Pharmacological effects of gallic acid in health and diseases: A mechanistic review

Iran J Basic Med Sci. 2019 Mar;22(3):225-237. doi: 10.22038/ijbms.2019.32806.7897.


Objectives: Gallic acid is a natural phenolic compound found in several fruits and medicinal plants. It is reported to have several health-promoting effects. This review aims to summarize the pharmacological and biological activities of gallic acid in vitro and animal models to depict the pharmacological status of this compound for future studies.

Materials and methods: All relevant papers in the English language were collected up to June 2018. The keywords of gallic acid, antioxidant, anticancer, antimicrobial, gastrointestinal-, cardiovascular-, metabolic-, neuropsychological-, and miscellaneous- diseases were searched in Google Scholar, PubMed, and Scopus.

Results: Several beneficial effects are reported for gallic acid, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antineoplastic properties. This compound has been reported to have therapeutic activities in gastrointestinal, neuropsychological, metabolic, and cardiovascular disorders.

Conclusion: Current evidence confirms the pharmacological and therapeutic interventions of gallic acid in multiple health complications; however, available data are limited to just cellular and animal studies. Future investigations are essential to further define the safety and therapeutic efficacy of gallic acid in humans.

Keywords: Anticancer; Antioxidant; Gallic acid; Health benefits; Pharmacological effects.

Publication types

  • Review