mass increased by 10 percent, while their muscle quality increased by 30 percent over the two-month period.
Christopher Adams stated:
“By reducing ATF4 activity, ursolic acid and tomatidine allow skeletal muscle to recover from the effects of aging”.
While the results are confirmed in mice, further studies need to be conducted on human patients. Nonetheless, having a natural resource so at hand that can prevent and aid in the recovery of muscle-wasting and strength is an exciting finding.
The study results are published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.
Photo Credits: torange.us