Friday, July 19, 2019

Here's the Lowdown on the Antibacterial Properties of Propolis

Bees make propolis to protect their hives and humans have been using it for thousands of years too

Alberton Record

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Bees make propolis from the sap of needle-leaved trees or evergreens all over the world. The antibacterial properties of propolis come from the trees’ active plant compounds. Here’s the lowdown.

Bees produce a compound called propolis from the sap of needle-leaved trees or evergreens. When they combine the sap with their own exudate and beeswax, they create a sticky substance used as a coating when building their hives.

The antioxidant and antibacterial properties of propolis come from the active plant compounds it contains.

The propolis also acts as an antibacterial barrier protecting the hive from contamination and external invaders. The name propolis comes from the Greek word meaning “defense of the city”...

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Manuka Honey Helps Save Injured Puppy

Pet Gazette

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Three-month old Cooper was successfully treated at Medivet 24 Hour Faygate and is now exploring his new home

A Labrador puppy with life-threatening wounds on his front leg has been saved due to an innovative combination of laser treatment and Manuka Honey dressings.

His owner Laura Hobbs had bought Cooper from a breeder at the end of May. She was told that he had a ‘small cut’ on his left foreleg but that it was nothing to worry about.

A few days later, he started limping and became lethargic, the next day the two wounds opened on his leg. They were partially covered by areas of black, hardened skin, indicating a condition called ‘necrosis’...

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Honey, Nutmeg Extract Product Boosts Success of Intrauterine Insemination (IUI, Fertility, Pregnancy, Menses)

The effect of a natural vaginal product based on honey on the success of intrauterine insemination (IUI) in infertility treatment

Avicenna J Phytomed. 2019 Jul-Aug;9(4):310-321.

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Due to high prevalence of infertility and increasing tendency towards complementary medicine, this study was conducted to investigate the effect of a vaginal natural product based on honey and 1% extract of Myristica fragrans on the extent of success of intrauterine insemination (IUI).

Materials and Methods:

This non-randomized clinical trial study with a historic control group, was performed on infertile women. In this trial, 159 patients were assigned to the intervention group, and 288 patients were recruited to the control group. All the participants received clomiphene or letrozole from the third up to seventh day of menstruation, and on days 6, 7, and 8, they received human menopausal gonadotrophin (HMG) injections. IUI was performed 36 hours after human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG) injection. In the intervention group, a natural vaginal product was used besides the above treatments, from menstruation day 7 until the day before performing IUI. Sixteen days after IUI, serum beta HCG was measured to investigate chemical pregnancy, and six weeks following IUI, vaginal sonography was performed to investigate clinical pregnancy.


Analysis showed that the pregnancy rate was higher in the group that receiving the natural product compared to the control group. Chemical pregnancy rate was 18.1% vs. 15.4%, and clinical pregnancy rate was 15.2% vs. 13.8% for intervention and control groups, respectively; but, this difference was not significant.


It seems that the use of this vaginal product for a longer period of time and across several menses cycles before IUI, may produce more positive results. Further studies, however, are needed to be done.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Propolis Component May Help Treat Liver Cancer

Chemical and Pharmacological Aspects of Caffeic Acid and Its Activity in Hepatocarcinoma

Front Oncol. 2019 Jun 21;9:541

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Caffeic acid (CA) is a phenolic compound synthesized by all plant species and is present in foods such as coffee, wine, tea, and popular medicines such as propolis. This phenolic acid and its derivatives have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticarcinogenic activity. In vitro and in vivo studies have demonstrated the anticarcinogenic activity of this compound against an important type of cancer, hepatocarcinoma (HCC), considered to be of high incidence, highly aggressive and causing considerable mortality across the world.

The anticancer properties of CA are associated with its antioxidant and pro-oxidant capacity, attributed to its chemical structure that has free phenolic hydroxyls, the number and position of OH in the catechol group and the double bond in the carbonic chain. Pharmacokinetic studies indicate that this compound is hydrolyzed by the microflora of colonies and metabolized mainly in the intestinal mucosa through phase II enzymes, submitted to conjugation and methylation processes, forming sulphated, glucuronic and/or methylated conjugates by the action of sulfotransferases, UDP-glucotransferases, and o-methyltransferases, respectively.

