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09.10.2013


Piceatannol for strong bones

Piceatannol for strong bones
Piceatannol, a resveratrol metabolite that may be of particular interest to supplements manufacturers, strengthens the skeleton. At least, this impression is created in a cell study published by molecular biologists at Chia-Nan University of Pharmacy and Science in Taiwan in the European Journal of Pharmacology.

Osteoblasts are cells that build up bone tissue in your skeleton; osteoclasts are the cells that break down that tissue. As a result of aging or disease, the osteoclasts can gain the upper hand over the osteoblasts, leading to a weakening of the skeleton. The most commonly used forms of medication against osteoporosis, the bisphosphonates, inhibit osteoclasts.

Piceatannol for strong bones
That bisphosphonates inhibit osteoporosis is undisputed; that they strengthen bones is not. There are indications that bone tissue built up as a result of bisphosphonate intake is not as strong as normal bone tissue. That's why doctors would like to see medicines that stimulate the function of osteoblasts. They hope that this kind of drug might increase bone strength.

In the late nineties, Japanese researchers discovered that resveratrol stimulates the development of osteoblasts in vitro. [Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1998 Dec 30;253(3):859-63.] In 2005 Danish researchers published the results of another in-vitro study that more or less confirmed the findings of the Japanese. [Cancer Res. 2005 Nov 1;65 (21):9943-52.]


Piceatannol for strong bones


The difference between resveratrol [above left] and piceatannol [above right] is just one hydroxyl group. That's why the Taiwanese wondered whether piceatannol might also have similar effects on osteoblasts. To investigate they did a series of experiments on hFOB and MG-63 osteoblasts in test tubes.


Piceatannol for strong bones


To cut a long story short: piceatannol stimulated both the fixing of minerals by the osteoblasts and the build up of collagenic connective tissue. The longer the exposure and the higher the concentration, the harder the cells worked.

Piceatannol for strong bones
Piceatannol boosted the production of bone morphogenetic protein-2 [BMP-2] [spatial structure shown here], the Taiwanese discovered. The researchers believe that this research may have elucidated the mechanism whereby the piceatannol stimulates the osteoblasts.


Piceatannol for strong bones


When the Taiwanese replicated their experiments using a substance that blocks BMP-2, piceatannol had no effect at all.

"This therefore suggests that piceatannol may be beneficial in stimulating the osteoblastic activity resulting in bone formation", the researchers conclude.

Source:
Eur J Pharmacol. 2006 Dec 3;551(1-3):1-9.

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