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Foods rich in ellagic acid, strawberries, pommegranates, walnuts, and raspberries. Text: What is ellagic acid? Are you getting enough?

What is Ellagic Acid? Are You Getting Enough?

Ellagic acid is a polyphenolic compound similar to resveratrol found in grapes and red wine and is known for its healthy aging properties. Both are powerful antioxidants and are linked to supporting brain health, protecting against oxidative stress, and positively influencing various cellular processes to support healthy aging.

Ellagic acid is found in fruits and nuts like pomegranates, raspberries, walnuts, and cranberries. Considering how often you consume these foods, relying on dietary intake alone to increase your ellagic intake might not be cutting it if you're someone looking to reap ellagic acid's potential long-term health benefits.

In this article, we'll discuss food sources for ellagic acid, how it works in the body, and how you can get more of this compound in your diet to leverage its potential wellness benefits for healthy aging, cognitive support, and more.

What is Ellagic Acid?

Ellagic Acid quimical structure

If we want to get technical, ellagic acid is a polyphenol — a natural chemical found in plants. Polyphenols protect plants from environmental damage and contribute to their color, taste, and fragrance.

Ellagic acid was identified in the early 20th century by studying plant tannins, specifically ellagintannins [1]. For red wine drinkers, tannins give the wine an astringent quality, making the mouth feel dry and puckered when consumed. They also help to balance the richness and sweetness of some wines.

Ellagic acid is extracted from ellagitannins when they break down, either during the winemaking process or through natural digestion in the human body from consuming ellagitannin-rich foods like pomegranates.

Most interest in ellagic acid for wellness research comes from its potent antioxidant properties [2]. As research continues to develop, ellagic acid and adjacent compounds are being studied for their potential to support various aspects of human health, including cellular health and longevity.

How Does Ellagic Acid Work?

Ellagic acid works in the body in several interesting ways. Let's break this down.

First off, ellagic acid is found in foods in very small quantities, while its precursor, ellagitannins, is often more concentrated. When you eat pomegranates, blackberries, or walnuts, the compound enters your stomach, and ellagic acid is released from the food.

From here, it's been studied to have interactions with the gut biome, influencing the good bacteria that thrive there and supporting a healthy gut environment.

One important thing to note is that ellagic acid isn't as easily absorbed into the bloodstream in this form. Instead, gut bacteria do much of the heavy lifting by transforming ellagic acid into a metabolite called urolithin A.

Once it's transformed, urolithin A is absorbed into the bloodstream, performing its antioxidant activity and supporting various cellular health functions [3].

Potential Ellagic Acid Benefits According To Research

Various research studies support the potential benefits of ellagic acid. In this section, I'd like to outline some of the key areas where ellagic acid shows promise. But before we get into it, please remember that this article is intended for educational purposes only — and shouldn't be used to self-diagnose or treat any health conditions.

There's still a lot to uncover when it comes to the research of ellagic acid and urolithin A with the human body, so please speak with your healthcare professional first, as ellagic acid and other dietary supplements aren't meant to treat or mitigate any diseases.

Cancer Progression Icon

Ellagic Acid and Cancer Progression

Ellagic acid functions primarily as an antioxidant. This means it helps protect cells by neutralizing free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can damage cells and are linked to various health issues, including the development of some cancers.

Some studies suggest that ellagic acid may influence the cell cycle — the process by which a cell grows and divides to make new cells. This can be particularly important in cancer research, as controlling the rate of cancer cell growth and apoptosis (programmed cell death) could unlock new ways of managing cancer progression [4].

This area of research is exciting, but we must highlight that most of it is conducted in highly controlled lab environments and often with animal models. The exact effects of ellagic acid on cancer cells in humans need a lot more research to understand their implications for the future of cancer treatments.

Cognitive Health Icon

Ellagic Acid and Cognitive Health

Like its role in other areas of health, ellagic acid's antioxidant potential is also thought to benefit the brain, which is susceptible to free radical damage.

Oxidative stress is associated with cognitive decline, so supporting the body's natural defenses against it can be crucial for supporting normal cognitive function. This includes helping to maintain the normal function of neurons (the cells in your brain and nervous system that transmit information) required for cognitive processes such as memory, learning, and decision-making [5].

Chronic Inflammation Icon

Ellagic Acid and Chronic Inflammation

Ellagic acid is believed to support the body's natural ability to manage inflammation [1]. Chronic inflammation is an underlying factor in many diseases, including some types of heart disease, arthritis, and even cognitive diseases.

There's some research to suggest that ellagic acid may influence certain chemicals and proteins that control inflammation (enzymes and cytokines) [6]. By working with these signals, ellagic acid might help keep inflammation at a normal level, which is important for stopping chronic inflammation that can lead to long-term health problems.

