Environmental Geochemistry and Health

, Volume 39, Issue 4, pp 821–833 | Cite as

Biological properties of mud extracts derived from various spa resorts

  • Eliana Spilioti
  • Margarita Vargiami
  • Sophia Letsiou
  • Konstantinos Gardikis
  • Varvara Sygouni
  • Petros Koutsoukos
  • Ioanna Chinou
  • Eva Kassi
  • Paraskevi MoutsatsouEmail author
Original Paper


Spa resorts are known for thousands of years for their healing properties and have been empirically used for the treatment of many inflammatory conditions. Mud is one of the most often used natural materials for preventive, healing and cosmetic reasons and although it has been used since the antiquity, little light has been shed on its physical, chemical and biological properties. In this study we examined the effect of mud extracts on the expression of adhesion molecules (CAMs) by endothelial cells as well as their effects on monocyte adhesion to activated endothelial cells. Most of mud extracts inhibited the expression of VCAM-1 by endothelial cells and reduced monocyte adhesion to activated endothelial cells, indicating a potent anti-inflammatory activity. Furthermore, the mud extracts were tested for their antimicrobial activity; however, most of them appeared inactive against S. aureus and S. epidermidis. One of the mud extracts (showing the best stabilization features) increased significantly the expression of genes involved in cell protection, longevity and hydration of human keratinocytes, such as, collagen 6A1, forkhead box O3, sirtuin-1, superoxide dismutase 1 and aquaporin-3. The present study reveals that mud exerts important beneficial effects including anti-inflammatory and anti-aging activity as well as moisturizing effects, implicating important cosmeceutical applications.


Mud Inflammation Endothelial cells Skin aging Keratinocytes 



Atopic dermatitis




Collagen 6A1


Forkhead box


Human aortic endothelial cells


Intracellular adhesion molecule


Vascular cell adhesion molecule


3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide




Superoxide dismutase


Tumor necrosis factor




20,70-Bis-(2-carboxyethyl)-5-(and-6)-carboxy-fluorescein acetoxymethyl ester



We thank the Greek Secretariat of Research and Technology, Greek Ministry of Education and Religion (ISR_3163) in cooperation with the company Apivita S.A. We also thank Mr. Georgio Georgiadi from the company Physis & Ousia for providing the mud samples from Messologi and Ms. Liora Chilron from the company Anna Lotan for providing the mud sample from Israel that greatly assisted our research.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10653_2016_9852_MOESM1_ESM.docx (47 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 46 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eliana Spilioti
    • 1
  • Margarita Vargiami
    • 1
  • Sophia Letsiou
    • 2
  • Konstantinos Gardikis
    • 2
  • Varvara Sygouni
    • 3
  • Petros Koutsoukos
    • 3
  • Ioanna Chinou
    • 4
  • Eva Kassi
    • 1
  • Paraskevi Moutsatsou
    • 1
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Biological Chemistry, Medical SchoolNational and Kapodistrian University of AthensAthensGreece
  2. 2.Scientific Affairs DepartmentAPIVITA SAAthensGreece
  3. 3.Department of Chemical EngineeringUniversity of Patras and FORTH-ICEHT PatrasPatrasGreece
  4. 4.Laboratory of Pharmacognosy and Chemistry of Natural Products, Department of PharmacyUniversity of AthensAthensGreece
  5. 5.Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Medical School, University Hospital “Attiko”National and Kapodistrian University of AthensAthensGreece

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