Background: Naturally occurring polyphenols are the subject of increasing attention due to their potent
antioxidant activity and their marked effects on the prevention of various oxidative stress-associated diseases
such as cancer. Ellagic acid (EA) is an herbal polyphenol that is structurally a condensed dimer of gallic acid.
Methods: This review aims to provide a comprehensive and updated overview on the biological activities of EA
and potential therapeutic applications.
Results: EA is found in fruits and nuts, either in the combined form with hexahydroxydiphenic acid or in the
bound form (ellagitannins). EA exhibits many biological properties such as antioxidant, anti-diabetic, anticancer
and apoptosis-inducing activities. These biological and pharmacological properties are relevant to the treatment of
several human diseases.
Conclusion: Owing to its multiple mechanisms of action, EA represents a potential therapeutic agent against
human diseases particularly cancer.