The saying goes, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” but now researches has shown that an apple a day can keep away muscle loss too. An apple contains a compound called ursolic acid which prevents your muscles from breaking down during periods of intense exercise or injury. Ursolic acid is present in the wax-like coating of fruits like apples, prunes, pears, cranberries and it’s also found in high amounts in seaweed and rosemary.
Functions of Ursolic acid:
1). INCREASES MUSCLES
Ursolic acid increases the formation of IGF-1 which stimulates muscle mass and strength. At the same time it decreases fat mass, fasting blood glucose, plasma cholesterol and triglycerides and as well it decreases muscle-wasting (Atrophy) and promotes muscle growth (hypertrophy).
2). INCREASES STRENGTH
The ursolic acid significantly increases strength by lowering the fat mass and proportionately increasing the muscle mass by creating a “recomposition effect” in which the body uses fat to fuel the energy needed.
Ursolic acid makes this happen by signalling gene expression. It can turned on 18 genes while it can turn off 51 genes via examining mRNA expression signals. Two of the most effective genes to be turned off are these which are associated with muscle atrophy: atrogin-1 and MuRF-1. The most effective one which is turned on was IGF-1 in muscle which stimulates muscle hypertrophy response. Ursolic acid also possesses inhibitory activity which potentially reduces estrogen production in the body and increase testosterone which again stimulates muscle growth.
3). LIVER PROTECTIVE
Ursolic acid protects the liver from toxicity due to ethanol (Alcohol) consumption as it has strong antioxidants property.
Ideally individual should consume ursolic acid equivalent to 1.6 – 6.4 mg/kg bodyweight; for a 70 kg adult it would be the range of 112-448 mg. It should be consumed in three dosage at each meal consume 150 mg totaling to 450mg each day to have the biological effect.
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