Vanillic Acid as An Antidepressant: Mechanisms

Vanillic acid is a polyphenolic substance found in plants. Vanillic acid is an oxidised form of vanilla, and is characterised by a similar creamy flavour. The neuroprotective effects of vanillic acid have been evidenced and a number of studies have investigated the mechanisms by which this may occur. For example, in one study the antioxidative and anti-inflammatory effects of vanillic acid were investigated with respect to cell signalling. Some evidence suggests that via antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, vanillic acid can affect mood through increases in the mTOR cellular signal, which is a common target of pharmaceutical antidepressants. Therefore evidence from this study suggests that the mechanisms of vanillic acid in treating depression may reflect those of more mainstream alternatives. This provides more evidence that plants provide phytochemicals to the diet that are able to significantly improve health, and in many cases their mechanisms are the same as pharmaceutical drugs used to treat the same conditions. 

Eat Well, Stay Healthy, Protect Yourself


Chuang, H. W., Wei, I. H., Lin, F. Y., Li, C. T., Chen, K. T., Tsai, M. H. and Huang, C. C. 2020. Roles of Akt and ERK in mTOR-Dependent Antidepressant Effects of Vanillic Acid. ACS omega. 5(7): 3709-3716

About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
This entry was posted in Anxiety, Depression, Mood, Vanillic Acid. Bookmark the permalink.