What is Ellagic Acid?Ellagic acid is a fused four-ring polyphenol. Pure ellagic acid is a cream to light yellow crystalline solid.
DistributionEllagic acid is present in many red fruits and berries, including raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, cranberries, pomegranate and some nuts including pecans and walnuts. The highest levels of ellagic acid are found in raspberries. In plants ellagic acid is present in the form of ellagitannin, which is ellagic acid bound to a sugar molecule.
Health Benefits of Ellagic AcidEllagic acid has antioxidant, anti-mutagen and anti-cancer properties.
Studies have shown the anti-cancer activity on cancer cells of the breast, oesophagus, skin, colon, prostate and pancreas. More specifically, ellagic acid prevents the destruction of P53 gene by cancer cells. Ellagic acid can bind with cancer causing molecules, thereby making them inactive. In their studie The effects of dietary ellagic acid on rat hepatic and esophageal mucosal cytochromes P450 and phase II enzymes. Ahn D et al showed that ellagic acid causes a decrease in total hepatic mucosal cytochromes and an increase in some hepatic phase II enzyme activities, thereby enhancing the ability of the target tissues to detoxify the reactive intermediates. Ellagic acid showed also a chemoprotective effect against various chemically induced cancers.
A study by Thresiamma KC and Kuttan R.Indian (Indian Journal Physiology and Pharmacology, 1996 October) indicate that oral administration of ellagic acid by rats can circumvent the carbon tetrachloride toxicity and subsequent fibrosis of the liver.
Ellagic acid has also antiviral and antibacterial activities.
Facts about Ellagic AcidPlants produce ellagic acid to protect themselves from microbiological infection and pests.
Research ReviewsPomegranate Juice Ellagitannin Metabolites Are Present in Human Plasma and Some Persist in Urine for Up to 48 Hours
Chemoprevention of esophageal tumorigenesis by dietary administration of lyophilized black raspberries.
SynonymsBenzoaric acid, eleagic acid, elagostasine, gallogen.