The goal for this study was to evaluate the effects of consumption of dried apple peel powder (DAPP) on joint function and range of motion (ROM). Additional in vitro and clinical testing was performed to suggest specific mechanisms of action. An open-label clinical pilot study involved 12 healthy people with moderate loss of joint ROM and associated chronic pain. The subjects consumed 4.25 g DAPP daily for 12 weeks, with evaluations at baseline, 2, 4, 8, and 12 weeks. ROM was evaluated at each visit using dual digital inclinometry. Pain scores were collected using Visual Analogue Scales. Blood draws enabled testing of serum antioxidant protective capacity using the cellular antioxidant protection (CAP-e) bioassay. Additional in vitro testing involved testing of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and lipoxygenase inhibition, cellular antioxidant protection by the CAP-e bioassay, and formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by polymorphonuclear (PMN) cells by flow cytometry. Twelve weeks of consumption of DAPP was associated with improved ROM. DAPP provided antioxidants that were available to enter into and protect cells from oxidative damage in vitro, and consumption of DAPP for 12 weeks was associated with a statistically significant improvement in serum antioxidant protective status. DAPP inhibited both COX-2 and lipoxygenase enzymes, and pretreatment of inflammatory PMN cells with DAPP before inflammatory stimulus resulted in reduced ROS formation. This suggests multifaceted anti-inflammatory properties of DAPP. Consumption of DAPP was associated with improved joint function and improved serum antioxidant protection status. The observed pain reduction may be associated with the improved antioxidant status and linked to the apple polyphenols' anti-inflammatory effects.
Keywords: anti-inflammatory; antinociceptive; antioxidant; chronic pain; digital inclinometry.