The Health Benefits of Ellagitannins ( Ellagic Acid )

Ellagitannins are products that contain Ellagic Acid in its natural form. It is a phenolic compound, and is widely used in alternative medicine as it is felt to be a proven anti-carcinogen, anti-mutagen, and anti-cancer initiator.

Research reports on Ellagitannins were first published in the 1970s. These were followed up by more detailed and rigourous scientific studies in the 1990s which have included studies conducted by the College of Medicine, University of Illinois; the Northwestern University School of Medicine; and the Department of Preventive Medicine, Ohio State University. However, lore records that these compounds have been used for centuries.

According to the Hollings Cancer Institute at the University of South Carolina, a double blind study on a group of 500 cervical cancer patients which has gone on for nine years provides strong evidence that Ellagic Acid is what its prescribers claim it to be. Hollings Cancer Institute concludes that it is causing G-arrest (inhibiting and stopping mitosis-cancer cell division) within 48 hours, and apoptosis (normal cell death) within 72 hours, for breast, pancreas, esophageal, skin, colon, and prostate cancer cells.

Ellagitannins are formed when polymers of Gallic acid and hexahydroxydipenoyl (HHDP) are linked to glucose centers. HHDP groups form when two Gallic acid groups are linked side by side within a tannin molecule. When the HHDP group is cleaved from the tannin molecule and spontaneously rearranges, this forms the Ellagic Acid. This takes place naturally within the human body when certain foods or prepared supplements are eaten and digested. It is this acid that attacks cancer cells.

The Hollings Clinic has identified the Meeker Red Raspberry as a carrier of Ellagitannins. No other food said to contain Ellagitannins, such as walnuts and strawberries, has been clinically found to contain anywhere near as high a concentration of them as has the Meeker Red Raspberry.

Ellagic Acid seems to act by being a scavenger of cancer-causing chemicals, rendering them inactive, preventing binding of carcinogens to DNA, and inhibiting theRaspberries ability of other chemicals to cause mutations in bacteria. Scientific research demonstrates that the Ellagic Acid formed by the Ellagitannins taken from Meeker Red Raspberries reduces the incidence of cancer in cultured human cells exposed to carcinogens.

Dr. Daniel Nixon of the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) studied Ellagitannins from the raspberries from 1993 through 1996. Nixon has published the following results and observations:

  • "Cervical Cancer Cells - HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) exposed to Ellagitannins from Red Raspberries experienced apoptosis (normal cell death)."

  • "Ellagitannins lead to G1 arrest of cancer cells, thus inhibiting and stopping mitosis (cancer cell division)."

  • "Ellagitannins from Red Raspberries prevents destruction of the P53 gene by cancer cells. P53 is regarded as the safeguard of mutagenic activity in cervical cells."

  • "The tests reveal similar results for breast, pancreas, esophageal, skin, colon, and prostate cancer cells. In addition, positive responses are observed in: periodontal disease, radiation induced chromosomal damage, slowing the degenerative process of aging, neurodegenerative diseases, diabetic retinopathy."
  • According to British scientific researchers, Meeker Red Raspberries may also prevent heart disease, as they contain a natural form of aspirin called salicylates. Herbalists also believe that Ellagitannins are effective in treating diarrhoea and nausea.

    Much more than Ellagic Acid is discussed back at the Natural Source Vitamins Homepage