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Oxidative Stress, Antioxidant Capabilities, and Bioavailability: Ellagic Acid or Urolithins?

Authors
  • Alfei, Silvana1
  • Marengo, Barbara2
  • Zuccari, Guendalina1
  • 1 Department of Pharmacy, University of Genoa, Viale Cembrano, 4, I-16148 Genoa, Italy. , (Italy)
  • 2 Department of Experimental Medicine-DIMES, Via Alberti L.B. 2, I-16132 Genoa, Italy. , (Italy)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Antioxidants
Publisher
MDPI AG
Publication Date
Aug 04, 2020
Volume
9
Issue
8
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3390/antiox9080707
PMID: 32759749
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Oxidative stress (OS), triggered by overproduction of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, is the main mechanism responsible for several human diseases. The available one-target drugs often face such illnesses, by softening symptoms without eradicating the cause. Differently, natural polyphenols from fruits and vegetables possess multi-target abilities for counteracting OS, thus representing promising therapeutic alternatives and adjuvants. Although in several in vitro experiments, ellagitannins (ETs), ellagic acid (EA), and its metabolites urolithins (UROs) have shown similar great potential for the treatment of OS-mediated human diseases, only UROs have demonstrated in vivo the ability to reach tissues to a greater extent, thus appearing as the main molecules responsible for beneficial activities. Unfortunately, UROs production depends on individual metabotypes, and the consequent extreme variability limits their potentiality as novel therapeutics, as well as dietary assumption of EA, EA-enriched functional foods, and food supplements. This review focuses on the pathophysiology of OS; on EA and UROs chemical features and on the mechanisms of their antioxidant activity. A discussion on the clinical applicability of the debated UROs in place of EA and on the effectiveness of EA-enriched products is also included.

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