Ellagic Acid has Proven Health Benefits
The ellagic acid is a chemical compound found in fruits and vegetable like raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, walnuts and other plant foods. The ellagic acid is considered to be an antioxidant. Nowadays, it is widely promoted on the Internet and other medias as as a means of preventing and treating cancer. Recent researches have proven that it slows the growth of some tumors caused by certain carcinogens in cell cultures and lab animals. But still, there is no scientific evidence that it can prevent or treat cancer, although it seems to have some anti-cancer properties. It has no side effects and it is known to strengthen the immune system, prevent heart disease, liver fibrosis, promote wound healing, prevent the binding of carcinogens to DNA, strengthen connective tissue-which may keep cancer cells from spreading, and protect the p53 gene from free-radical damage.
Ellagic acid binds cancer-causing chemicals, thus making them inactive. It inhibits the ability of other chemicals to cause mutations in bacteria. In addition to that, it prevents binding of carcinogens to DNA and reduces the incidence of cancer in cultured human cells exposed to carcinogens.
The relative amount of ellagic acid in average number of micrograms per gram of dry weight fruit extract is highest in red raspberries at 1500mcg, followed by strawberries at 639mcg, walnuts at 590mcg, pecans at 330mcg, and cranberries at 120mcg.
Ellagic acid is not naturally present in plants. It is formed as the polymers of the Gallic acid and hexahydroxydipenoyl link with the glucose centers to form compounds known as ellagitannins. The highest amount of ellagitannins can be found in the Meeker red raspberry, hence it is the best source of this acid.
A lot of studies and experiments have been conducted by different universities and labs across to world in order to prove the effects of the ellagic acid. Most of the experiments with it have been applied to lab animals and plants, but recently Italian researches reported that it seemed to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy in men with advanced prostate cancer, although ellagic acid did not help slow disease progression or improve survival. To increase the level of ellagic acid in a human organism, the best way is to have a diet that includes five different sources of ellagic acid, instead of using only red raspberries as the only source of ellagic acid. It can also be found in a supplement form, offered by various companies, but it has not been tested for safety.