Ellagic Acid For Brain Health

Ellagic acid is a phytochemical antioxidant found in a number of foods including walnuts and berries. Ellagic acid belongs to the polyphenol group of phytochemicals and a number of studies have shown positive health effects from consumption of ellagic acid and ellagic acid containing foods. These benefits stem largely from the ability of ellagic acid to act as an antioxidant in humans and animals. This antioxidant effect allows ellagic acid to be effective at preventing inflammation, and this may explain its neuroprotective effects. In particular, ellagic acid may be protective of dementias such as Alzheimer’s disease due to the way it modulates brain function, by for example, inhibiting the β-secretase enzyme that may play a role in the development of brain abnormalities. Ellagic acid may prevent neuronal loss due to its antioxidant and antiinflammatory action, and this may also confer protective effects against the development of mood disorders such as anxiety and depression.  

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Ellagic acid is a degradation product of tannins found in many plants. High concentration of ellagic acid are found in cloudberries (60mg/100g), blackberries (42.4 mg/100g), strawberries (19.8 mg/100g) red raspberries (17.9 mg/100g), cranberries (12 mg/100g), boysenberries (30 mg/kg), marion blackberries (32 mg/kg), evergreen blackberries (21 mg/kg), while, blueberries (0.9 mg/100g), walnuts (590 µg/g), the seeds of red raspberries (8.7mg/kg), the seeds of black raspberries (6.7 mg/kg), the juice of red muscadine grapes (10.2 mg/100g) and fresh arils of pomegranates (15.3 mg/100g). In these foods, ellagic can be present as its free form or as conjugate of sulphate ester, glucuronide, or glutathione.

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Kaur, R., Mehan, S., Khanna, D. and Kalra, S. 2015. Polyphenol Ellagic Acid–Targeting To Brain: A Hidden Treasure. International Journal of Neurology Research. 1(3): 141-152

About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
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