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Ursolic acid [(3b)-3-Hydroxyurs-12-en-28-oic acid] rarely occurs without its isomer oleanolic acid [(3b)-3-Hydroxyolean-12-en-28-oic acid] They may occur in their free acid form, as shown in Figure 1, or as aglycones for triterpenoid saponins which are comprised of a triterpenoid aglycone linked to one or more sugar moieties. Ursolic and oleanolic acids are similar in pharmacological activity1.

Several ursolic acid derivatives, both natural and synthetic, have been reported. Novel ursolic acid derivatives, including ursane-type triterpenoid saponins, naturally occur as secondary metabolites through complex metabolic processes in different parts of the plants5,8-12. Synthetic derivatives obtained from ursolic acid have been reported and evaluated for their pharmacological action 3,13-16

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