Is supplementing with Urolithin A better than consuming pomegranate?

Urolithin A (UA) is a biological compound produced by gut bacteria via the consumption of complex polyphenols from pomegranates, berries and nuts [1].

Is direct UA supplementation better than consuming pomegranate itself?

Where is urolithin A from?

Human gut bacteria produce UA introduced to dietary polyphenolic compounds ellagic acid (EA) and ellagitannins (ET) [2]. ET is transformed to EA in the upper portion of the human gastrointestinal tract. 

Metabolism occurs in the gut microflora (large intestine), where it turns into compounds – UA being among the most common. Individuals display large variances in urolithin production capacity due to differences in the microbiome responsible for ET metabolism. 

Urolithins, including UA, are absorbed and linked in the liver and are later excreted in urine and feces. Several studies show that UA and its two main detectable metabolites, UA glucuronide and UA sulfate, are the predominant urolithin forms in circulation.

Urolithin A and the gut microbiome

Only around 40 per cent of individuals may hold the gut microbes to transform ellagitannins from pomegranate into urolithin A, an ingredient positioned for boosting mitochondrial and muscle function. Still, direct supplementation with the compound overcomes these individual limitations, according to a new study.

Data from the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that direct supplementation with Urolithin A (500mg) led to UA levels which are six times higher than consuming 8 ounces (240ml) of pure pomegranate juice.

Accessible in pill and powder forms, Urolithin A is a supplement that can reduce age-related cellular degeneration by enhancing mitochondrial health. The first Phase 1 clinical trial employing a pure urolithin A supplement in 100 sedentary older adults was funded by Amazentis. A paper released before this trial proved the safety and efficacy of urolithin A and showed a mitochondrial health benefit.


90% of your cellular energy is produced by mitochondria. Click here to learn how Mitopure can help boost it.


Urolithin A versus pure pomegranate juice

Participants in a recently published clinical trial were categorised into three groups focused on how they circulate urolithin A glucuronide levels. They had to refrain from taking dietary supplements that could influence muscle or mitochondrial function [3].

The participants consumed 8 ounces of pure pomegranate or 500 milligrams of a urolithin A supplement at two different intervals. This study examined the difference between pomegranate juice compared with the accompaniment for creating UA in the gut. 

One fecal sample was collected during the screening period. In addition, dried blood and plasma samples were also collected before the participants consumed the pomegranate juice or supplement. Further samples were then collected again at six and 12 hours after intake.

At the beginning of the study, only 12 per cent of the participants had noticeable urolithin A in their blood. The developments showed that 27% of participants were deficient converters of pomegranate juice to urolithin A. 

Besides, 33% were incapable of converting pomegranate juice to Urolithin A. The study also revealed that plasma urolithin A was six times more elevated in the supplement group than in the pomegranate group.

The microbiome results indicated that the gut bacteria composition differed between the non-producing and the low-producing urolithin A groups. The authors noted that the high-producing urolithin A group had an abundance of two distinctive bacteria types. 

However, no differences were seen between the low-producing urolithin A group and the high-producing urolithin A group. Although other researchers have proposed possible prospects in analysing human fecal samples, it is unclear which bacteria in the gut produce urolithin A.

Human study of the Mediterranean diet

Another study looked into an eight-week human analysis of the impacts of Mediterranean and Western diets on the gut microbiome [4]. Here, 82 males and females categorised as obese or overweight followed the Mediterranean diet or maintained their usual eating habits. 

The Mediterranean diet was compared with the participants’ existing calorie and macronutrient intake to improve adherence. Participants recorded their daily food consumption and physical activity – and were assessed for compliance by study staff every two weeks.

The study showed raised levels of urolithin A glucuronides in the urine of the Mediterranean group as than the regular diet group. They also showed that raised urinary urolithin A output, as well as type A, B, C and their glucuronides, was linked to decreased high-sensitivity c-reactive protein, triglycerides, urinary carnitine, body fat mass, body weight and BMI. 

The researchers attributed the increase in urolithin A in the Mediterranean group to walnut intake because berries and pomegranate intake did not increase. Besides, the Mediterranean diet group had substantial reductions in low-density lipoprotein and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol at four weeks.

Microbiome results were fascinating as well. The authors integrated three different meta-omics databases when analogising the two groups and noticed that microbiome diversity differed between the two diets. These results should not be unexpected, as other studies have demonstrated that diet modifications can alter microbiome diversity.

In summary, the first study concluded that taking a pure urolithin A supplement can improve plasma levels of urolithin A better than pomegranate juice, and the second study showed that specific eating patterns, like one that resembles the Mediterranean diet (compared with a Western diet), increases urinary urolithin A.

Mitochondrial function and mitophagy

The most sound result of UA across species is the advancement of mitochondrial health, an effect followed in cells, mice, worms and humans [5]. This benefit is propelled by the clearing and recycling of dysfunctional mitochondria, which is also known as a selective autophagy process called mitophagy. 

The process of mitophagy degrades as we grow older and in several age-related diseases. Repairing correct levels of mitophagy is a promising strategy to counteract the age-related decline of organ function.

Unfortunately, as mitochondrial function declines with age, its ability to produce sufficient energy is degraded. Mitochondrial dysfunction is identified in the “nine hallmarks of aging” that generate cellular and molecular damage to the body, leading to age-related illness. Also considered as an antagonistic hallmark, mitochondrial dysfunction can prompt muscle strength loss, which many people experience around the age of 40.

Urolithin A with Mitopure from Amazentis

With this in mind, Swiss company, Amazentis took action. With urolithin A in humans, a precise dose is compulsory.

Amazentis presented Mitopure, a proprietary urolithin A supplement in powder and soft-gel forms. Urolithin A enhances mitochondrial and muscle function, signifying that the body makes it from raw materials from fruits (primarily pomegranates). 

While the supplement is not meant to substitute for a healthy diet or regular exercise, urolithin A supplements like Mitopure are a handy and reasonable way to boost mitochondrial health, muscular strength and energy in older people.

Given the significance of maintaining mitochondria health with aging, urolithin A may resume gaining more proof as a geroprotector. If you do not typically consume urolithin A in food, you may want to consider following this research topic as more human data is disseminated.


Click here to learn how Mitopure can boost your Urolithin A levels.


The information included in this article is for informational purposes only. The purpose of this webpage is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

[1] https://www.cell.com/trends/molecular-medicine/fulltext/S1471-4914(21)00118-0
[2] https://www.nature.com/articles/s41430-021-00950-1
[3] https://www.lifespan.io/news/positive-results-from-urolithin-a-human-trial/
[4] https://gut.bmj.com/content/69/7/1258
[5] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1471491421001180

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The information included in this article is for informational purposes only. The purpose of this webpage is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.