Chondroprotective Properties of Human-Enriched Serum Following Polyphenol Extract Absorption: Results from an Exploratory Clinical Trial

Nutrients. 2019 Dec 16;11(12):3071. doi: 10.3390/nu11123071.


Polyphenols are widely acknowledged for their health benefits, especially for the prevention of inflammatory and age-related diseases. We previously demonstrated that hydroxytyrosol (HT) and procyanidins (PCy), alone or in combination, drive preventive anti-osteoathritic effects in vivo. However, the lack of sufficient clinical evidences on the relationship between dietary phytochemicals and osteoarthritis remains. In this light, we investigated in humans the potential osteoarticular benefit of a grapeseed and olive extract (OPCO) characterized for its hydroxytyrosol (HT) and procyanidins (PCy) content. We first validated, in vitro, the anti-inflammatory and chondroprotective properties of the extract on primary cultured human articular chondrocytes stimulated by interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 β). The sparing effect involved a molecular mechanism dependent on the nuclear transcription factor-kappa B (NF-κB) pathway. To confirm the clinical relevance of such a nutritional strategy, we designed an innovative clinical approach taking into account the metabolites that are formed during the digestion process and that appear in circulation after the ingestion of the OPCO extract. Blood samples from volunteers were collected following ingestion, absorption, and metabolization of the extract and then were processed and applied on human primary chondrocyte cultures. This original ex vivo methodology confirmed at a clinical level the chondroprotective properties previously observed in vitro and in vivo.

Keywords: cell biology; clinical trials; hydroxytyrosol; micronutrients; osteoarthritis (OA); procyanidins.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Absorption, Physicochemical / drug effects*
  • Adult
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chondrocytes / drug effects*
  • Grape Seed Extract / pharmacology*
  • Healthy Volunteers
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-1beta / blood
  • Male
  • NF-kappa B / blood
  • Phenylethyl Alcohol / analogs & derivatives
  • Phenylethyl Alcohol / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Polyphenols / pharmacology*
  • Proanthocyanidins / pharmacology
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Bonolive
  • Grape Seed Extract
  • IL1B protein, human
  • Interleukin-1beta
  • NF-kappa B
  • Plant Extracts
  • Polyphenols
  • Proanthocyanidins
  • 3,4-dihydroxyphenylethanol
  • Phenylethyl Alcohol