Planta Med 2018; 84(15): 1068-1093
DOI: 10.1055/a-0633-9492
Reviews
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

A Pharmacological Update of Ellagic Acid

José-Luis Ríos
1  Departament de Farmacologia, Facultat de Farmàcia, Universitat de València, Burjassot, Spain
,
Rosa M. Giner
1  Departament de Farmacologia, Facultat de Farmàcia, Universitat de València, Burjassot, Spain
,
Marta Marín
2  Departamento de Farmacia, Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad Cardenal Herrera-CEU, CEU Universities, Alfara del Patriarca, Valencia, Spain
,
M. Carmen Recio
1  Departament de Farmacologia, Facultat de Farmàcia, Universitat de València, Burjassot, Spain
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

received 13 March 2018
revised 27 April 2018

accepted 17 May 2018

Publication Date:
30 May 2018 (eFirst)

Abstract

Ellagic acid is a common metabolite present in many medicinal plants and vegetables. It is present either in free form or as part of more complex molecules (ellagitannins), which can be metabolized to liberate ellagic acid and several of its metabolites, including urolithins. While ellagic acidʼs antioxidant properties are doubtless responsible for many of its pharmacological activities, other mechanisms have also been implicated in its various effects, including its ability to reduce the lipidemic profile and lipid metabolism, alter pro-inflammatory mediators (tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-1β, interleukin-6), and decrease the activity of nuclear factor-κB while increasing nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 expression. These events play an important role in ellagic acidʼs anti-atherogenic, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective effects. Several of these activities, together with the effect of ellagic acid on insulin, glycogen, phosphatases, aldose reductase, sorbitol accumulation, advanced glycation end-product formation, and resistin secretion, may explain its effects on metabolic syndrome and diabetes. In addition, results from recent research have increased the interest in ellagic acid, both as a potential protective agent of the liver and skin and as a potential anticancer agent, due to the specific mechanisms affecting cell proliferation, apoptosis, DNA damage, and angiogenesis and its aforementioned anti-inflammatory properties. Taken together, these effects make ellagic acid a highly interesting compound that may contribute to different aspects of health; however, more studies are needed, especially on the compoundʼs pharmacokinetic profile. In this review, we selected papers published from 2005 to the present.