Pharmacological effects of gallic acid in health and disease: A mechanistic review

Document Type : Review Article


1 Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Hormozgan University of Medical Sciences, Bandar Abbas, Iran

2 PhytoPharmacology Interest Group, Universal Scientific Education and Research Network, Tehran, Iran

3 Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Center, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran

4 Student Research Committee, Faculty of Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

5 Department of Food Science, Engineering and Technology, Faculty of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran

6 Department of Pharmacy in Persian Medicine, School of Persian Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

7 Faculty of Medicine, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran

8 Medicinal Plants Research Center, Institute of Medicinal Plants, ACECR, Karaj, Iran

9 Toxicology and Diseases Group, The Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

10 Medical Biology Research Center, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran

11 Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, Bradenton, FL 34211, USA


Objective(s): Gallic acid is a natural phenolic compound found in several fruits and medicinal plants. It is reported to have several health-promoting effects. This review aims to summarize the pharmacological and biological activities of gallic acid in vitro and animal models to depict the pharmacological status of this compound for future studies.
Materials and Methods: All relevant papers in the English language were collected up to June 2018. The keywords of gallic acid, antioxidant, anticancer, antimicrobial, gastrointestinal-, cardiovascular-, metabolic-, neuropsychological-, and miscellaneous- diseases were searched in Google Scholar, PubMed, and Scopus.
Results: Several beneficial effects are reported for gallic acid, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antineoplastic properties. This compound has been reported to have therapeutic activities in gastrointestinal, neuropsychological, metabolic, and cardiovascular disorders.
Conclusion: Current evidence confirms the pharmacological and therapeutic interventions of gallic acid in multiple health complications; however, available data are limited to just cellular and animal studies. Future investigations are essential to further define the safety and therapeutic efficacy of gallic acid in humans.


Main Subjects

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