Ellagic acid has other beneficial effects on human health that take advantage of its separate but important anti-oxidant potential. Again, to understand this important function we must have a basic understanding of what anti-oxidants are and how they protect us.
The very act of breathing in oxygen creates within living systems very reactive and damaging molecules which are combinations of oxygen and hydrogen. These reactive species are catalyzed (produced) by certain metals that are located near our DNA molecules. These reactive species will seek to neutralize their imbalanced electrical by attempting to combine with nearby healthy molecules creating damage. Since the relative species are in close proximity to DNA molecules our genes can become a likely target resulting in DNA damage (mutations). It is known that ellagic acid can form adducts (gentle wrapping of our DNA molecules) with our genes and itself become a target for the reactive species and thus protecting the DNA. This protection of necessary molecules could be termed anti-oxidant potential.
When we speak of anti-oxidants we must also mention the phase II enzyme system and its function. Within our cells and particularly the liver there are groups of enzymes that may collectively be characterized as the phase I and the phase II system.
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