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Korean J Physiol Pharmacol. 2018 May;22(3):235-248. doi: 10.4196/kjpp.2018.22.3.235. Epub 2018 Apr 25.

Ursolic acid in health and disease.

Author information

1
National Research Laboratory for Mitochondrial Signaling, Department of Physiology, BK21 Plus Team, College of Medicine, Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease Center, Inje University, Busan 47392, Korea.
2
Department of Convergence Biomedical Science, Inje University, Busan 47392, Korea.
3
Department of Kinesiology, Inha University, Incheon 22212, Korea.
4
Department of Health Science and Technology, Graduate School, Inje University, Busan 47392, Korea.

Abstract

Ursolic acid (UA) is a natural triterpene compound found in various fruits and vegetables. There is a growing interest in UA because of its beneficial effects, which include anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-apoptotic, and anti-carcinogenic effects. It exerts these effects in various tissues and organs: by suppressing nuclear factor-kappa B signaling in cancer cells, improving insulin signaling in adipose tissues, reducing the expression of markers of cardiac damage in the heart, decreasing inflammation and increasing the level of anti-oxidants in the brain, reducing apoptotic signaling and the level of oxidants in the liver, and reducing atrophy and increasing the expression levels of adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase and irisin in skeletal muscles. Moreover, UA can be used as an alternative medicine for the treatment and prevention of cancer, obesity/diabetes, cardiovascular disease, brain disease, liver disease, and muscle wasting (sarcopenia). In this review, we have summarized recent data on the beneficial effects and possible uses of UA in health and disease managements.

KEYWORDS:

Disease; Exercise; Health; Irisin; Ursolic acid

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