EVOO Phenols Enhance Osteoblast Cell Growth for Better Bone Health

Treatment of osteoblasts or bone-forming cells with extra virgin live oil phenols increased the number of cells by 11 to 16 percent.

Apr. 21, 2016
By Sukhsatej Batra

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Although sev­eral stud­ies show that con­sump­tion of olives and olive oil is effec­tive in pre­vent­ing bone mass loss in ani­mal and cell mod­els, there is lit­tle research on the role of phe­no­lic com­pounds in EVOO on the pre­ven­tion of osteo­poro­sis in humans.

Investigators of a recent research paper, pub­lished in the March 2016 issue of the jour­nal PLOS ONE, inves­ti­gated the effects of extra vir­gin olive oil phe­nols on growth of osteoblasts or bone-form­ing cells in the lab­o­ra­tory using the human MG-63 osteosar­coma cell line. This cell line is used most widely to research drug treat­ments for bone health.
See Also: Olive Oil Health Benefits
Since phe­nol con­tent of extra vir­gin olive oil varies with vari­ety and matu­rity of fruit at har­vest, the researchers stud­ied the effects of EVOO phe­nols extracted from four dif­fer­ent olive cul­ti­vars at dif­fer­ent stages of fruit ripen­ing on osteoblas­tic cell pro­lif­er­a­tion of the cell line.
Olives from four cul­ti­vars – Picual, Arbequina, Picudo and Hojiblanca, grown on the exper­i­men­tal farm of the Agricultural Training Center in Cabra, Southern Spain, were har­vested at three dif­fer­ent stages of ripeness — at the begin­ning, mid­dle and end of har­vest sea­son. For the study, the researchers iso­lated twelve phe­no­lic com­pounds from the extra vir­gin olive oil extracted from the har­vested olives to deter­mine if they influ­enced osteoblast cell growth.

The authors found that while the con­tent of all phe­no­lic com­pounds in extra vir­gin olive oils decreased as the stage of fruit ripen­ing increased, the con­tent of tyrosol and hydroty­rosol was espe­cially high in olives col­lected at the begin­ning of the har­vest sea­son.

Results of the study showed that treat­ment of osteoblast cells with extra vir­gin olive oil phe­nols increased the num­ber of cells by 11 to 16 per­cent as com­pared to untreated cells. However, not all the phe­no­lic com­pounds tested were effec­tive in increas­ing the num­ber of osteoblast cells. Of the twelve EVOO phe­no­lic com­pounds stud­ied, hydrox­y­ty­rosol dis­played the strongest antiox­i­dant effect. At a con­cen­tra­tion of 10 – 6 Molar, it increased the num­ber of osteoblast cells by about 11 per­cent in 24 hours com­pared to con­trol cul­tures.

Similarly, phe­no­lic com­pounds caf­feic, fer­ulic p‑coumaric, lute­olin and api­genin were found to increase osteoblast cell pro­lif­er­a­tion, while phe­no­lic com­pounds oleu­ropein, pinoresinol, sinapic, vanil­lic acid and deriv­a­tive (vanillin) did not affect the growth of the osteoblast cells.

The researchers also found that com­bined EVOO phe­nols dis­played higher osteoblast cell pro­lif­er­a­tion rates than growth observed with indi­vid­u­ally extracted phe­nols.

Although phe­nols from all vari­eties increased cell pro­lif­er­a­tion, some vari­etal dif­fer­ences were observed. Phenols from the Picual vari­ety were most effec­tive in stim­u­lat­ing cell growth and increased cell pro­lif­er­a­tion by 18 to 22 per­cent, while EVOO phe­nols from the Arbequina vari­ety had the low­est effect and increased osteoblas­tic cell pro­lif­er­a­tion by 9 to 13 per­cent.

The pro­posed the­ory behind the pro­lif­er­a­tion of osteoblasts by EVOO phe­no­lic com­pounds may be due to their abil­ity to increase alka­line phos­phatase activ­ity and deposit cal­cium ions in the extra­cel­lu­lar matrix. Furthermore, other in vivo and in-vitro stud­ies show that nat­ural phe­no­lic acids may pos­i­tively affect the skele­tal sys­tem by pre­vent­ing bone resorp­tion and stim­u­lat­ing bone for­ma­tion.

While more research is needed to under­stand the role of EVOO phe­nols in sig­nal­ing path­ways and their mode of action in osteoblast cell growth, the authors sug­gest adding pro­lif­er­a­tion of MG-63 osteoblast cells and pos­si­ble osteo­poro­sis pre­ven­tion to the list of other known ben­e­fits of EVOO phe­nols such as their anti-inflam­ma­tory, antiox­i­dant, anti-muta­genic and anti-car­cino­genic activ­i­ties.

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