Current research shows encouraging results with ellagic acid (from natural
ellagitannens found in fruits and nuts). Ellagic acid is a potent antioxidant that when taken as a
supplement impacts cancer as well as aids in conventional radiation and chemotherapy.
Several pieces of current research will be highlighted. The endnotes
(i.e., Endnote 1) cite the actual work and
the internet address of the information. Studies often cited great promise and the desire for
further studies to confirm and expand the results.
Ellagic results in potent antitumor activity in vivo (in living
studies). The research conclusion is that it may be helpful for prevention and
treatment of cancer. Endnote 1
Ellagic produced natural cell death (apoptosis) of human bladder
cancer. Endnote 2
Ellagic and quercetin (a flavonoid) interact with resveratrol to cause
apoptosis in human leukemia cells. When combined, it enhances the anticancer effects
of all of the antioxidants. Endnote 3
Furthermore, another study by Mertens-Talcott showed the synergism of
ellagic and the flavonoid quercetin. The results were more than the additive sum of
either polyphenol alone. Endnote
It would follow that formulations combining antioxidants may produce exceptional
response in cancer cells.
Questions always arise if ellagic acid can be used in conjunction with
conventional medical treatment, i.e., radiation and chemotherapy.
Bhosle found that combining ellagic acid with radiation actually
enhances the results on the cancer. At the same time the ellagic protects normal
cells against radiation damage. Endnote 5
In another study on prostate cancer, Falsaperla found that using ellagic
acid in a support therapy while doing chemotherapy produced a reduction in
chemotherapy induced toxicity. Endnote 6
An excellent work by Prasad is entitled “Multiple dietary antioxidants enhance the efficacy
of standard and experimental cancer therapies and decrease their
7 It can be downloaded and printed in its’ entirety (click here), although the abstract follows.
This document has been used to convince oncologists to
allow simultaneous use of antioxidants with their prescribed chemotherapy with favorable
Abstract: “Cancer patients can be divided into 3 groups: those receiving standard or experimental
therapy, those who have become unresponsive to these therapies, and those in remission at risk for
recurrence or a second new cancer. While impressive progress in standard cancer therapy has been
made, the value of this therapy in the management of solid tumors may have reached a
At present, there is no strategy to reduce the risk of recurrence of the primary
tumors or of a second cancer among survivors. Patients unresponsive to standard or
experimental therapies have little option except for poor quality of life for the remainder
of life. Therefore, additional approaches should be developed to improve the efficacy of
current management of cancer.
In this review, the author proposes that an active nutritional protocol that
includes high doses of multiple dietary antioxidants and their derivatives (vitamin C,
alpha-tocopheryl succinate, and natural beta-carotene), but not endogenously made
antioxidants (glutathione- and antioxidant enzyme-elevating agents), when administered as an
adjunct to radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or experimental therapy, may improve its efficacy
by increasing tumor response and decreasing toxicity.
This nutritional protocol can also be used when patients become unresponsive to
standard therapy or experimental therapy to improve quality of life and possibly increase the
survival time. The authors also propose that after completion of standard therapy and/or
experimental therapy, a maintenance nutritional protocol that contains lower doses of
antioxidants and their derivatives, together with modification in diet and lifestyle, may
reduce the risk of recurrence of the original tumor and development of a second cancer among
Experimental data and limited human studies suggest that use of these
nutritional approaches may improve oncologic outcomes and decrease toxicity. This review also
discusses the reasons for the current debates regarding the use of antioxidants during
radiation or chemotherapy.”
Compiled by JD Dennison
To download a printable version of this
webpage click here
1. Carcinogenesis. 2005
Apr;26(4):821-6. Epub 2005 Jan 20.
Combined inhibition of PDGF and VEGF receptors by ellagic acid, a dietary-derived phenolic
Labrecque L, Lamy S, Chapus A, Mihoubi S, Durocher Y, Cass B, Bojanowski MW, Gingras D, Beliveau
2. Anticancer Res. 2005 Mar-Apr;25(2A):971-9.
Ellagic acid induced p53/p21 expression, G1 arrest and apoptosis in human bladder cancer T24
Li TM, Chen GW, Su CC, Lin JG, Yeh CC, Cheng KC, Chung JG.
3. Cancer Lett. 2005 Feb 10;218(2):141-51.
Ellagic acid and quercetin interact synergistically with resveratrol in the induction of
apoptosis and cause transient cell cycle arrest in human leukemia cells.
Mertens-Talcott SU, Percival SS.
4. J Nutr. 2005 Mar;135(3):609-14.
Ellagic acid potentiates the effect of quercetin on p21waf1/cip1, p53, and MAP-kinases without
affecting intracellular generation of reactive oxygen species in vitro.
Mertens-Talcott SU, Bomser JA, Romero C, Talcott ST, Percival SS.
Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences,
University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-0370, USA.
5. Clin Chim Acta. 2005 Sep;359(1-2):89-100
Enhancement of radiation-induced oxidative stress and cytotoxicity in tumor cells by ellagic
Bhosle SM, Huilgol NG, Mishra KP.
Radiation Oncology Division, Dr. Balabhai Nanavati Hospital, Mumbai 400 056, India.
6. Eur Urol. 2005 Apr;47(4):449-54; discussion 454-5. Epub
2005 Jan 19
Support ellagic acid therapy in patients with hormone refractory prostate cancer (HRPC) on
standard chemotherapy using vinorelbine and estramustine phosphate.
Falsaperla M, Morgia G, Tartarone A, Ardito R, Romano G.
Operative Unit of Urology, Centro di Riferimento Oncologico della Basilicata, Rionero in Vulture,
Potenza, Italy. firstname.lastname@example.org
7. Multiple dietary antioxidants enhance the efficacy of
standard and experimental cancer therapies and decrease their toxicity
Center for Vitamin and Cancer Research, Department of Radiology, University of Colorado Health
Sciences Center, Denver 80262-0278, USA. email@example.com
FULL DOCUMENT can be downloaded at http://ict.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/3/4/310
or from this site (click here).