The transmembrane flux of CA in intestinal cells occurs through active transport mediated by monocarboxylic acid carriers. CA can act by preventing the production of ROS (reactive oxygen species), inducing DNA oxidation of cancer cells, as well as reducing tumor cell angiogenesis, blocking STATS (transcription factor and signal translation 3) and suppression of MMP2 and MMP-9 (collagen IV metalloproteases).

Thus, this review provides an overview of the chemical and pharmacological parameters of CA and its derivatives, demonstrating its mechanism of action and pharmacokinetic aspects, as well as a critical analysis of its action in the fight against hepatocarcinoma.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Brazilian Green Propolis May Help Treat Neurodegenerative Diseases (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimer's, Dementia, Huntington's Disease, Prion, Motor Neurone)

Neuroprotective effects of Brazilian green propolis on oxytosis/ferroptosis in mouse hippocampal HT22 cells

Food Chem Toxicol. 2019 Jul 9:110669

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Propolis is a sticky dark-colored substance produced by honey bees and comprises resin, balsam, wax, essential and aromatic oils, pollen, and several other substances; it is used in food and beverages to improve health and prevent diseases.

We studied the neuroprotective effects of extracts of Brazilian green propolis in the mouse hippocampal cell line HT22. Ethanol extracts of Brazilian green propolis had a more potent preventive effect on oxidative stress-induced cell death, oxytosis/ferroptosis, in HT22 cells than water extracts of Brazilian green propolis, whereas it did not protect against anticancer drug-induced apoptotic cell death.

Among the primary constituents of ethanol extracts of Brazilian green propolis, only artepillin C, kaempferide, and kaempferol demonstrated neuroprotective effects against oxytosis/ferroptosis. The flavonoid derivatives kaempferide and kaempferol are antioxidants with radical-scavenging abilities that additionally induce antioxidant response element-mediated transcriptional activity, suggesting that upregulation of endogenous antioxidant defense protects against oxidative stress.

In contrast, artepillin C attenuated reactive oxygen species production; however, it did not induce antioxidant response element activation.

These findings indicate that the ethanol extracts of Brazilian green propolis help to prevent oxidative stress-related neuronal cell death that is involved in the pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative diseases.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Incorporation of Chitosan Hydrogel Into Honey Substantially Enhances Its Antimicrobial and Wound Healing Effects

Wound Healing and Antimicrobial Effects of Chitosan-hydrogel/Honey Compounds in a Rat Full-thickness Wound Model

Wounds. 2019 Jun 30. pii: WNDS20190630-4. [Epub ahead of print]

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Honey and chitosan have shown antimicrobial and wound healing effects. As a biocompatible and biodegradable biomaterial, chitosan has shown antimicrobial capabilities.


In this study, the effects of the incorporation of high molecular weight chitosan hydrogel on antibacterial, antifungal, and wound healing properties of honey were investigated.


The minimum inhibitory concentration of chitosan and honey were examined in pure and 3:1, 1:1, and 1:3 (v/v) compound ratios for Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus cereus, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Candida albicans. In addition, the inflammatory, granulation and fibrotic tissue formation, reepithelialization indices, and wound shrinkage effects of each treatment were evaluated and compared with saline and silver sulfadiazine.


Chitosan/honey 1:3 was found to be effective against all 5 aforementioned germs. Honey, chitosan/honey 1:1, and chitosan/honey 1:3 showed faster wound healing and shrinkage effects.


Incorporation of chitosan hydrogel into honey can substantially enhance its antimicrobial and wound healing effects. Chitosan-hydrogel/honey (1:3) is an optimal wound dressing formulation with ample antimicrobial and healing properties.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Manuka Honey Used to Treat Eczema, Acne, Rosacea, Skin Wounds/Ulcers, Scars, Cancer, Stomach Ulcers, Dental Plaque, Gingivitis

These benefits of Manuka honey are actually backed by science


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For the past decade or so, everyone’s been really into Manuka honey. As hipster culture permeates every wellness thing out there, people all over the country (many of whom aren’t even sure what makes it unique) have become obsessed. At $30 and up per bottle, it’s been lauded as everything from a skin treatment miracle to a cancer deterrent. Perhaps the wildest thing about Manuka honey besides its price is that unlike other passing health fads, this one actually has old-school science to back up its reputation as liquid gold. Here’s the deal with everything you want to know about the benefits of Manuka honey...

