Amla (Emblica officinalis Gaertn.) extract promotes procollagen production and inhibits matrix metalloproteinase-1 in human skin fibroblasts

J Ethnopharmacol. 2008 Sep 2;119(1):53-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2008.05.039. Epub 2008 Jun 6.


Aim of the study: Emblica officinalis Gaertn., commonly known as amla, is a rich dietary source of vitamin C, minerals and amino acids, and also contains various phenolic compounds. Amla extract is also known to exhibits potent antioxidant properties and to provide protection for human dermal fibroblasts against oxidative stress, and therefore it is thought to be useful for natural skin care. In this study, we investigated the effects of amla extract on human skin fibroblasts, especially for production of procollagen and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), in vitro.

Materials and methods: Mitochondrial activity of human skin fibroblasts were measured by WST-8 assay. Quantification of procollagen, MMPs, and Tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP-1) released from human skin fibroblasts were performed by immunoassay technique.

Results and conclusions: Amla extract stimulated proliferation of fibroblasts in a concentration-dependent manner, and also induced production of procollagen in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. Conversely, MMP-1 production from fibroblasts was dramatically decreased, but there was no evident effect on MMP-2. TIMP-1 was significantly increased by amla extract. From these results, it appears that amla extract works effectively in mitigative, therapeutic and cosmetic applications through control of collagen metabolism.

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage
  • Antioxidants / isolation & purification
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Fibroblasts / drug effects
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunoassay
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 2 / drug effects
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 2 / metabolism
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase Inhibitors*
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Phyllanthus emblica / chemistry*
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Procollagen / biosynthesis
  • Procollagen / drug effects*
  • Tetrazolium Salts
  • Time Factors
  • Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinase-1 / drug effects
  • Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinase-1 / metabolism


  • 2-(2-methoxy-4-nitrophenyl)-3-(4-nitrophenyl)-5-(2,4-disulfophenyl)-2H tetrazolium monosodium salt
  • Antioxidants
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase Inhibitors
  • Plant Extracts
  • Procollagen
  • Tetrazolium Salts
  • Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinase-1
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 2