Eating Well, Fitness

Green Tomatoes Help Put On Muscle, May Help Lose Fat

Yet another good thing about the color green. Green tomatoes, according to researchers at the University of Iowa, are loaded with a compound (tomatidine) that has a surprising ability to build muscle an6a01156faa621f970c0134856cfc3a970c-320wid protect against muscle atrophy. A university news release reports that researchers used a systems biology tool called the Connectivity Map to identify a small molecule compound that might be used to treat muscle atrophy. After zeroing in on tomatidine, they found that the compound generates changes in gene expression that are opposite to the changes that occur when people are affected by muscle atrophy. The researchers then tested tomatidine’s effects on skeletal muscle, and found that it stimulates growth of cultured muscle cells from humans. Next, the researchers added tomatidine to the diet of mice, and found that healthy mice supplemented with tomatidine grew bigger muscles, became stronger and could exercise longer.  Perhaps most importantly, they found that tomatidine prevented and treated muscle atrophy. Wait, there’s more: although mice fed tomatidine had larger muscles, their overall body weight didn’t change, because of a corresponding loss of fat. Get the picture?

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