Apple Compound Can Prevent Muscle Loss

July 21, 2011

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. peel (n.) [peel] – the skin of a fruit (or vegetable)
Example: Apple peels contain nutrients that are good for the health.

2. wasting (adj.) [wey-sting] – losing the strength or energy of a certain part of the body (usually due to disease)
Example: Bedridden patients suffer from muscle wasting because of lack of movement.
3. starved (adj.) [stahrvd] – suffering from lack of food (extremely hungry)
Example:  Starved children cannot grow well due to a lack of needed nutrients. 

4. prevent (v.) [pri-vent] – to stop something (or someone) from happening  
Example: A healthy lifestyle prevents people from getting sick.  

5. aging (n.) [eyjing] – the process of getting old
Example: Aging affects physical and mental ability.

Read the text below.

A chemical compound found in apple peels, called ursolic acid, can prevent ‘muscle wasting’, according to endocrinologists  from University of Iowa.

This finding was the result of an experiment in which ursolic acid was given to two sets of mice: one that was well-fed and one that was starved. After feeding each mouse with the compound, the well-fed mice developed muscles and had lower sugar and cholesterol levels, while the starved ones did not lose muscles as expected.

In addition, researchers studied how the muscles changed during starvation and discovered that ursolic acid could prevent these changes.

Muscle loss, also called atrophy, results from lack of physical activity due to aging or illness.

As of today, there are no known drugs to cure or prevent atrophy. Through this new research, experts hope to develop a drug that will help aging or ill patients.

However, the researchers admit that further studies must be done to determine whether the same results are applicable to humans. They would also like to know if eating apples alone would be enough to prevent muscle loss.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A 

·         What do you think will happen if there are no medical researches being done?
·         What do you think are the purposes of medical research?

Discussion B

·         How often do you eat fruits?
·         What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of eating fruits?

July 21, 2011