In addition to its direct anti-inflammatory potential, ellagic acid is an antioxidant. This dual role is significant because oxidative stress often goes hand in hand with inflammation. 

Gut Health Icon

Ellagic Acid and Gut Health

The gut barrier prevents harmful substances from entering the bloodstream, allowing nutrients to pass through. Some evidence suggests that ellagic acid may help maintain the integrity of this barrier, contributing to overall gut health [7].

Chronic inflammation in the gut can lead to various gastrointestinal disorders. Ellagic acid's potential anti-inflammatory properties might help manage this inflammation, supporting a balanced gut environment [7].

Ellagic Food Sources

Bowls with pomegranate seed, cranberries, walnuts, strawberries ans raspberries

Foods rich in ellagic acid include:

  • Pomegranates
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Walnuts
  • Cranberries

These foods contain acid and other beneficial nutrients, such as fiber, vitamins, and minerals, but it might be difficult to maintain consistent levels of ellagic acid from diet alone.

When you eat these foods rich in ellagic acid, your body doesn't directly use it. Instead, it first travels to your gut, where specific types of bacteria break it down into urolithin A. This conversion is important because urolithin A is the compound that primarily interacts within your body to support various functions.

The tricky thing is that the efficiency of converting ellagic acid into urolithin A can vary depending on the individual's gut bacteria, health, and genetics. Some people have a gut microbiome that can efficiently convert ellagic acid into urolithin A, while others may not.

For people who might not efficiently convert ellagic acid into urolithin A, taking ellagic acid supplements or its more bioavailable form, urolithin A, can help.

Best Ellagic Supplements

If you want to add ellagic acid to your diet through supplements, it's important to choose reliable, effective products that suit your health needs. We've outlined a quick guide with some of the best ellagic acid supplements available to help you make a more informed decision.

Neurogan Health Urolithin A Capsules

A bottle of Neurogan Health Urolithin A Capsules

Each serving of our vegan-friendly capsules provides a standardized dose of 700 mg of urolithin A for a consistent and targeted intake.

Why should you take Urolithin A over ellagic acid?

Urolithin A is the active metabolite formed when gut bacteria break down ellagic acid. Not everyone has the specific gut microbiota needed to efficiently convert ellagic acid into Urolithin A. By taking Urolithin A supplements, you bypass this variability, directly receiving the metabolite known for its potential health benefits.

On top of this, research on Urolithin A suggests it may support mitochondrial health, muscle strength, and cellular rejuvenation. These benefits are specifically linked to Urolithin A, not directly to ellagic acid [8].

Toniiq Pomegranate Extract Capsules

A bottle of Toniiq Pomegranate Extract Capsules

For those interested in a high-quality source of ellagic acid through natural extracts, Toniiq Pomegranate Extract Capsules is a top recommendation.

Each serving, consisting of two capsules, contains 1200 mg of pomegranate extract, which is standardized to contain at least 90% ellagic acid. These capsules make achieving a significant dose of ellagic acid convenient without consuming large quantities of pomegranate fruits, which may not always be feasible or available.

Although primarily focused on delivering ellagic acid, the natural pomegranate extract also includes other beneficial compounds in the fruit, offering a broader range of phytonutrients than synthetic or isolated supplements.

Rejuvenation Therapeutics Ellagic Acid Capsules

Bottle of Rejuvenation Therapeutics Ellagic Acid Capsules

Rejuvenation Therapeutics Ellagic Acid Capsules are a targeted way to get more ellagic acid into your diet. Each capsule has 250 mg of ellagic acid derived from pomegranate seeds.

While these capsules might be a more direct source of ellagic acid, remember that ellagic acid transformation into urolithin A depends largely on one's gut microbiome. Due to genetics and variances in gut health, not everyone's gut bacteria can efficiently convert ellagic acid to urolithin A.

You can visit your primary care physician to have your gut checked to better understand how to support your gut biome.  

This variability might mean that while you’re receiving the antioxidant benefits of ellagic acid, the specific benefits of urolithin A might not be realized if your body doesn’t effectively make this conversion.

Do Ellagic Foods help with Weight Loss?

While ellagic acid-rich foods, like pomegranates, berries, and nuts, are good for you, no research directly links them to weight loss.

Weight management and the treatment of obesity are complex issues that typically require comprehensive lifestyle changes, including diet, exercise, and sometimes medical intervention.

Ellagic acid-containing foods can be part of a healthy diet, providing essential nutrients and antioxidants that contribute to overall health. However, they're not a magic compound for weight loss or obesity. Obesity often involves various factors, including genetics, lifestyle choices, and underlying medical conditions, and addressing it effectively usually requires a holistic approach overseen by healthcare professionals.

