What Is Ursolic Acid Used For

Ursolic acid is a pentacyclic triterpenoid identified in the epicuticular waxes of apples as early as 1920 and widely found in the peels of fruits, as well as in herbs and spices like rosemary and thyme.

Ursolic acid treatment affects growth and apoptosis in cancer cells

Ursolic Acid (UA) is a substance that comes from a variety of plants and herbs. It is part of a class of chemicals known as pentacyclic triterpenoids. It is primarily recognized for its potential role in cell growth regulation.

Ursolic Acid

Ursolic Acid has the following applications:


Ursolic Acid at high doses decreased the following cancer markers: MMP-2, Ki-67, and CD34 (adhesion factor).
UA treatment strongly blocked the cancer survival AKT – GSK3b – β-catenin pathway, resulting in cell destruction.
UA at low concentrations enhanced the anti-tumoral effects of one cancer drug by up to 2-fold. Ursolic Acid is able to induce cell destruction in human gut cancer cells by blocking the AKT pathway.
Under toxic conditions, Ursolic Acid induces the production of various Nrf2 -mediated detoxifying/antioxidant enzymes.
Epigenetic effects of Ursolic Acid could potentially contribute to its beneficial effects, including the prevention of skin cancer.
Ursolic Acid could inhibit proliferation and reverse the drug resistance of ovarian cancer stem cells by suppressing ABCG2 and HIF-1a under different culture conditions.


Ursolic Acid enhanced autophagy (recycling) of macrophages by increasing the production of ATG5 and ATG16L1, which led to altered macrophage function.
Ursolic Acid reduced IL-1b secretion in macrophages in response to lipopolysaccharide (LPS).
Ursolic acid is a STAT3 inhibitor, which means it suppresses Th1 and Th17 immune responses.
Ursolic Acid normalized PPARa activity and inhibited the exaggerated spinal cord inflammatory response and enhanced pain sensitivity.


Mycobacterial infections are controlled by the activation of macrophages through type 1 cytokine production by T cells.
IFNy and TNF-a are essential for this process because they promote macrophage activation and iNOS production.


Ursolic acid inhibited growth and induced cell destruction of liver cancer cells through AMPK-mediated inhibition of DNA methyltransferase 1 (through SP1).

Ursolic acid inhibited the growth of liver cancer cells through the induction of IGFBP1 and FOXO3a. Increasing evidence suggests an important role of IGFBP in the development and progression of several types of cancers.

Stimulates muscle growth

Ursolic acid enhances muscle insulin/ IGF-1 signaling, leading to Akt activation, muscle growth, and reduced fat and blood glucose.
Ursolic acid increases muscle at least in part by enhancing the IGF-I and insulin receptors.
Ursolic acid indirectly mimicked the beneficial effects of short-term calorie restriction and exercise (fast-oxidative) by directing the muscle composition toward oxidative metabolism.

Prevents memory impairment

One of the potential mechanisms of the neuroprotective effect was by lessening the accumulation of malondialdehyde (MDA) and depletion of glutathione (GSH) in the hippocampus (memory center).
Malondialdehyde (MDA) is one of the better-known indicators of cell membrane injury.
UA significantly suppressed the increase of IL-1b, IL-6, and TNF levels in the hippocampus (memory center) of Amyloid beta-treated mice.

February 22, 2019 Herbal Extracts , , , , , , ,
About Maria Higgins

Beauty and luxury lifestyle website by a herbal extracts expert Maria. Follow our articles and read on to discover the best botanical ingredients, hyaluronic acid, vitamins and other organic chemicals for pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, health-food, and cosmetics industries.

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