Some very promising research has led to a new performance supplement – Urso-X. Urso-X contains the bioactive compound ursolic acid. Research has shown this unique substrate to be a potent anabolic – anti-catabolic compound2.

Ursolic acid contributes to the waxy cots on apples, other fruits, and many herbs1. Ursolic acid was recently identified in a screen for small molecule inhibitors of skeletal muscle atrophy 2. Researchers demonstrated that ursolic acid decreased the activity of the catabolic genes MuRF-1 and Atrogin-1 in muscle cells which are known as two of the most potent genes associated with catabolic (muscle-breakdown) activity. It was shown that ursolic acid has a dramatic effect on reducing catabolic activity in muscle cells by decreasing the activity of catabolic genes 2.

Also, ursolic acid was shown to increase the activity of the Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) gene and IGF-1 blood level concentrations2. The protein kinase Akt (also known as PKB) inhibits muscle atrophy and promotes muscle hypertrophy3. Akt activation in skeletal muscle also increase energy expenditure, reduces adiposity and blood glucose, and impart resistance to diet-induced obesity, glucose intolerance, and fatty liver disease4. Similarly, ursolic acid was found to reduce adiposity and blood glucose in non-obese mice2. A recent study tested if ursolic acid may increase skeletal muscle Akt activity in a mouse model of diet-induced obesity, leading to muscle hypertrophy and increased energy expenditure5.

Results showed that ursolic acid increased muscle Akt activity in high fat-fed mice. This was associated with skeletal muscle hypertrophy, increased energy expenditure, and reduced total body weight, white fat, glucose intolerance and hepatic steatosis (retention of fat in liver cells). Interestingly, ursolic acid also increased brown fat, whose high rate of energy expenditure provides protection against obesity6. The authors of this study speculated that the increased brown fat might also play an important role in the findings noted above. They suggested a general model in which ursolic acid increases skeletal muscle and brown fat, leading to increased energy expenditure, and resistance to diet-induced obesity, fatty liver disease, and glucose intolerance5.

The authors summarized that ursolic acid increases skeletal muscle, brown fat, and energy expenditure in a mouse model of diet-induced obesity. These effects are associated with increased strength and exercise capacity, reduced obesity, improved glucose tolerance and decreased retention of fat cells in liver5.

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AST’s new Urso-X is a High-Performance Bioactive Ursolic Acid. It’s quite rare that a new discovery in the world of performance enhancing supplements comes about. Urso-X is that new discovery. Adding Urso-X to your training program will allow you to build more muscle faster, make greater strength gains more rapidly, and get leaner quicker.

Urso-X just might be the most significant muscle growth enhancing compound to come along in decades. It certainly has serious scientific credentials that are sure to grow in volumes as more in-depth research is conducted. But you can reap the muscle-building rewards now! A natural substrate found in several herbs and fruits, Urso-X work on multiple genetic signaling pathways that trigger the most potent biological activities for lean muscle growth, increased strength and accelerated fat loss!

Adding Urso-X to your training program will put you on a sure-fire path to faster muscle growth, more strength, and accelerated fat loss.


1. Jager S, Trojan H, Kopp T, Laszczyk MN, Scheffler A. Pentacyclic triterpene distribution in various plants – rich sources for a new group of multi-potent plant extracts. Molecules 2009;14:2016-31.
2. Kunkel SD, Suneja M, Ebert SM, et al. mRNA expression signatures of human skeletal muscle atrophy identify a natural compound that increases muscle mass. Cell Metab 2011;13:627-38.
3. Bodine SC, Stitt TN, Gonzalez M, et al. Akt/mTOR pathway is a crucial regulator of skeletal muscle hypertrophy and can prevent muscle atrophy in vivo. Nat Cell Biol 2001;3:1014-9.
4. Izumiya Y, Hopkins T, Morris C, et al. Fast/Glycolytic muscle fiber growth reduces fat mass and improves metabolic parameters in obese mice. Cell Metab 2008;7:159-72.
5. Kunkel SD, Elmore CJ, Bongers KS, et al. Ursolic acid increases skeletal muscle and brown fat and decreases diet-induced obesity, glucose intolerance and fatty liver disease. PLoS One 2012;7:e39332.
6. Cypess AM, Kahn CR. Brown fat as a therapy for obesity and diabetes. Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes 2010;17:143-9.

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Ursolic Acid Increases Skeletal Muscle and Decreases Diet-Induced Obesity

by Paul C. Henning, Ph.D. CSCS time to read: 3 min
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