Stiff and painful joints | Apple peel extract supplementation increases flexibility
The peels of apples contain substances with tumor-inhibiting properties, we wrote recently. The same substances may also have a positive effect on stiff and painful joints, according to a small and exploratory human study.


The researchers, associated with the private American research company NIS Labs, [] gave 12 people with joint problems 9 capsules every day for 12 weeks of an extract made from the peel of apples. The subjects took 3 capsules with each large meal, and in this way received a total of 4.25 grams of extract each day.The extract used by the researchers is marketed as AppleBoost and AppleActiv. It is a product of the Canadian Leahy Orchards, [] a producer of, among other things, apple sauce that funded the study.
Some of the subjects took painkillers during the study, but did not change the dosage of their medication during the experiment. Before, during and immediately after supplementation, the researchers measured the subjects' freedom of movement [range of motion; ROM]. They wanted to know whether the supplement made the joints more flexible, allowing the subjects to move more freely.
There was no placebo group.
Supplementation increased the range of motion. Below you can see the effect of the supplement or the functioning of the shoulder joint.

The subjects suffered less from pain, and the activity of free radicals decreased in their blood.

In a series of in vitro experiments, the researchers were able to find out that the active substances in the supplement could penetrate cells, where they reduced the free radical effect. They also saw that the apple peel supplement inhibited the formation of inflammatory factors from fatty acids.
"In conclusion, the improvements in joint function associated with consumption of dried apple peel powder were not limited to an isolated joint problem", summarize the researchers. "The general improvement seen in this exploratory pilot study suggests that a general improvement in antioxidant status may have led to improvements in joint function in this population."

"Further studies are warranted, and should include a placebo-controlled dose study to evaluate at which daily dose improvements in joint function and antioxidant status can be detected, and should incorporate tracking of diet and exercise, as well as frequency of additional adjunct therapies."
"Future studies may also include assessment of joint health support in younger populations, including athletes."
J Med Food. 2014 Nov;17(11):1204-13.