As it is widely known, fruits are valuable nutrients and they supply vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and easily absorbable sugars. However, there aren't many people who perceive these products as potentially advantageous for muscles. Perhaps it will be changed in the nearest future. The reason is that a chemical compound with anabolic properties was found in fruits. What substance am I talking about?
What is an ursolic acid?
Ursolic acid is a compound which is not that widely known. Many people don't even realise that there exists such a substance, which is a pity, as it is highly possible that it will be well-recognised in the near future. It belongs to a group of so-called triterpenes. We are aware of over 2000 of these substances, they can be found in many plants, both, in leaves and stems, as well as in fruits. Therefore, we can have its steady supply with proper food. What benefits can it bring?
Ursolic acid in scientific research
There have been many researches done on the ursolic acid until now, checking its properties. There are some very interesting conclusions. It has beed observed, that this compound, among other features, stops muscle atrophy. It has been also found, that this substance causes the decrease of the adipocytes and beneficial change of the proportion between the muscle and fatty tissue. Additional value is a significant improvement in the lipid economy. There are also new outcomes of research that prove that ursolic acid has anti-inflammatory and anticancer function!
The mechanism of the ursolic acid activity
We are aware that ursolic acid has wide biological potential. However, it's worth considering, what mechanisms are responsible for its unique properties. Because of the fact that we are mostly interested in the pro-anabolic features of this substance, I will concentrate on explaining this area of its influence on the body. Scientific research show that ursolic acid influences the IGF-1 receptors, which are responsible for reading the signals given by the insulin-like growth factor-1. As a result, the sensitivity of these receptors is improved, which strengthens the reaction of tissues (including the muscle tissue).
The insulin-like growth factor-1 is a unique peptide compound produced in our bodies, which has anabolic and anti-catabolic potential, and it also fosters the reduction of body fat. It supports the growth hormone. Also, thanks to this substance, somatotropin has influence on the muscles.
Additionally, ursolic acid may influence the response from anabolic enzymes stimulated by leucine, such as mTOR. This effect can be noticed after physical effort and lasts for a few hours. What's interesting, this phenomenon is not registered in the time with no exercises.
The sources of ursolic acid
The source of the ursolic acid, as I wrote before, is plant-origin food, mostly fruits. There is a lot of this compound in apples, berries and plums, as well in spices, such as oregano, rosemary, basil or thyme. Including these ingredients in your diet may be a good idea for many reasons, also because they supply the body with this promising compound.
Ursolic acid is a substance of natural origin, which, according to research, may show anabolic activity. However, it has to be remembered, that all the experiments done so far have been led on animals, therefore, we shouldn't be that optimistic about it yet. Nevertheless, the preliminary data are very promising and it's worth following the topic of the influence of the ursolic acid on muscles.