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Ellagic Acid a Cure?

Bravesoul
Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 2004

Does anyone know anything about Ellagic Acid which is derived from raspberries and strawberries. Researchers at some prominent cancer research institutions have mentioned this acid and I wonder why if it has curative powers I've never heard about it before.

Anyone out there with personal experiences to relate?

spongebob's picture
spongebob
Posts: 2600
Joined: Apr 2003

Seems like I've heard something about raspberries and strawberries, too. Emily?

nanuk's picture
nanuk
Posts: 1363
Joined: Dec 2003

Emily will know....bud

aspaysia's picture
aspaysia
Posts: 257
Joined: Nov 2003

DESCRIPTION
Ellagic acid is a compound found in raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, walnuts, pecans, pomegranates, and other plant foods.
Another name for Ellagic acid is Ellagitannins.

OVERVIEW
Research in animal and laboratory models has found that ellagic acid inhibits the growth of tumors caused by certain carcinogens. Studies in humans are underway to determine the effect of long-term daily consumption of raspberries on cell activity in the human colon.

How is it promoted for use?
Healthy cells have a normal life cycle of approximately 120 days before they die. This process is called apoptosis (natural cell death). The body replaces these dying cells with healthy cells. Conversely, cancer cells do not die. They multiply by division, making 2 cancer cells, then 4, 8, 16, 32 and so on. In lab tests, Ellagic Acid caused the cancer cells to go through the normal apoptosis process without damaging healthy cells. Chemotherapy, radiation, and most conventional treatments cause the death of cancer cells and healthy cells indiscriminately, possibly destroying the immune system in the process. How it works is not yet well understood.
Additional studies suggest that one of the mechanisms by which ellagic acid inhibits mutagenesis and carcinogenesis is by forming adducts with DNA, thus masking binding sites to be occupied by the mutagen or carcinogen and strengthens connective tissue, which may keep cancer cells from spreading. Ellagic acid has also been said to reduce heart disease, birth defects, liver fibrosis, and to promote wound healing. Many of these claims are currently under investigation.

What does it involve?
The highest levels of ellagic acid are found in raspberries, strawberries, and pomegranates, especially when they are freeze-dried. Red raspberry leaves, which also contain ellagic acid, are available in capsule, powder, or liquid form. The correct dosage of these preparations are not known.

What is the history behind it?
Early studies of nutrition and cancer focused on macronutrients (eg, protein, carbohydrates, and fat) and micronutrients (eg, vitamins and minerals). More recently, studies have begun focusing on phytochemicals, which are compounds produced by plants (see Phytochemicals). There is an enormous amount of folklore that surrounds phytochemicals, and scientific investigation is currently in the early stages. Early published research on ellagic acid appeared in the 1970s and 1980s, and the first studies began in 1993.

What is the evidence?
Ellagic acid has been demonstrated in animal models to inhibit tumor growth caused by carcinogens. A human study is being completed at the Medical University of South Carolina Hollings Cancer Center. Twelve participants, some of whom had undergone surgery to have cancerous polyps removed, ate one cup of red raspberries daily for a year with some continuing for longer. The study was to determine if eating red raspberries could prevent colon cancer by both inhibiting the abnormal division of cells and promoting the normal death of healthy cells. The results of the study have not yet been published.

A balanced diet that includes five or more servings a day of fruits and vegetables along with foods from a variety of other plant sources such as breads, cereals, grain products, rice, pasta, and beans is more effective than eating one particular food, such as raspberries, in large amounts.

Are there any possible problems or complications?
Ellagic acid is now available in supplement form, but it has not been tested for safety; however, eating berries is considered safe. The raspberry leaf, or preparations made from it, should be used with caution during pregnancy because they may initiate labor.

Aspaysia. I live to Google.

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