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A new study finds that ellagic acid supplementation is useful for improving the health status of multiple sclerosis patients by reducing the levels of circulating cytokines and gene expression of Tbet and RORγt, as well as increasing the gene expression of GATA3 and levels of anti-inflammatory cytokines.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is characterized by chronic immune-mediated demyelination of central nervous system neurons, resulting in nerve atrophy. Therapeutic strategies for MS patients involve shifting the immune system response. Ellagic acid is a naturally occurring polyphenol with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory characteristics. 

This triple-blind clinical trial investigated the efficacy of ellagic acid in modulating disease severity, gene expression, and cytokine levels. The findings are published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition.

Baseline Characteristics

The clinical trial randomized 25 MS patients to the ellagic acid group and 25 MS patients to the control group, which were administered ellagic acid 180 mg for 12 weeks and placebo, respectively. The mean age of the study participants was 39.51 ± 9.15 years. The overall mean Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score at the baseline was 2.59 ± 0.35. The patient compliance in the ellagic acid and placebo groups was 92.23% and 92.42%, respectively.

Dietary Intake 

The treatment and control groups did not differ significantly on the basis of intake of micronutrients, macronutrients, or overall dietary intake before or at the end of the intervention.

Anthropometric Measurements

When compared on the basis of differences in body mass index, waist circumference, physical activity, and weight at baseline and at the end of the intervention, the two groups did not differ significantly.

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General Health

Compared to the control group, ellagic acid group participants demonstrated a significant decrease in the EDSS index. Similarly, significant decreases in the Fatigue Severity Scale and General Health Questionnaire indices were also observed in the ellagic acid group.

Levels of Circulating Cytokines

Ellagic acid supplementation was associated with significant decreases in the levels of the inflammatory cytokines interleukin-17 (IL-17) and interferon-γ compared to the control group. Ellagic acid supplementation led to a significant increase in levels of the antiinflammatory cytokine IL-4 , with a significant difference between the groups. The changes in the levels of tissue growth factor ß were not significantly different in the control and ellagic acid groups.

Gene Expression

Ellagic acid supplementation was associated with a significant decrease in the gene expression of Tbet and RORγt compared to the control group. On the contrary, the gene expression of GATA3 increased significantly in the ellagic acid group.


Karegar, S. J., Naheed, A., Hajiluian, G., Suzuki, K., Shidfar, F., Salehi, M., Ashtiani, B. H., Farhangnia, P., & Delbandi, A. (2023). Ellagic acid effects on disease severity, levels of cytokines and T-bet, RORγt, and GATA3 genes expression in multiple sclerosis patients: a multicentral-triple blind randomized clinical trial. Frontiers in Nutrition, 10. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2023.1238846