Prototype Nutrition Ketoforce



New Natural Anabolic Discovered

By Patrick Arnold


If you are familiar with the sports supplement industry you probably are rolling your eyes at the title of this blog.  I don’t blame you, as bold claims for all sorts of plant extracts and weird natural compounds are always being made.  Most of these are based on poor science done by obscure research groups from far away countries and published in 3rd rate journals.   And more often than not,  the researchers have connections to some group that is selling the ingredient/extract in question.

What I am referring to here though is definitely not one of those dubious products.   The ingredient in question is called Ursolic Acid and it actually got a lot of coverage in the mainstream press earlier this summer.  The literature on this is so impressive.  By impressive I mean the literature is published in fully accredited journals by authors with no conflict of interest.  And the research is expansive – looking at mechanisms at the cellular and genetic level in depth.  

The first and foremost study regarding Ursolic Acid is one that has garnered a lot of press lately.  It was published in the very prestigious journal Cell Metabolism, and the research was performed by scientists from the University of Iowa.  They used techniques to identify genes that were turned on and off by two muscle catabolic stressors – starvation and denervation (think of spinal cord injury).  They then turned to a huge database of gene (mRNA actually) expression signatures from 1300 candidate chemicals and after screening for which turned the right genes on (the anabolic ones) and turned the right genes off (the catabolic ones) they came to one that stood out – Ursolic acid.  The researchers then gave Ursolic acid to starved mice and to denervated mice and they found that it indeed powerfully act as an anti-catabolic.  They lost much less muscle than control mice

The cool part is they went on to see if it acted as an anabolic.  That is, they wanted to see what it did to normal mice on a normal diet.  They feed Ursolic acid to a group of mice for 5 weeks and then found that their muscles grew around 15% bigger than a control group of mice over the same period. The muscle fibers themselves appear markedly bigger under the microscope, so this was hypertrophy going on.  The muscle was fully functional as well, which was demonstrated by measuring grip strength.  The Ursolic mice had a significantly stronger grip (I guess the made the mice hang on a tiny chin up bar till they dropped or something).

Now you probably think that since the mice grew bigger muscles they probably weighed more than the control mice.  Such was not the case.  That is because there was almost a proportional decrease in fat mass in respect to the increase in muscle mass.  Essentially, the body was using the fat to fuel the energy needed to build the muscle!!  That is what is known as a recomposition effect and it is seen with agents such as clenbuterol.  It is not really seen with anabolic steroids though, since although “roids” are great for building muscle, they don’t really affect fat mass in such an obvious and direct manner.

The researchers finally looked at how Ursolic acid worked (I told you, this paper is extremely thorough and comprehensive).   Examination of which genes got turned on and which got turned off (via examining mRNA expression signals) showed strong signals for 18 being turned on and 51 being turned off.  Two of the most potent ones to be turned off were ones strongly associated with muscle atrophy – atrogin-1 and MuRF-1.  The most potent one to be turned on was the one that encodes IGF-1 in muscle.  The local production of IGF-1 is perhaps the single most instrumental process in the muscle hypertrophy response as it initiates the key steps of satellite cell recruitment into new myonuclei and protein synthesis via the kinase Akt.

Now you may be  thinking that I am leading up to an announcement that I am going to sell this product.  In fact I actually just started selling it.  I had to be the first to market with a fully dosed ursolic acid product because the research  (and it goes far beyond just this one article) impressed me so much, and now I am.  I am not going to twist your arm to buy it but I think if you read through this entire blog you have to be at least intrigued.  Anyway, if you are interested you can go to this link

18 Responses so far

Sounds like it has some interesting potential. Here’s a link to the full publication you referenced, titled “mRNA Expression Signatures of Human Skeletal Muscle Atrophy Identify a Natural Compound that Increases Muscle Mass”:

From an SEO perspective, you should turn URL you posted at the end of the article to your product into an active link with keyword text like “Ursolic Acid supplement”.


As you could have guessed- I am, in fact, intrigued. I want to go ahead and give your 2-pack a whirl, but first- any idea of side effect associated with a cycle of this?


I’m currently on a cycle of testforce, would this add to it, do nothing, or totally mess me up? Maybe this would be a good option while cycling off of testforce?

Thanks for giving facts with your product announcements! :)

I have been looking for a good UA supplement for years now. The various Holy Basil supplements available did not seem potent enough. Just ordered a 2-pack through Amazon — I’m hoping they are respectably dosed.

There’s more research indicating UA is also a potent anti-cancer agent, an anxiolytic, and a liver protector.

UA may not be as anabolic as other options, but seems much more attractive long-term because of its health benefits and because it does not need to be cycled.

Did you try the product yourself?

I wasn’t originally intending to post this on here so I didn’t keep track of my sources, but if you don’t believe/agree with me about any of this, Patrick, let me know and I’ll try and recover them:

I read this about your product: “They are 200mg caps. It’s a 25% ursolic acid extract, so there’s 50mg ursolic acid per cap. The extract is also about 15 – 20% oleanolic acid, so you get up to 40mg oleanolic (oleanic) acid per cap too.” after reading that, extrapolating from the mouse studies, an 80kg male would need 3200mg (3.2g) of the stuff to have the same relative effect. This is ignoring the chance of highly reduced bioavailability.

Thus, would I not have to take between 36 and 64 of these capsules daily to have any chance of benefiting from the same improvements as the rats?

Also, do you know of any human studies on the way?

I think I’m going to log Ursobolic over at PHF. I’ve reached a plateau in my training–strength hasn’t changed much in the last 2 months, weight has stayed very steady, and I could stand to lose that last 10lbs or so of fat, so without making any changes in my training or diet I think I’ve got a good baseline to see if the ursolic acid causes any noticeable changes (good or bad). I’ll plan to run the UA alone for at least 5 weeks I think. I’m not running any other substances (apart from the vitamins I take on a regular basis), so this log should be relatively clean. Not planning on any bloodwork before or after since the UA is non-hormonal anyway. If you think of anything else that people running logs of this may want to consider or keep in mind, please let us know! And thanks for getting this to market so quickly so that we can all at least try it from a reliable source.


Could you address the question on dosing?Humans vs rats?

(400*3)/37 = 32mg/kg. 2.6 grams for an 80 kg individual.

22 caps/day for the same effects as the rats, assuming good oral bioavailability.

At minimal dosage, you’d be at about 1/3 of that- so it seems reasonable (again, with the bioavailability assumption).


So roughly 7 caps daily for anabolic effect?

There are other products on the market that contain 50mg of ursolic acid per capsule. I think this is similar to your ursoblic content.

52 caps for 2.6 grams. Maximum dosage (18 caps/day) would put you at about 1/3 of that.

Well, Patrick?
I’d genuinely like to hear your point of view on the matter and, even if you can’t comment at this time for some reason, if you know of ongoing human trials that’d be interesting too!


How did you run your calculations? I just searched through 21 pages on the PHF site to find a post that described how to extrapolate properly from mice to humans that I remembered reading:

Also, “theironspud” calculates it for you above as well and pretty much answered that part of the question I think.

Dunno about current human trials…

according to the label, each 3 cap dose is 1500mg, with it saying 600mg of extract

dunno if that helps.

3 caps equals 150 mg of Ursolic acid , and directions say 3-6 caps ( 150-300 mgs), 3 x /day…., I think I’ve got it?!


Thanks for bringing all these innovative stuff to the market.
What do you think of the side effects UA on male fertility?


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