Ellagic Acid Review
Ellagic Acid is a plant chemical rumored to offer a number of powerful health benefits. It’s been marketed as a cure for cancer, for example, and appears to have powerful antioxidant benefits.
Learn everything you need to know about ellagic acid today in our ellagic acid review.
What is Ellagic Acid?
Ellagic Acid is a naturally-occurring plant chemical (phytochemical) found in raspberries, cranberries, strawberries, pomegranates, pecans, walnuts, and other plant foods.
The acid acts as an antioxidant, which means that it targets disease-causing free radicals throughout the body. In certain clinical studies, ellagic acid has even been shown to slow the growth of tumors.
Benefits of Ellagic Acid
Ellagic acid is purported to have anti-cancer properties. It’s been shown to cause cell death in cancer cells in laboratory settings, although it has limited cancer-fighting evidence in all human trials performed thus far.
Supporters of ellagic acid believe the compound comes with the following benefits:
— Reduces The Effect Of Estrogen In Promoting The Growth Of Breast Cancer Cells In Tissue Cultures
— Helps The Liver Break Down And Remove Cancer-causing Substances (Carcinogens) From The Blood
— Reduces The Risk Of Heart Disease, Birth Defects, And Liver Problems
— Encourages Wounds To Heal More Quickly
Scientific Evidence for Ellagic Acid
All of the benefits of ellagic acid so far are based on two things:
— Laboratory studies on cell cultures (i.e. groups of cells outside of a living creature
— Animal studies
There have been few human studies which have reinforced the cancer-fighting benefits of ellagic acid. Nevertheless, it’s important to mention some of the studies on ellagic acid performed thus far.
Until recently, ellagic acid was primarily studied for its effects on blood clotting. It wasn’t until the 1990s that rumors spread that ellagic acid could be used as a treatment for cancer. Since then, a number of studies have tried to verify the anti-cancer properties of ellagic acid.
2015 Study Indicates Ellagic Acid Slows Growth of Cancer Cells
Ellagic acid has been making headlines lately and it’s partly because of this study. In February 2015, researchers published a study in the International Journal of Oncology. That study examined the effects of ellagic acid on patients with breast cancer. Researchers concluded that ellagic acid regulated TGF-β/Smads pathway in breast cancer cells and acted as a “novel therapeutic approach for the treatment of patients with breast cancer.” Researchers stated that further studies were needed – especially with human samples – to confirm these mechanisms of ellagic acid.
2015 Study Shows Ellagic Acid Suppresses Prostate Cancer Cells
Another recent study examined the effects of ellagic acid (EA) extracted from pomegranate fruit juice (PFJ). Researchers tested ellagic acid on rats and concluded the following: “The results indicate that PFJ and EA are potential chemopreventive agents for prostate cancer, and EA may be the active component of PFJ that exerts these anti-cancer effects.”
Ellagic Acid Prevents Long-Term Brain Injuries in Rats
Another study on rats found that researchers were able to limit the effects of long-term brain injuries using ellagic acid. Rats were given ellagic acid prior to “induction of trauma”. Rats that received EA pretreatment were found to have a significant reduction in hippocampal deficits and brain inflammation.
First Ellagic Acid Study on Humans Performed in 2005
The world’s first ellagic acid study in humans was performed by Italian researchers in 2005. These researchers determined that ellagic acid reduced the side effects of chemotherapy in men with advanced prostate cancer, although it did not slow the progression of the disease or improve survival. To date, this is the only ellagic acid study performed on humans.
Future Human Studies Are Needed
Ellagic acid has shown some surprisingly powerful benefits – especially in recent studies. Unfortunately, few of these studies have been performed on humans. The vast majority have taken place with rats or on isolated cell cultures.
Nevertheless, almost every ellagic acid study has concluded by stating that more human research trials could be extremely beneficial.
How to Use Ellagic Acid
Ellagic acid is sold in the United States as a dietary supplement. However, according to United States law, dietary supplements don’t have to undergo any sort of testing before being sold to the public.
This makes it difficult to find good-quality ellagic acid supplements. Many supplements only contain trace amounts of ellagic acid (or no ellagic acid at all) along with fillers and synthetic chemicals.
That’s why the best source of ellagic acid is a healthy, balanced diet: if you eat several servings of fruits or vegetables per day, you’re getting more than enough ellagic acid in your diet.
Certain fruits and vegetables have more ellagic acid than others. Red raspberries, pomegranates, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, and walnuts are all rich with ellagic acid. Try adding these foods into your diet to increase your levels of ellagic acid and potentially enjoy some major health benefits.