Tea Is a Significant Dietary Source of Ellagitannins and Ellagic Acid

J Agric Food Chem. 2019 May 15;67(19):5394-5404. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.8b05010. Epub 2018 Oct 19.


The ellagitannin composition and the total content of ellagitannins in different types of tea were studied by high-performance liquid chromatography/ion-trap mass spectrometry. Strictinin and seven other isomers, tellimagrandin I, and ellagic acid were identified from tea infusions. The ellagitannin content in tea infusions was determined after acid hydrolysis and ranged from 0.15 to 4.46 mg of ellagic acid equivalent/g of tea in the infusions. The intake of ellagic acid after drinking a cup of tea brewed with 4 g of tea could range between 0.59 and 17.89 mg. These results indicate that tea can be a significant contributor to the dietary intake of ellagitannins. Urolithins, the gut microbiota metabolites produced in vivo from ellagic acid and ellagitannins, were detected in human urine after dietary tea beverage intake. Urolithin metabotypes A, B, and 0 were identified in volunteers after tea intake. These results suggest that the daily intake of ellagitannins from tea can have a role in tea health effects.

Keywords: ellagic acid; ellagitannins; strictinin; tea; tellimagrandin I; urolithins.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Camellia sinensis / chemistry*
  • Camellia sinensis / metabolism
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Ellagic Acid / chemistry*
  • Ellagic Acid / metabolism
  • Ellagic Acid / urine
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome
  • Humans
  • Hydrolyzable Tannins / chemistry*
  • Hydrolyzable Tannins / metabolism
  • Hydrolyzable Tannins / urine
  • Male
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Structure
  • Tea / chemistry
  • Tea / metabolism


  • Hydrolyzable Tannins
  • Tea
  • ellagitannin
  • Ellagic Acid