WHAT IS GALLIC ACID?
Gallic acid is a phenolic acid and phytonutrient (a group of chemical compounds that occur naturally in plants and have multiple health benefits but are not considered essential to human health) that acts as a powerful antioxidant, fights cancer, fights diabetes and much more. In this article I will be providing a full breakdown of gallic acid and how it can benefit your body.
WHEN WAS GALLIC ACID DISCOVERED?
The French chemist and pharmacist Henri Braconnot was the first person to discover gallic acid in 1818. Before its health benefits were revealed, gallic acid was used as a tool to remove the top layer of text from manuscripts and reveal hidden text underneath. It was also used by early photographers to develop images.
WHAT ARE THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF GALLIC ACID?
Gallic acid is a potent antioxidant which can prevent various diseases. It also has many further benefits in humans. The list below outlines the health benefits of gallic acid:
– Acting as an antihistamine (a substance which counteracts the effects of histamine and reduces allergic symptoms such as itching and sneezing).
– Acting as an anti-inflammatory (a substance which prevents unnecessary inflammation within the body).
– Acting as an antioxidant (a substance which protects the body’s cells from the harmful free radicals which are released during oxygen related reactions).
– Preventing various types of cancer (by being toxic towards cancer cells without harming healthy cells).
– Preventing albuminuria (a health condition where excess albumin protein is found in the urine).
– Preventing diabetes.
– Preventing internal bleeding.
– Preventing neuronal disorders (by inhibiting neuronal death).
– Treating menorrhagia (a regular, prolonged and unusually heavy menstrual period).
HOW MUCH GALLIC ACID DO YOU NEED?
Gallic acid is not classed as an essential nutrient so no official recommended daily allowance (RDA) has been established.
WHICH FOODS CONTAIN GALLIC ACID?
Gallic acid can be found in most plant based foods to some degree. Oranges contain 84 milligrams (mg) of gallic acid per 100 grams (g) whilst walnuts contain a significant 1,625mg per 100g. Gallnuts, grapes and tea are also good sources of this phytonutrient but the exact amounts they contain are not known.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF CONSUMING TOO MUCH GALLIC ACID?
Consuming natural gallic acid is believed to be safe. However, taking high levels of gallic acid supplements can interfere with certain high blood pressure medications. Therefore, if you are currently taking high blood pressure medications make sure you consult your doctor before consuming any gallic acid supplements.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF FAILING TO CONSUME ENOUGH GALLIC ACID?
Gallic acid is not classed as an essential nutrient so there are no reported deficiency symptoms associated with its consumption.
GALLIC ACID SUMMARY
Gallic acid does not receive nearly as much attention as other more popular phytonutrients such as the flavonoids. However, eating this potent phytonutrient can supply your body with just as many health benefits. So make sure you fill up on the gallic acid rich foods listed above and start enjoying everything this nutrient can offer.