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Urolithin A Side Effects: What You Should Keep in Mind

If you’ve been keeping an eye on the latest health trends, you’ve probably heard about urolithin A. This intriguing compound, coming from fruits like pomegranates and berries, has been making waves for its potential health benefits (actually, when I first wrote about it was to see if the urolithin A supplement could be the fountain of youth – spoiler alert, not completely). But as with any substance that gains popularity, it’s crucial to understand not just the benefits but also the potential urolithin A side effects.

But, before we get there, let’s clear out one important thing. Nothing that is effective is without side effects – if it impacts your body in some way, it could also be a negative impact. Even food has “side effects” when you think about it. So, just because something has side effects doesn’t mean you should skip it altogether. It only means you should be aware and cautious.

In this article, we’ll delve into the science behind urolithin A—what it is, how it works, and most importantly, the side effects you should be aware of. We’re looking for a balanced, science-backed perspective so you can make informed decisions. That said, I am just one person and even as a doctor I’m prone to biases, so always do your own research, too. My hope is this article can be a good starting point for that research.

Here’s a Table of Contents of what’s to come (and for easy navigation, of course):

What is Urolithin A?

Great, let’s dive right in! Urolithin A is a metabolite that’s produced when certain microorganisms in your gut break down ellagic acid. Ellagic acid is a naturally occurring compound found in a variety of fruits, including pomegranates, strawberries, and raspberries.

The Health Benefits

You might be wondering, “Why all the buzz around urolithin A?” Well, it’s been studied for its mitochondrial health properties and we actually have one randomised, double-blind trial on that already.

Some research also suggests it could have antioxidant effects and (even more exciting) that it could protect from cancer. These benefits make it an exciting subject in the realm of health and wellness – but we still need more research before we can make any sure claims about perks.

Psst! Interested in learning more about mitochondrial health? I highly recommend this TEDx talk:

Some of the mitochondria-supporting advice Dr. Terry Wahls shares is perfect for combining with the urolithin A supplement. For example, Dr. Wahls highlights the benefits of consuming colorful fruits and vegetables for antioxidant support and toxin removal:

Colors are flavonoids and polyphenols… These are potent antioxidants that will support your retina, your mitochondria, your brain cells, and the removal of toxins.

Dr. Terry Whals

What else? You’d have to watch the tail to find out! Let’s get back to urolithin A:

How It’s Produced

You don’t actually consume urolithin A directly from foods. Instead, you eat foods rich in ellagic acid. Once the ellagic acid reaches your gut, specific gut bacteria get to work, converting it into urolithin A. It’s a beautiful example of how our body and gut microbiota work in harmony.

That covers the basics of what urolithin A is and why it’s of interest in the health community. But as we all know, even good things come with caveats. So, let’s move on to the side effects you should be aware of.

Potential Urolithin A Side Effects

Alright, now that we’ve covered the basics and potential benefits of urolithin A, let’s delve into the less glamorous but equally important topic: side effects. While urolithin A has shown promise in various studies, it’s essential to be aware of the potential drawbacks.

Encouragingly, trials show the supplement is safe and well-tolerated even in more vulnerable populations like the elderly.

Gastrointestinal Issues

One of the more commonly reported urolithin A side effects is gastrointestinal discomfort. This can range from mild nausea to diarrhea and stomach cramps. While these symptoms are generally not severe, they can be uncomfortable. If this happens to you make sure you’re eating before your daily supplement and you’ll minimise the discomfort. And, if doesn’t get better, do get in touch with your healthcare provider – they should be able to rule out other causes.

Allergic Reactions

Though rare, some people may experience allergic reactions to urolithin A (that’s possible with any medication or supplement). Symptoms could include skin rashes, itchiness, or even swelling. If you have a history of allergies, especially to fruits where ellagic acid is found, be a little more cautious with urolithin A and ideally talk to your doctor before you start the supplement.

