The pharmacological use of ellagic acid-rich pomegranate fruit

Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2013 Nov;64(7):907-13. doi: 10.3109/09637486.2013.798268. Epub 2013 May 24.


In recent years, the therapeutic use of non-drug substances such as herbal and medicinal foods is increasing progressively. Of these substances, Punica granatum L., which is an ancient and highly distinctive fruit, has been proposed for treatment of several different illnesses. Ellagic acid (EA) is one of those biological molecules found in pomegranate and may have therapeutic potential in many diseases. EA has been detected not only in pomegranate but also in a wide variety of fruits and nuts such as raspberries, strawberries, walnuts, grapes and black currants, and is becoming an increasingly popular dietary supplement over recent years. Similar to other ellagitannins (ETs), EA is quite stable under physiological conditions in the stomach. EA and ETs as active agents induce vasorelaxation, oxygen free radical scavenging, hypolipidemic, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic activities in various animal preparations call an attention to the need for designing adequate tests in humans to assess these potentially useful properties in diseased states.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Ellagic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Fruit / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Hydrolyzable Tannins / pharmacology
  • Hypolipidemic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Lythraceae / chemistry*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Vasodilator Agents / pharmacology


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Hydrolyzable Tannins
  • Hypolipidemic Agents
  • Plant Extracts
  • Vasodilator Agents
  • Ellagic Acid