The health benefits of Gallic Acid August
updated on April 10, 2009
What is gallic acid?
Gallic acid is an organic acid, known as 3,4,5-trihydroxybenzoic acid,
found in gallnuts, sumac, witch hazel, tea leaves and other plants. It
exists as free acid and as a part of tannins.
What are the potential health benefits of gallic acid?
Some advertisers claim that dark chocolate is high in antioxidants like
epicatechin and gallic acid, dark chocolate increases the blood flow to
skin and reduces roughness and protects sun damage. [A1]
Gallic acid may have a few health benefits especially for those at risk of
certain types of cancers and neural disorders. Gallic acid was found to
possess anti-inflammatory activity towards zymosan-induced acute food
pad swelling in mice.
Structure-activity relationship analysis showed that the o-dihydroxy
group of gallic acid is important for the inhibitory activity in vitro.  A
few researchers believe that gallic acid may benefit people at risk of
neural degeneration. An in-vitro study showed that gallic acid inhibited
on Abeta (25-35) (10 microM)-induced apoptotic neuronal death.  In
vitro studies have shown its anti-cancer activities against leukemia
HL-60RG, certain prostate, colon and lung cancer cells. [2-5] Basically,
gallic acid induced apoptosis in a dose-dependent manner as
evidenced by analyses of DNA fragmentation, changes in cell
morphology and loss of viability. 
What are the precautions or side effects of gallic acid
supplements? In a study, gallic acid was observed to trigger
contractile responses and inhibit vasorelaxant responses in a study of
isolated rat thoracic aorta. Gallic acid also inhibited vasorelaxation
induced by acetylcholine, sodium nitroprusside or prostacyclin.  If you
are taking blood pressure controlling agents, you must discuss with your
doctor before taking gallic acid.
 Ban JY, et al, Neuroprotective properties of gallic acid from Sanguisorbae radix on amyloid beta
protein (25--35)-induced toxicity in cultured rat cortical neurons. Biol Pharm Bull. 2008 Jan;31(1):149-53.
 Raina K, et al, Chemopreventive effects of oral gallic acid feeding on tumor growth and progression in
TRAMP mice. Mol Cancer Ther. 2008 May;7(5):1258-67. Epub 2008 Apr 29.  Ohno Y. et al, Induction
of apoptosis by gallic acid in lung cancer cells. Anticancer Drugs. 1999 Oct;10(9):845-51.  Yoshioka K
et al, Induction of apoptosis by gallic acid in human stomach cancer KATO III and colon
adenocarcinoma COLO 205 cell lines. Oncol Rep. 2000 Nov-Dec;7(6):1221-3.  Inoue M et al,
Antioxidant, gallic acid, induces apoptosis in HL-60RG cells. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1994 Oct
28;204(2):898-904.  Kroes BH et al, Anti-inflammatory activity of gallic acid. Planta Med. 1992
Dec;58(6):499-504.  Sanae F, et al, Potentiation of vasoconstrictor response and inhibition of
endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation by gallic acid in rat aorta. Planta Med. 2002 Aug;68(8):690-3.
[A1] Top 10 foods for great skin Canada .com
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