Long-term Effects

Here’s my personal biggest worry about urolithin A – it’s not that we know of any major side effects; it’s that we simply don’t know. There’s a complete lack of long-term studies on Urolithin A because, well, we’ve only been studying the compound for a little while. While short-term studies have generally found it to be safe, the long-term safety profile is still not fully understood.

Precautions and Recommendations

Now that we’ve covered the potential side effects of urolithin A, it’s time to talk about the precautions you should take and some recommendations to consider.


First things first: dosage matters.

Studies on urolithin A have used varying dosages, and it’s crucial to start with a lower dose to gauge how your body reacts. A typical dosage is 500mg of urolithin A daily but you can also start with every other day to see how you respond.

Always consult your healthcare provider for personalized dosage recommendations – and never go over what it says on the bottle.

Who Should Avoid Urolithin A?

Certain populations should exercise extra caution because we don’t know how urolithin A acts in their group. For instance, pregnant women, children, and individuals with specific medical conditions like liver or kidney issues may want to steer clear of urolithin A until more research is available.

Consult a Healthcare Provider

And, again me being a broken record om this: consult a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement, including urolithin A. They can provide personalized advice, taking into account your medical history and any medications you may be taking. This blog can’t do that – and neither can any Internet resource, this is just for educational purposes.

Monitoring and Follow-up

If you do decide to try urolithin A, it’s a good idea to monitor for any adverse effects and check in with yourself on whether they subside.

If you suspect you’re having a side effect, stop taking the supplement and see how you improve. And, naturally, if you don’t improve, talk to your doctor about exploring other potential causes.

And there you have it—precautions and recommendations for urolithin A. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to your health.


Fantastic, you’ve made it to the end! Let’s wrap things up. Urolithin A is an intriguing compound with a range of potential health benefits, from anti-inflammatory properties to antioxidative effects. However, like any substance you put into your body, it comes with its own set of caveats.

  • Urolithin A has potential health benefits because it supports mitochondrial health and protects you from free radicals.
  • The long-term safety of urolithin A is still not fully understood, warranting caution. Urolithin A side effects haven’t been reported yet but we still run the risk of finding them on the long-term.
  • Always consult a healthcare provider for personalized advice, especially if you’re on medication or belong to a specific population like pregnant women or children.

If you’re considering trying urolithin A, start with a lower dose (no more than 500mg per day) and monitor how your body reacts. Consult your healthcare provider for personalized advice and regular follow-ups. Being proactive about your health is the best way to ensure you’re making informed decisions.

Thank you for joining me on this journey to understand urolithin A better. I hope this article has equipped you with the knowledge you need to make informed health choices – but, that you’ll do your own research, too.

Is Urolithin A supplement safe?

Studies and trials have found urolithin A to be safe, but there is a lack of long-term research to fully confirm its safety profile. Potential side effects include gastrointestinal issues like nausea and diarrhea. Always consult a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement, including urolithin A.

What food is Urolithin A in?

Urolithin A is not directly found in foods. Instead, it’s a metabolite produced when gut bacteria break down ellagic acid, a compound found in certain fruits. Foods rich in ellagic acid—and thus potential sources of urolithin A—include pomegranates, strawberries, raspberries, and walnuts. When you consume these foods, your gut microbiota converts the ellagic acid into urolithin A.

How long does it take for Mitopure to work?

Mitopure is a branded form of urolithin A designed to improve mitochondrial function. The time it takes for Mitopure to work can vary from person to person, depending on factors like metabolism, overall health, and dosage. Some people report feeling benefits like increased energy levels within a few weeks, but this is anecdotal. Clinical studies are needed to determine the time frame for its effectiveness. Consult your healthcare provider for personalized advice.

Is Urolithin A good?

Urolithin A has been studied for its potential health benefits especially for supporting mitochondrial health. Some research even suggests it could have anti-cancer effects. However, we do also lack long-term data, so it’s hard to say how much of an impact urolithin A can have.

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