Ellagic acid is a natural phenolantioxidant found in numerous fruits and vegetables. The antiproliferative and antioxidant properties of ellagic acid have spurred preliminary research into the potential health benefits of ellagic acid consumption.
These properties have generated interest in potential human health benefits from the consumption of ellagic acid. However, very little study of these proposed benefits has been reported as of 2010. A small randomized controlled trial involving 19 patients with carotid artery stenosis found that pomegranate juice, which is high in ellagic acid, appeared to reduce blood pressure and carotid artery wall thickness. A 2005 controlled study of 48 patients undergoing chemotherapy for prostate cancer found that ellagic acid supplementation reduced the rate of chemotherapy-associated neutropenia (though there were no cases of severe neutropenia in either the ellagic acid or control group). Ellagic acid supplementation did not improve overall or progression-free survival of patients with prostate cancer in this trial.
Despite there being only a preliminary state of evidence supporting health benefits in humans, ellagic acid has been marketed as a dietary supplement with a range of claimed benefits against cancer, heart disease, and other medical problems. Ellagic acid has been identified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a "Fake Cancer Cure Consumers Should Avoid". A number of U.S.-based sellers of dietary supplements have received Warning Letters from the Food and Drug Administration for promoting ellagic acid with claims that violate the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
Urolithins, such as urolithin A, are microflora human metabolites of dietary ellagic acid derivatives that are under study as anti-cancer agents.
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^Aviram M, Rosenblat M, Gaitini D et al. (June 2004). "Pomegranate juice consumption for 3 years by patients with carotid artery stenosis reduces common carotid intima-media thickness, blood pressure and LDL oxidation". Clin Nutr23 (3): 423–33. doi:10.1016/j.clnu.2003.10.002. PMID15158307.
^Falsaperla M, Morgia G, Tartarone A, Ardito R, Romano G (April 2005). "Support ellagic acid therapy in patients with hormone refractory prostate cancer (HRPC) on standard chemotherapy using vinorelbine and estramustine phosphate". Eur. Urol.47 (4): 449–54; discussion 454–5. doi:10.1016/j.eururo.2004.12.001. PMID15774240.