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Comparison of the Antibacterial Activity of Honey with Antibiotics

Antibacterial Potency of Honey

Int J Microbiol. 2019 Jun 2;2019:2464507

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Despite the developments in controlling infectious disease around the world, they are still the second biggest cause of morbidity and mortality due in part to the increase in drug resistance among large numbers of the bacterial strains. This means that new strategies are needed to prevent and treat infectious disease. As a result, several ancient methods have been re-evaluated and the substances/procedures employed historically to cure diseases are now attracting renewed scientific attention. Honey is one such product that used to be widely used to combat bacteria. This review covers the antibacterial activity of honey, its use in the treatment of infection and diseases, and the features that are relevant to its activity...

Comparison of the Antibacterial Activity of Honey with Antibiotics

As the antibacterial effects of honey have been shown to be quite potent, a number of studies have sought to draw comparisons with the activities of conventional antibiotics. This is especially important since the current rise in the number of antibiotic-resistant microbial species highlights the need to source other antibacterial substances. One study compared the activity against P. aeruginosa and E. coli. of gentamicin and three kinds of pure honey obtained from Ibadan and Abeokuta in south west Nigeria, using undiluted and fresh aqueous dilutions of 1 : 2, 1 : 4, and 1 : 6 in an agar diffusion method. Undiluted honey and its 1 : 2 to 1 : 6 aqueous dilutions showed activity of 100% and 96.4%, respectively, against P. aeruginosa and E. coli. However, gentamicin showed generally lower antibacterial activity when used in concentrations of 8.0 and 4.0 μg/ml.

In another study, thirty samples of honey from different parts of Oman were investigated for their activity against S. aureus. Of these, 43% of honey samples showed excellent anti S. aureus activity. Thirty-eight percent of S. aureus strains were killed by 50% honey in 30 minutes and 45% after one hour. Gentamicin at the concentration of 4 µg/ml killed 70% of S. aureus after 30 min and 88% after one hour, whereas the percentage increased when a combination of honey and gentamicin was used (92% and 93% at 30 minutes and one hour, respectively). In contrast, Agbaje et al., reported that 100% honey might not proffer a total solution to the current problems facing bacterial chemotherapy when compared to 0.2% ciprofloxacin and 2.5% tetracycline.

Overall, the antibacterial activity of honey has been proven although there are contrasting results between researchers as to what concentration is effective and what is not. It is clear that this feature is due to more than one factor. More research is needed in this area. Moreover, the world today needs further assessments of natural substances that can be used to combat microorganisms with minimal side effects or consequences of overdose or high consumption.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Bee Pollen Shows Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Bee Pollen Extracts Modulate Serum Metabolism in Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Acute Lung Injury Mice with Anti-Inflammatory Effects

J Agric Food Chem. 2019 Jul 5

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Bee pollen (BP) collected from different floras possesses various potential bioactivities, but the mechanism-related research on anti-inflammatory effects is limited. Here, three types of BP originating from Camellia sinensis L. (BP-Cs), Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn. (BP-Nn), and Brassica campestris L. (BP-Bc) were assessed using molecular and metabolomics methods to determine their anti-inflammatory effects.

The differences in polyphenolic abundance of three types of BP extracts were determined by HPLC-DAD/Q-TOF-MS. In vitro anti-inflammatory effects of three BP extracts were evaluated in a lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced RAW 264.7 cells model. BP-Cs extract with the most abundant polyphenols was found to be the most effective in reducing inflammation by downregulating inflammatory-related genes expression and blocking the activation of MAPK and NF-κB signaling pathways.

Polyphenol-rich BP-Cs was further evaluated for their in vivo anti-inflammatory effect in a LPS-induced acute lung injury mouse model. An UPLC-Q-TOF/MS-based metabolomics approach was applied to analyze metabolite changes in mouse serum. Weshowed that the pretreated BP-Cs extract alleviated inflammation and regulated glycerophospholipid metabolism significantly.

