Drug Discov Ther. 2022;16(3):105-111. (DOI: 10.5582/ddt.2022.01039)

Urolithins and intestinal health

Lu CH, Li XT, Gao ZY, Song YL, Shen YM


There are trillions of microorganisms in the human intestine. They can react to the intestinal microenvironment by metabolizing food or producing small molecular compounds to affect the host's digestive ability and resist the risk of infection and autoimmune diseases. Many studies have revealed that intestinal flora and its metabolites play an important role in human physiology and the development of diseases. Urolithins are kind of intestinal microbiota metabolites of ellagitannins (ETs) and ellagic acid (EA) with potent biological activity in vivo. However, different individuals have different intestinal flora. According to the different metabolites from ETs and EA, it is divided into three metabo-types including UM-A, UM-B and UM-0. This paper reviews the origin of urolithins, the urolithin producing microorganisms and the effects of urolithins on regulating intestinal diseases. This review will provide a theoretical basis for the regulation of urolithins in the homeostasis of intestinal flora and a reference for the scientific utilization of urolithins and foods rich in ETs and EA.

KEYWORDS: Urolithin, intestinal microbiota, intestinal health

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