Ellagic acid is a natural phenol antioxidant found in numerous fruits and vegetables. The antiproliferative and antioxidant properties of ellagic acid have prompted research into its potential health benefits, but it has been identified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a fake cancer cure. Ellagic acid is the dilactone of hexahydroxydiphenic acid.
4,4′,5,5′,6,6′-Hexahydroxydiphenic acid 2,6,2′,6′-dilactone
3D model (JSmol)
CompTox Dashboard (EPA)
|Molar mass||302.197 g/mol|
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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The name comes from the French term acide ellagique, from the word galle spelled backwards because it can be obtained from noix de galle (galls), and to distinguish it from acide gallique (gallic acid).
Ellagic acid was first discovered by chemist Henri Braconnot in 1831. Maximilian Nierenstein prepared this substance from algarobilla, dividivi, oak bark, pomegranate, myrabolams, and valonea in 1905. He also suggested its formation from galloyl-glycine by Penicillium in 1915. Julius Löwe was the first person to synthesize ellagic acid by heating gallic acid with arsenic acid or silver oxide.
The highest levels of ellagic acid are found in raw chestnuts, walnuts, pecans, cranberries, raspberries, strawberries, and grapes, as well as distilled beverages. It is also found in peaches and pomegranates.
Medicinal claims and researchEdit
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'". 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. Claims that ellagic acid can treat or prevent cancer in humans have not been proven.
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