Our findings provide a foundation for developing and justifying BP as a potential anti-inflammatory ingredient in functional foods or nutraceutical formulations.

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Brazilian Green Propolis Helps Control Agricultural Plant Pathogen

Bioactivity and action mechanism of green propolis against Pythium aphanidermatum

An Acad Bras Cienc. 2019 Jul 1;91(2):e20180598

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We have established how natural compounds from green propolis collected by the species Apis mellifera act against the growth of Pythium aphanidermatum. On the basis of mass spectrometry (Q-ToF MS), we determined that Artepillin C, the major constituent of green propolis, underlies the effect and displays activity against P. aphanidermatum at a minimal inhibitory concentration of 750 µg.mL-1.

Biophysical studies based on model membranes showed that this inhibitory effect may be linked with a membrane-related phenomenon: Artepillin C increases the permeability of membranes with relatively high fluidity in their lateral structure, a feature that is in line with the lipid composition reported for the cytoplasmic membrane of P. aphanidermatum.

Therefore, the present study supports the use of the effective and inexpensive green propolis to control the impact of the dangerous phytopathogen P. aphanidermatum on agriculture.

Monday, July 08, 2019

Topical Leptospermum (Manuka, Tea Tree) Honey May Help Treat Babies Born Without Skin on Areas of Their Bodies (Aplasia Cutis Congenita)

Topical Leptospermum Honey in the Management of Aplasia Cutis Congenita in Neonates: A Case Study

J Wound Ostomy Continence Nurs. 2019 Jul/Aug;46(4):343-345

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Aplasia cutis congenita (ACC) is an uncommon, heterogeneous group of disorders characterized by focal or widespread absence of skin from certain parts of the body. Complications range from 20% to 50%; they are potentially life-threatening. There is no consensus on best treatment of ACC. We report on successful closure of aplasia cutis lesions using topical active Leptospermum honey (ALH).


This article describes a case of a full-term neonate with a large ACC lesion. A conservative approach was taken in the care of this lesion, in accordance with appropriate wound care principles and the care of this medically fragile neonate. This included applying topical ALH twice a day and covering defects with a secure dressing. All lesions progressed to complete closure. Time to closure was either similar or shorter than published data.


Our experience with these cases suggests that topical ALH may be an effective natural treatment option for neonates with ACC. This conservative management led to wound closure without topical or systemic antibiotics or prolonged hospital stay.

Sunday, July 07, 2019

Brazilian Red Propolis Shows High Antioxidant Activity

Evaluation of the antioxidant profile and cytotoxic activity of red propolis extracts from different regions of northeastern Brazil obtained by conventional and ultrasound-assisted extraction

PLoS One. 2019 Jul 5;14(7):e0219063

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Propolis is a complex mixture of resinous and balsamic material collected from the exudates of plants, shoots, and leaves by bees.

This study evaluated red propolis extracts obtained by conventional (ethanolic) extraction and ultrasound-assisted extraction of six samples from different regions of northeastern Brazil. The total phenolic compounds and flavonoids, in vitro antioxidant activity, concentration of formononetin and kaempferol and the cytotoxicity against four human tumor cell lines were determined for all twelve obtained extracts. Significant variations in the levels of the investigated compounds were identified in the red propolis extracts, confirming that the chemical composition varied according to the sampling region. The extraction method used also influenced the resulting propolis compounds.

The highest concentration of the compounds of interest and the highest in vitro antioxidant activity were exhibited by the extracts obtained from samples from state of Alagoas. Formononetin and kaempferol were identified in all samples. The highest formononetin concentrations were identified in extracts obtained by ultrasound, thus indicating a greater selectivity for the extraction of this compound by this method. Regarding cytotoxic activity, for the HCT-116 line, all of the extracts showed an inhibition of greater than 90%, whereas for the HL-60 and PC3 lines, the minimum identified was 80%.

