Eating unpeeled apples may keep extra pounds and obesity-related diseases at bay, a study in PLoS ONE suggests.
Ursolic acid is a natural compound found in the waxy coats on apples and other fruits and herbs. Previous research showed that ursolic acid increased the activity of a protein that stimulated muscle growth and glucose metabolism in mice.
In this follow-up study, researchers in Iowa tested ursolic acid on mice with diet-induced obesity. For six weeks, one group of mice had unlimited access to a diet of high-fat food proven to cause obesity, glucose intolerance and fatty liver disease. Two other groups of mice had unlimited access to the same diet, but supplemented with either 0.14 grams or 0.27 grams of ursolic acid per 100 grams of food. For comparison, an apple contains 50 milligrams of ursolic acid, equivalent to about 6% of the lowest dose given to the mice.
Ursolic-acid mice developed more skeletal muscle but gained less weight than nonsupplemented mice, even though food intake was higher in ursolic-acid mice. Supplemented mice had greater strength and exercise capacity, and higher resting energy expenditure. Ursolic acid triggered an increase in high-energy brown fat associated with reduced obesity, though it isn't known how, researchers said. The results were the same for both ursolic-acid doses.
Caveat: Humans and mice may have differing capacities for the absorption, distribution and excretion of ursolic acid, researchers said.
Vertigo and gender: Women develop vertigo slightly more often than men. But a study found that men with vertigo, a common balance disorder, suffer more anxiety and depression. The results contrast with earlier studies that reported psychiatric distress is higher in women with vertigo. Vertigo is a spinning sensation that can leave people feeling dizzy or nauseous. About 40% of Americans have at least one episode of vertigo in their lifetimes.
The latest study, published in BMC Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders, assessed emotional response to vertigo in 202 patients treated at a Swiss clinic from 2007 to 2009. Subjects included 124 women and 78 men in their late 40s, of whom more than half had had vertigo symptoms for more than a year. Subjects rated their disability as mild, moderate or severe. Anxiety and depression were assessed on a hospital scale as possible, probable or abnormal. MRI brain scans, neurological assessments and other tests were administered.
这项最新研究刊登在《BMC耳鼻喉疾病》（BMC Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders）杂志上，研究对象为2007年至2009年在一家瑞士诊所治疗过的202位病人，研究人员对这些病人对眩晕症的情绪反应进行了评估。研究对象包括快50岁的124名女性和78名男性，其中半数以上已经有一年多的眩晕症症状。研究对象按照轻微、中等和严重评定眩晕症对自己精神状况的影响。焦虑和抑郁程度按照医院标准划分为可能、很有可能或反常。研究人员还对他们做了核磁共振脑部扫描、神经检测及其他检查。
Severe disability was reported by 25% of the women compared with 19% of the men. But emotional distress was significantly higher in the men, possibly because dizziness over a long period is more disabling in men and a greater risk factor for anxiety and depression, researchers said. Of men who rated their disability as severe, 60% had abnormal anxiety and 67% had abnormal depression. That compared with 26% and 19% of women, respectively.
Caveat: The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale used to assess symptoms of anxiety and depression provides only limited information on mental disorders, researchers said. Other risk factors for mental disorders weren't assessed.
注意：研究人员说，用于评定焦虑和抑郁症状的医院焦虑抑郁量表（Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale）只能为精神失常状况提供有限的信息。其他容易造成精神失常的因素未得到评估。