Ursolic acid is a chemical found in apples, cranberries, prunes, basil, peppermint and oregano. It’s used in various cosmetic products and may inhibit the growth of some types of cancer cells.
A Chinese study on rats discovered that ursolic acid supplements increased caloric expenditure, reduced bodyweight and decreased fat levels in muscle. Ursolic acid improved fat loss by increasing the activity of uncoupling proteins in the cells, which triggers fat loss by promoting heat formation.
In addition, ursolic acid is anabolic. A University of Iowa study in mice discovered that ursolic acid present in apple peels prevented muscle deterioration after fasting and spinal cord injury. What is more, ursolic acid supplements increased muscle mass in normal mice. The anabolic effect of ursolic acid is caused by increased insulin signaling in skeletal muscle and the suppression of gene activity connected to atrophy (decreased muscle size). So ursolic acid can speed fat loss and build muscle.