Ellagic acid

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Ellagic acid is a natural phenol antioxidant found in numerous fruits and vegetables including blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, walnuts, pecans, pomegranates, wolfberry and other plant foods. The antiproliferative and antioxidant properties of ellagic acid have spurred preliminary research into the potential health benefits of ellagic acid consumption.

Natural occurrence and history

Plants produce ellagic acid and convert it to a form of tannin known as ellagitannins. These are glucosides which are readily hydrolyzed by water to regenerate ellagic acid when the plants are eaten. The highest levels of ellagic acid are found in strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, and grapes.

First discovery made by chemist Michel Eugène Cheverul in oak galls and was more closely examined by Henri Braconnot in 1831. Nierenstein prepared this substance from algarobilla and certain other fruits. Löwe was the first person to synthesize ellagic acid by heating gallic acid with arsenic acid.

Proposed health benefits

Ellagic acid has antiproliferative and antioxidant properties in a number of in vitro and small-animal models. The antiproliferative properties of ellagic acid are due to its ability to directly inhibit the DNA binding of certain carcinogens, including nitrosamines and polycyclic aromatic......
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