Research

Apple compounds may influence inflammatory genes, show potential for IBD

23-Apr-2013 - By Stephen DANIELLS
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Compounds extracted from apple peel may influence expression of a key inflammatory gene, suggests new data from Germany with potential implications for IBD.

Chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a multi-factorial disease with an unknown cause.

The prevalence of IBD rapidly increased in Europe and North America in the second half of the 20th century, and is reportedly becoming more common in the rest of the world as countries adopt a Western lifestyle.

According to new data published in Food Chemistry, triterpene compounds found naturally in apple peel may influence expression of a gene called IP-10, described as “playing an important role in inflammation and IBD”.

“The present study confirms that triterpenoids present in apple peel […] may be implicated in the anti-inflammatory properties of apple constituents, suggesting that these substances might be helpful in the treatment of IBD as nutrient supplements,” wrote researchers from the University of Kaiserslautern.

Apple – a super home-grown fruit

While consumer interest in many exotic ‘superfruits’ has been high for several years, John Hunter, general manager of fruit powders and extracts specialist VDF FutureCeuticals, told us recently “that many fruits that are not currently labeled as super fruits may well be seen as such in future”.

Take apples, some of which contain polyphenols shown to prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, making them potentially exciting new players in the cardiovascular health arena. 

Study details

The new study, led by Dolores Mueller, helps build the science of apple. The in vitro study examined the anti-inflammatory effects of various ursanic, oleanic and lupanic pentacyclic triterpenoids found in apple peel.

The compounds were tested using colon carcinoma cells. The cells were exposed to the individual triterpenoids and then stimulated with different pro-inflammatory cytokines.

Results showed that IP-10 expression was “inhibited in a dose-dependent manner by all the tested compounds”, said the researchers.

“We showed that pure [triterpenoids from apple peel] exhibit anti-inflammatory effects by primarily acting on IP-10 gene expression, which plays an important role in inflammation and IBD’s,” concluded the researchers.

Source: Food Chemistry
Volume 139, Issues 1–4, Pages 339-346, doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2013.01.101
“Influence of triterpenoids present in apple peel on inflammatory gene expression associated with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)”
Authors: D. Mueller, S. Triebel, O. Rudakovski, E. Richling

Related topics: Research, Polyphenols, Gut/digestive health