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Silhouette of the top five super foods with Urolithin A

Article 6 min read

Top 5 superfoods for Urolithin A

Published by Jennifer Scheinman
Silhouette of the top five super foods with Urolithin A

Urolithin A (UA) is a little-known nutrient that is starting to garner a lot of well-deserved attention. Numerous studies are being released demonstrating its powerful effect on muscle health and longevity. UA’s benefit to health is due to its ability to stimulate mitophagy, the process by which older, dysfunctional mitochondria get recycled into more efficient, healthier mitochondria.

Urolithin A is not found directly in the food we eat. It is a postbiotic, meaning that the bacteria in our gut convert plant compounds (called polyphenols) into UA. Regularly eating foods high in these specific polyphenols supplies your microbiome with the precursors it needs to generate UA.  Following is our list of the top five superfoods that are natural sources of Urolithin A precursors.

What are superfoods?

While there is no formal definition of the word superfood, this term is generally accepted as a description of food that is particularly rich in health-promoting nutrients. They usually are low in calories, high in vitamins and minerals, and contain compounds like polyphenols, antioxidants, or even pre- or probiotics.

Their abundance of nutrients drives people to consume them for enhanced energy, heart health, improved memory, longevity, and just prevention of many chronic diseases and conditions.

Which foods contain Urolithin A

If you are looking to get the benefits of UA from your diet, you may be wondering which foods contain Urolithin A. Since UA is a postbiotic, made from our microbiome, you won’t find many foods high in this nutrient. Instead, what you will find, are foods rich in ellagitannins (ET)  and ellagic acid (EA) - the polyphenols that can be converted into UA.[1]

The top 5 superfoods for Urolithin A:

Pomegranate, strawberry, walnut, raspberry and almond

1. Pomegranates -  The pomegranate Urolithin A connection is well known. The ruby colored fruit is high EA and ET, making it a great source of UA precursors. Additionally, pomegranates are one of the best sources of antioxidants. They have even higher levels than red wine and green tea.[2]
Consuming pomegranates regularly has been associated with lower risks of certain types of cancer, heart disease, and even arthritis.[3] This, combined with its nutrient profile puts the pomegranate at the top of our list.

2. Strawberries - Similar to the pomegranate, strawberries are high in EA [4]and ET. In addition to being high in polyphenols and antioxidants, strawberries are a great source of vitamin C.
Research shows a strong link between strawberry consumption and lower levels of the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein, demonstrating its potent anti-inflammatory effects.[5]

3. Walnuts - Walnuts top many superfood lists as they are a  rich source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids.[6] They’re also high in vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant. In addition to these well-known benefits, walnuts are rich in polyphenols including ET and EA. And any food that’s high in Urolithin A precursors makes our list of health-promoting superfoods.

4. Raspberries - One cup of raspberries has 8 grams of fiber which makes up 32% of the daily value for fiber. Since less than 7.5% of Americans get the daily recommended amount of fiber,[7] this fact alone makes raspberries a superfood. Their abundance of antioxidants and polyphenols including ET and EA are further health promoting benefits.[8]

5. Almonds - From almond milk to almond flour and everything in between, this superfood shows up just about everywhere. And for good reason. Consuming almonds is associated with better heart health, lower blood pressure, weight management, improved cognitive performance, and even promoting microbiome diversity and richness.[9] In addition to being a great source of fiber, healthy fats, calcium, and iron they are rich in polyphenols including ET and EA, which is why we’ve included them on our list of Urolithin A superfoods.

Pros and cons of consuming naturally sourced Urolithin A

The benefits of eating a healthy diet are well established, and research suggests that consuming superfoods such as the ones we’ve identified may have a powerful impact on your health and longevity. In almost every case, food is always preferred over taking a dietary supplement. However, when it comes to Urolithin A, eating foods high in Urolithin A precursors might not be enough.

Our bodies depend on our gut microbiome to convert EA and ET into UA, but studies have shown that most adults don’t have the ability to make this conversion. Research showed that after ingesting pomegranate juice, a rich source of UA precursors, only 40% of people had converted a significant amount of these polyphenols into detectable levels of UA. The study also showed that direct supplementation with Mitopure provided six times the amount of Urolithin A compared to diet.[10]

To truly reap the benefits of Urolithin A, it appears that in this case, food alone may not be enough.

