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Effects of Ursolic Acid Supplementation on Early Strength Gains and Body Composition: 3279 Board #184 June 2 200 PM - 330 PM

Roman, Ashton; Emhoff, Chi-An W.

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: May 2017 - Volume 49 - Issue 5S - p 935
doi: 10.1249/01.mss.0000519543.21327.2b
F-58 Free Communication/Poster - Ergogenic Aids III Friday, June 2, 2017, 1:00 PM - 6:00 PM Room: Hall F

Saint Mary’s College of California, Moraga, CA.

(No relationships reported)

PURPOSE: Ursolic Acid (UA) is a compound commonly found in apple peels and other fruit skins. Previous studies in animal models have shown that UA may inhibit skeletal muscle atrophy, as well as increase the size and strength of skeletal muscle. In humans, one study lasting eight weeks showed significant effects of combined UA supplementation and resistance training on increased muscle strength and decreased body fat percentage, but the mechanisms are unclear. Another study found acute effects of UA supplementation during exercise included stimulating the pathway for muscle hypertrophy in resistance-trained men. Our study was designed to investigate whether any potential effects of UA supplementation on muscle strength gain occur during the early phase of neuromuscular adaptations to resistance training. We hypothesized that oral consumption of 150 mg of Ursolic Acid (UA) three times a day in combination with resistance training would lead to increased muscle strength gain but no effect on body composition over four weeks compared to equivalent training with Placebo.

METHODS: Twelve untrained adults (six in each group of Placebo or UA) were recruited to participate in our four-week training study. Subjects ingested either a Placebo or 150 mg of UA 3 times a day with every meal, for a total of 450 mg per day for four weeks. A 1 Repetition Maximum (1RM) bench press test was used to assess muscular strength pre and post resistance training. Resistance training consisted of two supervised sessions per week of three sets of 10 repetitions of flat bench press, incline bench press, and flat dumbbell flies at 60-80% of 1RM. Pre and post resistance training body fat percentage was measured via hydrostatic weighing.

RESULTS: After four weeks of resistance training, subjects experienced a significant increase in muscular strength as measured by a 1RM bench press test and no change in body fat percentage. There were no significant differences in muscle strength gain between the Placebo and UA supplementation groups.

CONCLUSION: We conclude that any potential ergogenic effects of UA supplementation are unlikely to involve neuromuscular adaptations in the early strength gains of a resistance training program.

© 2017 American College of Sports Medicine