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Adv Nutr. 2016 Sep 15;7(5):961-72. doi: 10.3945/an.116.012575. Print 2016 Sep.

Improvements in Metabolic Health with Consumption of Ellagic Acid and Subsequent Conversion into Urolithins: Evidence and Mechanisms.

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Department of Nutrition and Health Sciences, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE;
Department of Food Science and Technology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR; and.
Food Science and Human Nutrition Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.
Department of Nutrition and Health Sciences, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE;


Ellagic acid (EA) is a naturally occurring polyphenol found in some fruits and nuts, including berries, pomegranates, grapes, and walnuts. EA has been investigated extensively because of its antiproliferative action in some cancers, along with its anti-inflammatory effects. A growing body of evidence suggests that the intake of EA is effective in attenuating obesity and ameliorating obesity-mediated metabolic complications, such as insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and atherosclerosis. In this review, we summarize how intake of EA regulates lipid metabolism in vitro and in vivo, and delineate the potential mechanisms of action of EA on obesity-mediated metabolic complications. We also discuss EA as an epigenetic effector, as well as a modulator of the gut microbiome, suggesting that EA may exert a broader spectrum of health benefits than has been demonstrated to date. Therefore, this review aims to suggest the potential metabolic benefits of consumption of EA-containing fruits and nuts against obesity-associated health conditions.


ellagic acid; epigenetic regulation; inflammation; obesity; polyphenols; urolithins

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