Time Course Production of Urolithins from Ellagic acid by Human Gut Microbiota

Garcia-Villalba and colleagues from CEBAS-CSIC (ES) have conducted a study using detailed experiments in vitro and in vivo to identify the intermediary and final catabolites of ellagic acid in the human gut in order to elucidate differences between individuals in urolithin production, and determine whether EA metabolism is linked to the microbiota composition of these individuals.

In this study, urolithin production in vivo and in vitro were examined, and endogenous microbiota analysed, to understand better the marked person-to-person differences observed following consumption of ellagitannin-rich food. Results from this study show that bacteria from C. coccoides (or genera co-occurring in vivo with this group) are likely to be involved in the production of different urolithins, which are – in turn – associated with beneficial health effects in humans.

Utolithins, converted by gut microbia from ellagic acid, have beneficial health effects in humans, but differences have been shown among individuals in urolithin production capacity. Consequently, identifying urolithin production pathways and the micro organisms involved is crucial to understand better the impact of consuming ellagitannin-rich food on human health.

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Highlights:

  1. Urolithin M-5, urolithin M-6, urolithin M-7, urolithin C and urolithin E are produced by human gut microbiota.
  2. Degradation of ellagic acid by human gut microbiota leads to similar urolithin metabolites in vitro and in vivo.
  3. coccoides group (C. coccoides spp., E. Rectal spp., and some species of Ruminococcus genus) from the Firmicutes phylum, or genera co-occurring in vivo with this group, are associated with production of urolithins in the human gut.