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Scientists discover anti-inflammatory polyphenols in apple peels

Date:
December 15, 2011
Source:
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Summary:
Here's another reason why "an apple a day keeps the doctor away." New research shows oral ingestion of apple polyphenols suppresses T cell activation to prevent colitis in mice. This study is the first demonstrating a role for T cells in polyphenol-mediated protection against autoimmune disease possibly leading to treatments for people with disorders from bowel inflammation, such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease and colitis-associated colorectal cancer.

New research shows that oral ingestion of apple polyphenols (antioxidants found in apple peels) can suppress T cell activation to prevent colitis in mice.
Credit: Feng Yu / Fotolia

Here's another reason why "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" -- according to new research findings published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, oral ingestion of apple polyphenols (antioxidants found in apple peels) can suppress T cell activation to prevent colitis in mice. This study is the first to show a role for T cells in polyphenol-mediated protection against an autoimmune disease and could lead to new therapies and treatments for people with disorders related to bowel inflammation, such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease and colitis-associated colorectal cancer.

"Many people with colitis use some form of dietary supplement to complement conventional therapies, but most of the information on the health effects of complementary medicine remains anecdotal. Also, little is known about exactly how these therapies work, if they work at all," said David W. Pascual, Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work from the Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana. "Our results show that a natural product found in apple peels can suppress colonic inflammation by antagonizing inflammatory T cells to enhance resistance against autoimmune disease."

To make this discovery, scientists used a chemically induced model of colitis with Dextran sulfate sodium (DSS), researchers administered an oral placebo to one group of mice, and the other group of mice was given an oral dose of apple polyphenols every day during the course of the disease. Results showed that mice treated orally with apple polyphenols were protected from colitis. Importantly, scientists also found that the treated mice had fewer activated T cells in their colons. In mice lacking T cells, apple polyphenols were unable to protect against colitis or suppress proinflammatory cytokine expression, indicating apple polyphenols protect against colitis via the suppression of T cell activation and/or recruitment.

"It appears that the old adage rings true in more ways than one," said John Wherry, Ph.D., Deputy Editor of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, "In addition to the obvious health benefits of the nutrients and fiber in fruits and vegetables, this study indicates that even something as relatively common as the apple contains other healthy ingredients that can have serious therapeutic value."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J. A. Skyberg, A. Robison, S. Golden, M. F. Rollins, G. Callis, E. Huarte, I. Kochetkova, M. A. Jutila, D. W. Pascual. Apple polyphenols require T cells to ameliorate dextran sulfate sodium-induced colitis and dampen proinflammatory cytokine expression. Journal of Leukocyte Biology, 2011; 90 (6): 1043 DOI: 10.1189/jlb.0311168

Cite This Page:

Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "Scientists discover anti-inflammatory polyphenols in apple peels." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 December 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111130100455.htm>.
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. (2011, December 15). Scientists discover anti-inflammatory polyphenols in apple peels. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111130100455.htm
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "Scientists discover anti-inflammatory polyphenols in apple peels." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111130100455.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

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