In general, there was no significant difference (p > 0.05) in the antiproliferative potential when comparing the extraction methods. The results showed that the composition of Brazilian red propolis varies significantly depending on the geographical origin and that the method used influences the resulting compounds that are present in propolis. However, regardless of the geographical origin and the extraction method used, all the red propolis samples studied presented great biological potential and high antioxidant activity. Furthermore, the ultrasound-assisted method can be efficiently applied to obtain extracts of red propolis more quickly and with high concentration of biomarkers of interest.

Saturday, July 06, 2019

Honey Bee Venom (Apis mellifera) Injections Help Treat Osteoarthritis Knee Pain (Arthritis, Acupuncture, Acetaminophen)

Efficacy and Safety of Honey Bee Venom (Apis mellifera) Dermal Injections to Treat Osteoarthritis Knee Pain and Physical Disability: A Randomized Controlled Trial

J Altern Complement Med. 2019 Jul 8

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Objectives: To evaluate purified honey bee (Apis mellifera) venom (HBV) biotherapy for the treatment of osteoarthritis (OA) knee pain and physical function.

Design and Patients: Five hundred and thirty-eight patients with Kellgren/Lawrence grade 1-3 radiographic knee OA and Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) pain score ≥2 were randomized 1:2 to either control ("histamine") or HBV in this double-blind study.

Interventions: After a dose escalation period, patients received 12 weekly dermal injections of control ("histamine") or HBV. At each of the 12 weekly visits, a set of 15 dermal injections (each containing 2.75 μg histamine or 100 μg HBV) were administered at prespecified acupuncture points (5 on each knee: knee top, eye-1 medial, eye-2 lateral, ST 34, BL 40 and 5 near the spinous processes: BL 19, 21, 23, 25, and 27).

Outcome Measures: Assessments included WOMAC pain and physical function subscales, visual analog scale (VAS), patient global assessment (PGA), and physician global assessment (PhGA). Rescue medication use (acetaminophen) and routine safety parameters were monitored.

Results: HBV biotherapy demonstrated a highly significant improvement over control in WOMAC pain score after 12 weeks (1.1 U mean difference; confidence interval [95% CI]: 0.3-2.0; analysis of covariance [ANCOVA] p = 0.0010 with baseline as covariate) that was also sustained 4 weeks post-treatment...

Conclusions: This phase 3 trial demonstrated that HBV biotherapy resulted in significant improvements in knee OA pain and physical function.

Friday, July 05, 2019

Propolis a Source of Extra Income for Turkish Beekeepers

Bee glue provides extra income for producers

SİİRT-Anadolu Agency

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Propolis, a resinous substance obtained from honeybees, has become a new source of extra income for beekeepers in Turkey.

In addition to honey, bees also produce a compound called propolis also known bee glue by mixing saliva and beeswax with exudate gathered from tree buds, sap flows, or other botanical sources.

In an attempt to provide new revenue for producers, the association is preparing a project for the production, processing and marketing of propolis, pollen and royal jelly, Siirt Beekeepers' Association head Faik Efe told Anadolu Agency.

"It is very hard to produce propolis. That is why beekeepers have not interested in," Efe noted.

"Now, in Turkey's eastern Siirt province, a total of 50 out of 1,300 members of the association are producing propolis," he added.

Also carrying out various research and experiment studies on honey, royal jelly, pollen and propolis at Beekeeping Research and Application Center in Siirt University, academician Cahit Ozcan said bees use propolis as a immune system to protect and sterilize their hives from viruses and bacteria...

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Polish Pine Herbhoney Used to Treat Upper Respiratory Tract Infections, Nettle Herbhoney Treats Gastrointestinal Disorders

[Characteristics and pro-health benefits of herbhoneys]
[Article in Polish]

Pol Merkur Lekarski. 2019 Jun 28;46(276):263-267.

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Herbhoneys are bee origin products. However, they differ from traditional honeys in the production method. The process of making herbhoneys is based on feeding bees with nourishments, which are a combination of sugar syrup and plant extracts.

For the preparation of the nourishment, plants that do not produce nectar or honeydew are often used.

