Ellagic Acid and Its Microbial Metabolite Urolithin A Alleviate Diet-Induced Insulin Resistance in Mice

Jieping Yang, Yuanqiang Guo, Susanne M. Henning, Brenda Chan, Jianfeng Long, Jin Zhong, Rebeca Acin-Perez, Anton Petcherski, Orian Shirihai, David Heber, Zhaoping Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Scope: This work aims at evaluating the effect of dietary ellagic acid (EA) and its microbial metabolite urolithin A (UA) on glucose metabolism and insulin resistance (IR) in mice with diet-induced IR. Methods and Results: DBA2J mice are fed a high fat/high sucrose diet (HF/HS) for 8 weeks to induce IR and then 0.1% EA, UA, or EA and UA (EA+UA) are added to the HF/HS-diet for another 8 weeks. UA significantly decreases fasting glucose and increases adiponectin compared with HF/HS-controls. During intraperitoneal insulin tolerance test, EA+UA significantly improve insulin-mediated glucose lowering effects at 15 and 120 min and reduce blood triglycerides compared with HF/HS-controls. Serum free fatty acids are significantly decreased by EA, UA, and EA+UA. Differential expression of genes related to mitochondrial function by EA, UA, and EA+UA in liver and skeletal muscle is observed. Primary hepatocytes from IR-mice have higher proton leak, basal and ATP-linked oxygen consumption rates compared with healthy controls. EA and EA+UA but not UA reduce the proton leak in hepatocytes from IR-mice. Conclusion: EA and UA induce different metabolic benefits in IR mice. The effects of EA and UA on mitochondrial function suggest a potentially novel mechanism modulating metabolism.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2000091
JournalMolecular Nutrition and Food Research
Issue number19
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • ellagic acid
  • insulin resistance
  • mitochondria
  • obesity
  • urolithin A


Dive into the research topics of 'Ellagic Acid and Its Microbial Metabolite Urolithin A Alleviate Diet-Induced Insulin Resistance in Mice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this