What is caffeic acid?
Caffeic acid is one of the many hydroxycinnamic acids – a natural compound with a high abundance in nature. Caffeic acid food sources consist of a wide variety of plant species and can be found in foods like coffee, tea, wine, and more. Caffeic acid is an acidic (caffeic acid pKa~3.5) phenolic compound, exhibits:
Caffeic acid is a secondary metabolite in many plants and can be found in simple (as a monomer) and also in conjunction as ester, amides, and glycosides. Scientists believe that such high production of it is due to the defense mechanism of plants against predators, pests, and infections as it can inhibit the growth of small organisms like insects, bacteria, and fungi.
Antioxidative Potential of Caffeic Acid
The most prominent of all Caffeic acid benefits is its high antioxidant potential. Due to the chemical structure of Caffeic acid, it can react with reactive oxygen species directly or remove heavy metals that cause the formation of these species. Both can cause aging of the skin, healthy lipid oxidation, and many more processes associated with oxidative stress.
Caffeic acid has shown its effects to protect Vitamin E – α-Tocopherol, which is found in low-density lipoprotein. Low-density lipoprotein is one of the proteins responsible for fat transportation in our bodies and damaging it can reduce fat use for energy. This directly correlates to increase body weight.
Caffeic acid can be found in many skin products. As a natural antioxidant, it helps not only when it is applied, but also shows prolong antioxidative effects as it is absorbed by the skin. Also, caffeic acid can absorb UV radiation, possibly preventing skin cells from damage caused by UV.
Caffeic Acid for Cancer Treatment
The scientific community has shown high interest in caffeic acid and caffeic acid derivatives for their cancer treatment potential. Being antioxidant, consumption of foods rich in Caffeic acid can prevent the formation of reactive nitrogen and oxygen compounds. Such reactive compounds can damage cell nuclei and cause unwanted damaged cell multiplication – proliferation. Studies of Caffeic acid show its activity against breast, colon, and oral cancer.
Many of these reactive radical species are formed in the liver – an organ that metabolizes around 90% of all toxic substances. Many side reactions where these reactive species are formed are neutralized thanks to Caffeic acid preventing hepatocarcinoma.
Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Caffeic Acid
Inflammation can be caused by many factors. Due to the exceptional properties of caffeic acid, it can be targeted in many ways. As we mentioned before, caffeic acid is known to fight off many microorganisms that can be the main cause of inflammation. Not only that, caffeic acid can inhibit several enzymes that cause swelling and pain and damage tissue. Also, antioxidative properties benefit in the reduction of inflammation.
Isolation of Caffeic acid
Indeed, the structure of caffeic acid can be found in many foods, and you can only imagine how many ways there are to isolate it. But guessing from the name of the compound, in general, caffeic acid is produced from coffee and similar beans by first treating it with alkaline solutions to free up all caffeic acid, which is in conjunction with other chemical moieties followed by solvent extraction where caffeic acid solubility is high enough to produce the pure compound. But for your convenience, we have prepared it already for you to buy it in our store.