Pectin-Based Formulations for Controlled Release of an Ellagic Acid Salt with High Solubility Profile in Physiological Media
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Ellagic acid lysine saltPectin-based formulationsControlled releaseGut microbiota
Ortenzi, M.A.; Antenucci, S.; Marzorati, S.; Panzella, L.; Molino, S.; Rufián-Henares, J.Á.; Napolitano, A.; Verotta, L. Pectin-Based Formulations for Controlled Release of an Ellagic Acid Salt with High Solubility Profile in Physiological Media. Molecules 2021, 26, 433. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26020433
SponsorshipEuropean Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program through the Stance4Health project (Grant No. 816303)
Among bioactive phytochemicals, ellagic acid (EA) is one of the most controversial because its high antioxidant and cancer-preventing effects are strongly inhibited by low gastrointestinal absorption and rapid excretion. Strategies toward an increase of solubility in water and bioavailability, while preserving its structural integrity and warranting its controlled release at the physiological targets, are therefore largely pursued. In this work, EA lysine salt at 1:4 molar ratio (EALYS), exhibiting a more than 400 times increase of water solubility with respect to literature reports, was incorporated at 10% in low methoxylated (LM) and high methoxylated (HM) pectin films. The release of EA in PBS at pH 7.4 from both film preparations was comparable and reached 15% of the loaded compound over 2 h. Under simulated gastric conditions, release of EA from HM and LM pectin films was minimal at gastric pH, whereas higher concentrations—up to 300 µM, corresponding to ca. 50% of the overall content—were obtained in the case of the HM pectin film after 2 h incubation at the slightly alkaline pH of small intestine environment, with the enzyme and bile salt components enhancing the release. EALYS pectin films showed a good prebiotic activity as evaluated by determination of short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) levels following microbial fermentation, with a low but significant increase of the effects produced by the pectins themselves. Overall, these results highlight pectin films loaded with EALYS salt as a promising formulation to improve administration and controlled release of the compound.