An Apple a Day Keeps the Fat Away?

Science keeps finding ways of proving that whoever invented the old saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” really knew what they were talking about.

Apple polyphenols have been shown to improve physical endurance, reduce fatigue, and improve cholesterol levels. They also show impressive results for stopping serious, persistent allergy symptoms, including rashes on the skin, inflamed sinuses, and constantly runny noses and great improvements compared to placebo in both low and high dosage levels.

This scientific research found that apple polyphenols – beneficial compounds found in the fruit – may also help reduce abdominal weight by changing adipose (fat tissue) from white to brown. It seems that the compounds from apples set a process into motion by activating enzymes that bring about this change. This is a significant difference. White adipose tissue is the type that develops when the body stores too many calories. Brown adipose tissue, on the other hand, actually helps burn excess calories – more like an energy storage battery that kicks in when we need it.

The best way to lose weight is to limit your caloric intake, eat healthy foods, and get moderate exercise every day. Apples and their polyphenol compounds can play a major role in helping you do just that.


Tamura Y, Tomiya S, Takegaki J, Kouzaki K, Tsutaki A, Nakazato K. Apple polyphenols induce browning of white adipose tissue. J Nutr Biochem. 2020 Mar;77:108299.

We and others have shown that apple polyphenols decrease adipose tissue mass. To better understand the underlying mechanisms and to expand clinical applicability, we herein examine whether apple polyphenols induce adipose thermogenic adaptations (browning) and prevent diet-induced obesity and related insulin resistance. In mice fed a standard diet, daily apple polyphenol consumption induced thermogenic adaptations in inguinal white adipose tissue (iWAT), based on increases in the expression of brown/beige adipocyte selective genes (Ucp1, Cidea, Tbx1, Cd137) and protein content of uncoupling protein 1 and mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation enzymes. Among the upstream regulatory factors of browning, fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1 α (PGC-1α) levels were concomitantly up-regulated by apple polyphenols. In the primary cell culture experiment, the results did not support a direct action of apple polyphenols on beige adipogenesis. Instead, apple polyphenols increased tyrosine hydroxylase (a rate-limiting enzyme of catecholamine synthesis) in iWAT, which activates the adipocyte thermogenic program possibly via intratissue cellular communications. In high-fat fed mice, apple polyphenols induced beige adipocyte development in iWAT, reduced fat accumulation, and increased glucose disposal rates in the glucose and insulin tolerance tests. Taken together, dietary administration of apple polyphenols induced beige adipocyte development in iWAT possibly via activation/induction of the peripheral catecholamine synthesis-FGF21-PGC-1α cascade. Results from diet-induced obese mice indicate that apple polyphenols have therapeutic potential for obesity and related metabolic disorders.