What is Ellagic Acid?

November 12, 2012

What is Ellagic Acid?

Ellagic acid is a plant chemical or phytochemical that is found in strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, pomegranates, walnuts and pecans.

There has been research carried out on animals and cell cultures in laboratory conditions. The results from these tests found that ellagic acid may be responsible for the slower rate of growth on certain types of tumors which particular carcinogens caused. From clinical studies that have been carried out on patients, there is no conclusive evidence confirming that ellagic acid is useful in treating or preventing cancer. More research is required to be carried out before any benefits can be determined.

It does appear ellagic acid may have some anti cancer properties. It acts as an antioxidant and findings show that when tested in laboratory conditions it appears to kill cancer cells. Other studies which have been carried out show this acid appears to lessen estrogen which is a contributory factor in breast cancer cells growing in tissue cultures. Other reports state it may be useful in helping the liver to remove or break down cancer cells from the blood. Again, there is no conclusive evidence to support this. It appears studies which have been carried out under laboratory conditions on animals tend to show positive effects of the use of ellagic acid. But the benefits which are produced in the laboratory do not appear to transfer to patients. It has also been reported that this acid lessens problems associated with the liver, birth defects, heart disease and aids in healing wounds.

Extracts from the seeds or leaves from pomegranates, raspberries and strawberries if have a high level of ellagic acid especially if they are freeze-dried. They are available as supplements in liquid, powder and capsule form.

One study carried out in male patients with an advanced state of prostate cancer chemotherapy side effects appeared to lessen. The survival rate and the progress of this disease did not improve. Researchers have advised caution and more research to be carried out before these results can be proved as conclusive.

In the USA ellagic acid is being sold as a diet supplement. All drugs have to be tested before they are able to be sold. But the makers of supplements do not have to adhere to this rule as long as they do not claim their product can be used in curing, treating or preventing a particular disease.

It may be some of these products do not have the correct amount of substance or herb which they claim on the label. It may also have other substances contained in the supplement which have not been mentioned. The recommend dose of ellagic acid can vary between different brands and also different batch numbers of the same brand.

Supplements may not have received a full test to check if and how they may interact with certain foods, other supplements and medication. There are reports which have been published that detail the harmful effects and interactions but a full and complete study on this is often not available. Because of the inability to view this report it has to be considered that any information on interactions and effects is incomplete.

Berries and other naturally sourced products which contain ellagic acid are usually considered to be safe. Maintain a healthy balanced diet which includes portions of fruit and vegetables with most meals every day.

It is important to receive advice from the doctor before using ellagic acid or any other supplement or taking other medications. Pregnant women should speak with a doctor before taking any medication and supplements.

It is crucial not to rely on this particular type of treatment or delay taking conventional treatment if suffering from any cancer related illness.


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