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General Health Channel
Reported April 10, 2014

Green Tomatoes Promote Muscle Growth

(Ivanhoe Newswire) – A compound found in green tomatoes can help build stronger muscles and protect against muscle loss later in life, according to a new study from the University of Iowa.

Researchers used a tool called the Connectivity Map, developed at MIT and Harvard, to find the compound known as tomatidine. After identifying that the gene can change gene expression in skeletal muscle, researchers then tested the effects in mice. Mice supplemented with tomatidine grew stronger muscles, could exercise longer, and prevented muscle atrophy. They also found the mice saw no change in their body weight, because of a corresponding loss of fat.

"Green tomatoes are safe to eat in moderation, but we don't know how many green tomatoes a person would need to eat to get a dose of tomatidine similar to what we gave the mice,” Christopher Adams, M.D., Ph.D., UI associate professor of internal medicine and molecular physiology and biophysics, was quoted as saying. "We are now very interested in the possibility that several food-based natural compounds such as tomatidine and ursolic acid might someday be combined into science-based supplements, or even simply incorporated into everyday foods to make them healthier."

For more information, go to: http://www.jbc.org/content/early/2014/04/09/jbc.M114.556241.abstract?sid=d95c8030-c60f-4b3c-90c4-94be345394fe

SOURCE: Journal of Biological Chemistry, April 2014

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