Annurca Apple Nutraceutical Formulation Enhances Keratin Expression in a Human Model of Skin and Promotes Hair Growth and Tropism in a Randomized Clinical Trial

J Med Food. 2018 Jan;21(1):90-103. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2017.0016. Epub 2017 Sep 28.


Several pharmaceutical products have been formulated over the past decades for the treatment of male and female alopecia, and pattern baldness, but relatively few metadata on their efficacy have been published. For these reasons, the pharmaceutical and medical attention has recently focused on the discovery of new and safer remedies. Particularly, great interest has been attracted by oligomeric procyanidin bioactivity, able to promote hair epithelial cell growth as well as to induce the anagen phase. Specifically, the procyanidin B2, a dimeric derivative extracted from apples, has demonstrated to be one of the most effective and safest natural compounds in promoting hair growth, both in vitro and in humans by topical applications. By evaluating the polyphenolic content of different apple varieties, we have recently found in the apple fruits of cv Annurca (AFA), native to Southern Italy, one of the highest contents of oligomeric procyanidins, and, specifically, of procyanidin B2. Thus, in the present work we explored the in vitro bioactivity of AFA polyphenolic extract as a nutraceutical formulation, named AppleMets (AMS), highlighting its effects on the cellular keratin expression in a human experimental model of adult skin. Successively, testing the effects of AMS on hair growth and tropism in healthy subjects, we observed significant results in terms of increased hair growth, density, and keratin content, already after 2 months. This study proves for the first time the impact of apple procyanidin B2 on keratin biosynthesis in vitro, and highlights its effect as a nutraceutical on human hair growth and tropism.

Keywords: Annurca apple; hair growth; keratin expression; keratinocytes; nutraceutical; polyphenols; randomized clinical trial.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alopecia / drug therapy*
  • Alopecia / genetics
  • Alopecia / metabolism
  • Dietary Supplements / analysis*
  • Drug Compounding
  • Female
  • Hair / drug effects
  • Hair / growth & development*
  • Hair / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Keratinocytes / drug effects
  • Keratinocytes / metabolism
  • Keratins / biosynthesis
  • Keratins / genetics*
  • Male
  • Malus / chemistry*
  • Middle Aged
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage*
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Proanthocyanidins / administration & dosage
  • Proanthocyanidins / chemistry
  • Skin / drug effects
  • Skin / growth & development*
  • Skin / metabolism
  • Tropism / drug effects


  • Plant Extracts
  • Proanthocyanidins
  • Keratins