Hippuric acid: Could became a barometer for frailty and geriatric syndromes?

Ageing Res Rev. 2021 Dec:72:101466. doi: 10.1016/j.arr.2021.101466. Epub 2021 Sep 22.


Aging is a natural biological event that has some downsides such as increased frailty, decline in cognitive and physical functions leading to chronical diseases, and lower quality of life. There is therefore a pressing need of reliable biomarkers to identify populations at risk of developing age-associated syndromes in order to improve their quality of life, promote healthy ageing and a more appropriate clinical management, when needed. Here we discuss the importance of hippuric acid, an endogenous co-metabolite, as a possible hallmark of human aging and age-related diseases, summarizing the scientific literature over the last years. Hippuric acid, the glycine conjugate of benzoic acid, derives from the catabolism by means of intestinal microflora of dietary polyphenols found in plant-based foods (e.g. fruits, vegetables, tea and coffee). In healthy conditions hippuric acid levels in blood and/or urine rise significantly during aging while its excretion drops in conditions related with aging, including cognitive impairments, rheumatic diseases, sarcopenia and hypomobility. This literature highlights the utility of hippuric acid in urine and plasma as a plausible hallmark of frailty, related to low fruit and vegetable intake and changes in gut microflora.

Keywords: Aging; Gut microbiota; Hippurate; Metabolism.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Frailty* / diagnosis
  • Hippurates
  • Humans
  • Quality of Life
  • Syndrome


  • Hippurates
  • hippuric acid