Ellagic Acid Side Effects

Ellagic acid is found in fruits and nuts and is usually safe to eat without causing side effects. However, we don't have much information about what happens if someone takes too much of it in supplement form. If you do take a lot, it might upset your stomach or cause other digestive issues. It's always a good idea to talk to a doctor before starting any new supplement, especially in large amounts.

The Takeaway: Ellagic Acid

Ellagic acid is a natural substance found in foods like raspberries, strawberries, pomegranates, and walnuts, and it's known for being good for your health. To get more ellagic acid, you can eat these foods regularly. If you want a bigger boost, you might consider taking supplements with a concentrated amount of ellagic acid.

Sometimes, your body can turn ellagic acid into something called urolithin A, which might have its own health benefits. Not everyone's body does this efficiently, so another option is to take urolithin A supplements directly.

Usually, eating foods with ellagic acid doesn't cause any problems, but taking too much through supplements might upset your stomach. The research on taking high doses of ellagic acid or urolithin A supplements is still unclear, so it’s important to be careful with how much you take. If you're thinking about trying supplements, it’s a good idea to talk to a doctor or a health expert to ensure it’s safe and right for you.


How do you increase ellagic acids?

To increase ellagic acids in your diet, include more foods rich in this compound, such as pomegranates, berries (like raspberries and strawberries), and nuts. These are natural sources that can enhance your intake of ellagic acids. Alternatively, you can turn to ellagic acid supplements to provide more consistent and targeted concentrations.

How to dissolve ellagic acids?

Ellagic acid is not something you need to dissolve to consume. It's naturally processed and absorbed when you eat foods containing it or take it through dietary supplements.

How much ellagic acid can I take per day?

There isn't a specific recommended daily intake for ellagic acid. It's generally safe when consumed in amounts typically found in a balanced diet. When taking ellagic acid supplements, follow the label's dosage instructions or consult a healthcare provider. Taking more at one time doesn't mean you'll get more benefits.

What are the side effects of ellagic acids?

Ellagic acid doesn't really have side effects when consumed in food-based amounts. The effects of taking high doses through supplements aren't extensively researched, but excessive intake could potentially lead to digestive discomfort.


  1. Sharifi-Rad, J., Quispe, C., Castillo, C. M. S., Caroca, R., Lazo-Vélez, M. A., Antonyak, H., ... & Cho, W. C. (2022). Ellagic acid: A review on its natural sources, chemical stability, and therapeutic potential. Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity, 2022.
  2. Devipriya, N., Srinivasan, M., Sudheer, A. R., & Menon, V. P. (2007). Effect of ellagic acid, a natural polyphenol, on alcohol-induced prooxidant and antioxidant imbalance: a drug dose dependent study. Singapore medical journal, 48(4), 311.
  3. Zhao, H., Song, G., Zhu, H., Qian, H., Pan, X., Song, X., ... & Liu, C. (2023). Pharmacological Effects of Urolithin A and Its Role in Muscle Health and Performance: Current Knowledge and Prospects. Nutrients, 15(20), 4441.
  4. Chen, H. S., Bai, M. H., Zhang, T., Li, G. D., & Liu, M. (2015). Ellagic acid induces cell cycle arrest and apoptosis through TGF-β/Smad3 signaling pathway in human breast cancer MCF-7 cells. International journal of oncology, 46(4), 1730-1738.
  5. Jha, A. B., Panchal, S. S., & Shah, A. (2018). Ellagic acid: insights into its neuroprotective and cognitive enhancement effects in sporadic Alzheimer's disease. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, 175, 33-46.
  6. Gil, T. Y., Hong, C. H., & An, H. J. (2021). Anti-inflammatory effects of ellagic acid on keratinocytes via MAPK and STAT pathways. International journal of molecular sciences, 22(3), 1277.
  7. Kang, I., Buckner, T., Shay, N. F., Gu, L., & Chung, S. (2016). Improvements in metabolic health with consumption of ellagic acid and subsequent conversion into urolithins: evidence and mechanisms. Advances in nutrition, 7(5), 961-972.
  8. Singh, A., D’Amico, D., Andreux, P. A., Fouassier, A. M., Blanco-Bose, W., Evans, M., ... & Rinsch, C. (2022). Urolithin A improves muscle strength, exercise performance, and biomarkers of mitochondrial health in a randomized trial in middle-aged adults. Cell Reports Medicine, 3(5).
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Katrina Lubiano

Based in Canada, Katrina is an experienced content writer and editor specializing in health and wellness. With a journalistic approach, she's crafted over 900,000 words on supplements, striving to debunk myths and foster a holistic approach to healthi...