Ellagic Acid Versus Pollution

If you're anxious about the health effects of breathing polluted air, foods high in ellagic acid may be the answer.

smokestack - ellagic acid

Foods high in ellagic acid may neutralize the carcinogenic benzo[a]pyrene in smoke.

Photo by Fotolia/alphards

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Some researchers say the carcinogenic form of benzo[a]pyrene, a common pollutant produced by woodstoves, autos, and industry smokestacks, may be "neutralized" by ellagic acid, a substance found in a variety of plants and plant products, including grapes, coffee, and nuts. Although this phenomenon has thus far been confirmed only in laboratory tests, the studies are so promising that some observers predict the day will come when "anti-cancer crops" — plants high in ellagic acid — will be cultivated on a large scale. (Meanwhile, pass the grape juice, please....)