Polyphenols as Key Players for the Antileukaemic Effects of Propolis
Evid Based Complement Alternat Med, 2014;2014:371730
Propolis (a bee product) which has a long history of medicinal use by humans has attracted a great deal of research interest in the recent time; this is due to its widely reported biological activities such as antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anticarcinogenic properties.
Crude form of propolis and its phenolic contents have both been reported to exhibit antileukaemic effects in various leukaemia cell lines. The ability of the polyphenols found in propolis to arrest cell cycle and induce apoptosis and differentiation in addition to inhibition of cell growth and proliferation makes them promising antileukaemic agents, and hence, they are believed to be a key to the antileukaemic effects of propolis in different types of leukaemia.
This paper reviews the molecular bases of antileukaemic activity of both crude propolis and individual polyphenols on various leukaemia cell lines, and it indicates that propolis has the potential to be used in both treatment and prevention of leukaemia. This however needs further evaluation by in vitro, in vivo, and epidemiological studies as well as clinical trials.