FERULIC ACID – A VERSATILE MOLECULE

Maria DRĂGAN 1, Gabriela TĂTĂRÎNGĂ 2*, Cornelia MIRCEA 1, Oana CIOANCĂ 1, Oana DRAGOSTIN 3, Andreea Teodora IACOB 2, Lenuţa PROFIRE 2, Cătălina Daniela STAN 1
1 Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences II, “Grigore T. Popa” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, 16 University Street, 700115, Iaşi, România
2 Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences I, “Grigore T. Popa” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, 16 University Street, 700115, Iaşi, România
3 Department of Pharmaceutical Science, “Dunărea de Jos” University Galaţi, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, 35 Al. I. Cuza Street, 800216, Galaţi, România

The review summarizes the main roles of ferulic acid (4-hydroxy-3-methoxy-cinnamic acid), a phenolic compound widespread in the vegetable world, being present in cereals (rice, wheat, oats), coffee, tomatoes, nuts or corn, but also in a range of plants used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It plays a vital role in ensuring cell wall rigidity and also in the formation of other important organic compounds for plants. Ferulic acid has a wide variety of biological activities such as: antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiallergic, anticancer, antithrombotic, antiviral activities, vasodilator, hepatoprotective and metal chelation actions, enzymatic activity modulation, and wound healing activity. The most important action is the antioxidant one, being studies that demonstrate that ferulic acid acts synergistically with other antioxidants. Also, the antioxidant effect of ferulic acid is enhanced by skin exposure to ultraviolet light, making it a good ingredient for sunscreen cosmetics. It is one of the most powerful natural antioxidant that has the potential to neutralize free radicals, to slow down the aging process of the skin, to accelerate skin regeneration, to heal the skin wounds and also to preserve the health and beauty of the skin.