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Scientific article
English

Ursolic acid has no additional effect on muscle strength and mass in active men undergoing a high-protein diet and resistance training: A double-blind and placebo-controlled trial

Published inClinical nutrition, vol. 40, no. 2, p. 581-589
Publication date2021-02
First online date2020-06-13
Abstract

Background: Ursolic acid (UA) is thought to have an anabolic effect on muscle mass in humans. This study sought to compare the effects of UA and a placebo on muscle strength and mass in young men undergoing resistance training (RT) and consuming a high-protein diet.

Methods: A clinical, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted for 8 weeks. The Control + RT group (CON n = 12) received 400 mg/d of placebo, and the UA + RT group (UA n = 10) received 400 mg/d of UA. Both groups ingested ~1.6 g/kg of protein and performed the same RT program. Pre- and post-intervention, both groups were evaluated for anthropometric measures, body composition, food intake and muscle strength.

Results: Food intake remained unchanged throughout the study. Both groups showed significant increases in body weight (CON Δ: 2.12 ± 0.47 kg, p = 0.001 vs. UA Δ: 2.24 ± 0.67 kg, p = 0.009), body mass index (BMI) (CON Δ: 0.69 ± 0.15 kg/m2, p = 0.001 vs. UA Δ: 0.75 ± 0.23, p = 0.011) and thigh circumference (CON Δ: 1.50 ± 0.36, p = 0.002 vs. UA Δ: 2.46 ± 0.50 cm, p = 0.003 vs. UA 1.84 ± 0.82 cm, p = 0.001), with differences between them. There was no difference in the arm, waist and hip circumferences. Both groups showed increases in muscle mass (CON Δ: 1.12 ± 0.26, p = 0.001 vs. UA Δ: 1.08 ± 0.28 kg, p = 0.004), but there was no significant difference between them. Additionally, there were significant increases in the one repetition maximum test in the bench press and in the 10-repetition maximum test in the knee extension (CON Δ: 5.00 ± 2.09, p = 0.036 vs. UA Δ: 7.8 ± 1.87, p = 0.340 and CON Δ: 3.58 ± 1.15, p = 0.010 vs. UA Δ: 1.20 ± 0.72, p = 0.133), respectively, with no difference between them.

Conclusions: Ursolic acid had no synergic effect on muscle strength and mass in response to RT in physically active men consuming a high-protein diet.

eng
Keywords
  • Hypertrophy
  • Muscle mass
  • Muscle strength
  • Ursolic acid
Citation (ISO format)
LOBO, Patrícia C.B. et al. Ursolic acid has no additional effect on muscle strength and mass in active men undergoing a high-protein diet and resistance training: A double-blind and placebo-controlled trial. In: Clinical nutrition, 2021, vol. 40, n° 2, p. 581–589. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2020.06.004
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ISSN of the journal0261-5614
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