Verdict

There is no doubt that eating a healthy diet that focuses on a wide variety of nutritious food is the best way to prevent disease. While superfoods can provide much needed nutrients, it’s important to balance a mixture of fruits and vegetables with lean protein, healthy fats, and fiber-rich carbohydrates.

Including Urolithin A superfoods as part of your regular diet, will offer you a number of health benefits, but relying on them alone to supply you with enough UA may not be enough. If increasing your UA levels is your goal Mitopure can provide you with a precise dose.

References
  1. Zhang M, Cui S, Mao B, et al. Ellagic acid and intestinal microflora metabolite urolithin A: A review on its sources, metabolic distribution, health benefits, and biotransformation. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. 2022;0(0):1-23. doi:10.1080/10408398.2022.2036693 (https://www.zotero.org/google-docs/?JobWU1)

  2. Zarfeshany A, Asgary S, Javanmard SH. Potent health effects of pomegranate. Adv Biomed Res. 2014;3:100. doi:10.4103/2277-9175.129371 (https://www.zotero.org/google-docs/?JobWU1)

  3. Zarfeshany A, Asgary S, Javanmard SH. Potent health effects of pomegranate. Adv Biomed Res. 2014;3:100. doi:10.4103/2277-9175.129371 (https://www.zotero.org/google-docs/?JobWU1)

  4. Landete JM. Ellagitannins, ellagic acid and their derived metabolites: A review about source, metabolism, functions and health. Food Research International. 2011;44(5):1150-1160. doi:10.1016/j.foodres.2011.04.027 (https://www.zotero.org/google-docs/?JobWU1)

  5. Basu A, Nguyen A, Betts NM, Lyons TJ. Strawberry As a Functional Food: An Evidence-Based Review. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. 2014;54(6):790-806. doi:10.1080/10408398.2011.608174 (https://www.zotero.org/google-docs/?JobWU1)

  6. Sánchez-González C, Ciudad CJ, Noé V, Izquierdo-Pulido M. Health benefits of walnut polyphenols: An exploration beyond their lipid profile. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. 2017;57(16):3373-3383. doi:10.1080/10408398.2015.1126218 (https://www.zotero.org/google-docs/?JobWU1)

  7. Miketinas D, Tucker W, Patterson M, Douglas C. Usual Dietary Fiber Intake in US Adults with Diabetes: NHANES 2013–2018. Current Developments in Nutrition. 2021;5(Supplement_2):1061. doi:10.1093/cdn/nzab053_054 (https://www.zotero.org/google-docs/?JobWU1)

  8. Skrovankova S, Sumczynski D, Mlcek J, Jurikova T, Sochor J. Bioactive Compounds and Antioxidant Activity in Different Types of Berries. Int J Mol Sci. 2015;16(10):24673-24706. doi:10.3390/ijms161024673 (https://www.zotero.org/google-docs/?JobWU1)

  9. Dreher ML. A Comprehensive Review of Almond Clinical Trials on Weight Measures, Metabolic Health Biomarkers and Outcomes, and the Gut Microbiota. Nutrients. 2021;13(6):1968. doi:10.3390/nu13061968 (https://www.zotero.org/google-docs/?JobWU1)

  10. Singh A, D’Amico D, Andreux PA, et al. Direct supplementation with Urolithin A overcomes limitations of dietary exposure and gut microbiome variability in healthy adults to achieve consistent levels across the population. Eur J Clin Nutr. Published online June 11, 2021:1-12. doi:10.1038/s41430-021-00950-1 (https://www.zotero.org/google-docs/?JobWU1)

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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. * 500mg Mitopure™ have been shown to (1) induce gene expression related to mitochondria function and metabolism and (2) increase the strength of the hamstring leg muscle in measures of knee extension and flexion in overweight 40-65 year olds. Data from two randomized double-blind placebo-controlled human clinical trials. ** 500mg Mitopure™ have been shown to deliver at least 6 times higher Urolithin A plasma levels over 24 hours (area under the curve) than 8 ounces (240ml) of pomegranate juice in a randomized human clinical trial.