Ferulic acid is a phenolic acid extracted from the cell walls of most plants mainly in wheat, rice bran, oats peanuts, apples, and pineapples; it plays an active role by reinforcing the plant defense mechanism against microbial damage and excessive sun damage. Research in the Journal of Agriculture Food and Chemistry has shown that ferulic acid exhibit potent antioxidant properties that constitute a bioactive ingredient in these plants that may offer numerous health benefits. Primarily, it is an important anti- aging supplement and promotes skin elasticity; also, it has other applications as an anti-diabetic and anti-cancer agent as well as enhancing neuroprotection and cardioprotection effects.
Ferulic acid benefits
Ferulic acid helps to promote skin care; a study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology have shown that the antioxidant property of Ferulic acid fight the negative oxidative effects of free radicals, including nitric oxide, superoxide, and hydroxyl radical, which protect the skin from prematurely aging, including under eye wrinkles and marionette lines. Essentially, ferulic acid enhances the stability of vitamins C and E; the combination of these ingredients acts as an efficient formula for anti-aging serums, which moisturizes the skin, increase protection from UV-induced skin damage, and stimulate collagen production. Thus, they promote skin elasticity, create a smooth and radiant skin, and reduce the risks of skin cancer.
Ferulic acid prevents High Blood Pressure; according to a study in the American Journal of Hypertension, its antioxidant effect prevent lipid peroxidation, lowering cholesterol and triglycerides contents which minimize risk of atherosclerosis, a condition associated with the narrowing of the blood vessels leading to hypertension and heart attack. Besides, it promotes high-density lipoprotein (HDL), which acts as good cholesterol; HDL removes the excess cholesterols, thus promoting widening of the blood vessels and cardiovascular health. In another study published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology in 2013, researchers observed that ferulic acid improved the chemical structure and function of the heart and blood vessels in rats with high blood pressure.
Ferulic acid contains anti-diabetic property; according to a rat-based study in Phytotherapy Research, the ability of ferulic acid to lower the cholesterol & triglycerides levels helps to control blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes. After treating diabetic rats with ferulic acid, it was found to enhance the antioxidant capacity of the animals and helped regulate their blood sugar levels.
Ferulic acid has anti-cancer benefits; a study documented in the journal of Anticancer Research showed that ferulic acid’s antioxidant property protect the healthy cells from the oxidative effect of free radicals that induces tumor growth. Besides, it prevents irregular and uncontrolled cell mutation, a process that causes various types of human cancer including lung, breast, prostate, and colon cancer. Also, it plays a role in promoting apoptosis, a programmed and specific death of cancerous cells.
Ferulic acid enhances neuroprotection; a publication in the Journal of Chinese medicinal materials showed that ferulic acid acts as an efficient modulator of neurotransmitters, which promotes healthy brain tissues and boosts memory and cognitive function. Its antioxidant property prevents the deterioration of the brain cells that causes Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. Besides, it promotes the proliferation of some types of nerve cells, such as retinal cells, a property that prevent retinal diseases such as macular degeneration.
General information on the dosage, side effects, and safety of Ferulic acid
The effectiveness and safety of ferulic acid are well-documented in laboratory-based animal studies; its antioxidant property has been shown to combat various diseases in animals. However, despite the abundance of preclinical research, only a few studies have been carried out in humans; effective doses of Ferulic Acid for most of the health benefits mentioned above and its safety have not yet been established scientifically, according to Food Chemistry and Toxicology (Pharmacological and toxicological aspects of ferulic acid). Notably, it is only consumed as part of the daily diet for humans in grains, leafy vegetables, and other food plants. Though the dietary supplements containing ferulic acid constituent are also available in drug stores and natural-foods stores, the ideal dosage of ferulic acid for various therapeutic effects is not indicated. Therefore, the clinical dosage, side effects and efficacy of this phenolic compound need to be further documented. Importantly, always make sure to consult your medical physician before considering ferulic acid for any health purpose.
- Journal of Chinese medicinal materials (Zhong Yao Cai): Neuroprotective effect of ferulic acid in vitro.
- Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology: Ferulic acid improves cardiovascular and kidney structure and function in hypertensive rats.
- Journal of Public Library of Science (PLoS One): Protective Effects of Ferulic Acid on High Glucose-Induced Protein Glycation, Lipid Peroxidation, and Membrane Ion Pump Activity in Human Erythrocytes
- Phytotherapy Research: Ferulic acid alleviates lipid peroxidation in diabetic rats.
- Journal of Agriculture Food and Chemistry: Antioxidant properties of ferulic acid and its related compounds.
- Journal of Investigative Dermatology: Ferulic acid stabilizes a solution of vitamins C and E and doubles its photoprotection of skin.
- Anticancer Research: Radical scavenging activity and cytotoxicity of ferulic acid.
- American Journal of Hypertension: Short- and long-term effects of ferulic acid on blood pressure in spontaneously hypertensive rats.
- European Journal of Pharmacology: Protective effect of ferulic acid and resveratrol against alloxan-induced diabetes in mice.