Polyphenols reportedly exert physiological effects against diseases such as cancer, arteriosclerosis, hyperlipidemia and osteoporosis. The present study was designed to evaluate the effects of oleuropein, hydroxytyrosol and tyrosol, the major polyphenols in olives, on bone formation using cultured osteoblasts and osteoclasts, and on bone loss in ovariectomized mice. No polyphenols markedly affected the proliferation of osteoblastic MC3T3-E1 cells at concentrations up to 10μM. Oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol at 10 to 100μM had no effect on the production of type I collagen and the activity of alkaline phosphatase in MC3T3-E1 cells, but stimulated the deposition of calcium in a dose-dependent manner. In contrast, oleuropein at 10 to 100μM and hydroxytyrosol at 50 to 100μM inhibited the formation of multinucleated osteoclasts in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, both compounds suppressed the bone loss of trabecular bone in femurs of ovariectomized mice (6-week-old BALB/c female mice), while hydroxytyrosol attenuated H(2)O(2) levels in MC3T3-E1 cells. Our findings indicate that the olive polyphenols oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol may have critical effects on the formation and maintenance of bone, and can be used as effective remedies in the treatment of osteoporosis symptoms.
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