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Ellagic Acid Medical Definition


Updated January 14, 2010

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Definition: (noun) Ellagic acid is a phenolic compound that has been used to reduce bleeding by promoting blood clotting. A yellowish, crystalline compound, ellagic acid occurs naturally in oak galls, walnuts, pecans, raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, and pomegranates.

Ellagic acid acts like an antioxidant, and can inhibit aromatase, an enzyme that converts pre-estrogen to active estrogen, the hormone that fuels 80% of all breast cancers.

Pronunciation: u-LAJ-ick
Common Misspellings: Elagic acid, elegiac acid, elajic acid
Ellagic acid has been touted as an effective cancer prevention treatment or even a cure for cancer. In lab and animal studies, ellagic acid acts as an antioxidant and has sometimes caused the death of cancer cells. Ellagic acid appears to reduce the effects of estrogen on breast cancer cells in lab experiments.
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