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Apple Jacked: Is Ursolic Acid Nature's Secret Fatburner?

By Edited Dec 28, 2015 0 0

I started researching ursolic acid myself and felt compelled to share it with all of you. I originally became aware of ursolic acid after reading an article by Kunkel and associates (2012). (1) They examined mice that consumed a high fat diet where obesity was induced. Mice were either treated with ursolic acid or no treatment was given. They had some pretty cool results from this study. First off, the mice that were given ursolic acid had greater skeletal muscle AKT activity. AKT was elevated two fold in comparison. AKT is a major trigger for protein synthesis. So, more AKT activity means more protein synthesis. The researchers also found significantly greater triceps and quadriceps size in the ursolic acid group. If that isn’t enough, they also found that mRNA IGF-1 levels were elevated in ursolic acid treated rats. This result backs up claims in a previous study by the same group where they found increases in mRNA IGF-1 in non-obese mice. (2) IGF-1 is another hugely important player in protein synthesis. I do not want to bore you with too much detail from the rest of the study. So, I will summarize, they also found that ursolic acid reduced obesity, improved glucose tolerance, reduced obesity related liver damage, and increased resting energy expenditure.

Ursolic acid has been researched and has potential as a potent anti-obesity agent. (3) Mice were fed a high fat diet for 15 weeks. Ursolic acid treated mice had lower bodyweight, visceral adipose, plasma glucose, and plasma lipids. Li and associates (2010) examined rat cultured fat cells treated with ursolic acid and also found enhancements in fat metabolism. (4) I am pretty sure if I keep digging through research I would find a few more studies backing this up some more. I am not going to even get into all of the research on the cancer fighting properties of ursolic acid. Without even trying I pulled up well over 100 different studies. A lot of research done in animals. What kind of effects does it have in humans? I am highly skeptical when it comes to most supplements. I trust my old reliable three (vitamin d, fish oil, potassium), but this honestly has me intrigued. Apple peels seem to be the big natural source of ursolic acid. So despite what Mac (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) says, apples peels may not be riddled in toxins after all (as long the pesticides, herbicides, fungicides etc. are washed off).

Mac

If you’re interested in checking out any ursolic acid supplements I linked some below. There currently aren't many to choose from (I predict this will be the next big thing supplement companies will be pushing at some point).

Labrada Nutrition Ursolic Acid Capsules 200Mg, 120 Count
Amazon Price: $24.99 $14.98 Buy Now
(price as of Dec 28, 2015)
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Bibliography

  1. Kunkel SD, Elmore CJ, Bongers KS, Ebert SM, Fox DK, et al. " Ursolic Acid Increases Skeletal Muscle and Brown Fat and Decreases Diet-Induced Obesity, Glucose Intolerance and Fatty Liver Disease.." PLoS ONE. 7 (2012): e39332.
  2. Kunkel SD, Suneja M, Ebert SM, Bongers KS, Fox DK, et al. "mRNA Expression Signatures of Human Skeletal Muscle Atrophy Identify a Natural Compound that Increases Muscle Mass." Cell Metab. 13 (2011): 627-638.
  3. Rao, V. S., de, M. C. L., Queiroz, M. G., Lemos, T. L., Menezes, D. B., Melo, T. S., & Santos, F. A. "Ursolic acid, a pentacyclic triterpene from Sambucus australis, prevents abdominal adiposity in mice fed a high-fat diet." Journal of Medicinal Food. 14 (2011): 1375-82.
  4. Li, Y., Kang, Z., Li, S., Kong, T., Liu, X., & Sun, C. " Ursolic acid stimulates lipolysis in primary-cultured rat adipocytes.." olecular Nutrition & Food Research. 54 (2010): 1609-17.

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