Thanks to this treatment, ready-made herbhoney, apart from a rich composition of mineral compounds, may also contain active substances. Herbhoneys have a characteristic color, which is associated with its plant origin and chemical composition. They are used in the therapy and prevention of many diseases, and their health-promoting effect is associated with the plant material used to prepare the nutrient solution.

Research shows positive influence of pine herbhoney in the treatment of upper respiratory tract infections, or the use of nettle herbhoney in gastrointestinal disorders. There are diverse data on the elemental composition of herbhoneys compared to natural honey. However, the essential factor conditioning the mineral content is the origin of honey and herbahoneys used for analysis.

Herbhoneys, like traditional honey, have antimicrobial activity. They have been shown to be bactericidal against gram-positive and gram-negative pathogenic bacteria. The content of bioactive substances in herbhoneys determines their high antioxidant potential.

Studies also indicate the presence of polyphenols, which occurrence is not observed in natural honeys. Herbhoneys, despite numerous health-promoting properties, are not a popular products on the Polish market.

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Brazilian Brown Propolis May Help Treat Rose Gardener's Disease

Chemical and cytotoxic analyses of three varieties of Brazilian propolis (green propolis, jataí propolis and brown propolis) and its anti-Sporothrix brasiliensis in vitro activity

[Análises químicas e citotóxicas de três variedades de própolis brasileiras (própolis verde, própolis jataí e própolis marrom) e sua atividade in vitro anti-Sporothrix brasiliensis]

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Arquivo Brasileiro de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

In this study, we described the antifungal activity of three Brazilian propolis extracts: brown, green and from jataí bees against Sporothrix brasiliensis. The extracts were obtained from ethanolic extraction and their chemical composition was determined by high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry. The cellular toxicity was measured in MDBK (Madin-Darby Bovine Kidney) cells and quantified by the MTT assay (3- (4,5 dimethylthiazol-2yl -2,5-diphenyl-2H bromine tetrazolato).

For antifungal activity, the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum fungicidal concentration (MFC) were determined by broth microdilution. The results showed that cell toxicity was not observed at lower concentrations (0.097 to 0.39μg/ml) for all extracts in comparison to cell control. Among the chemical compounds identified, caffeic acid, p-coumaric acid, chlorogenic acid, ferulic acid and rutin were quantified. In antifungal activity, green and jataí did not exhibit activity against the isolates (MIC and MFC greater than 0.78mg/ml). However, all isolates of S. brasiliensis were sensitive to brown propolis (MIC of 0.09 to 0.78mg/ml), including the standard strain (P < 0.001).

Among the Brazilian propolis studied, the brown propolis showed activity against the S. brasiliensis isolates and more studies should be undertaken in order to evaluate its promising use in the treatment of sporotrichosis.

Monday, July 01, 2019

Indonesian Stingless Bee Propolis May Help Treat Diabetes

α-Glucosidase Inhibitory Activity of Cycloartane-Type Triterpenes Isolated from Indonesian Stingless Bee Propolis and Their Structure–Activity Relationship 


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This study reports on the antioxidant activity and α-glucosidase inhibitory activity of five cycloartane-type triterpenes isolated from Indonesian stingless bee (Tetragonula sapiens Cockerell) propolis and their structure–activity relationships.

The structure of the triterpenes was determined to include mangiferolic acid (1), Cycloartenol (2), ambonic acid (3), mangiferonic acid (4), and ambolic acid (5). The inhibitory test results of all isolated triterpenes against α-glucosidase showed a high potential for inhibitory activity with an IC50 range between 2.46 and 10.72 µM.

Among the compounds tested, mangiferonic acid (4) was the strongest α-glucosidase inhibitor with IC50 2.46 µM compared to the standard (–)-epicatechin (1991.1 µM), and also had antioxidant activities with IC50 values of 37.74 ± 6.55 µM. The study on the structure–activity relationships among the compounds showed that the ketone group at C-3 and the double bonds at C-24 and C-25 are needed to increase the α-glucosidase inhibitory activity. The carboxylic group at C-26 is also more important for increasing the inhibitory activity compared with the methyl group. This study provides an approach to help consider the structural requirements of cycloartane-type triterpenes from propolis as α-glucosidase inhibitors.

An understanding of these requirements is deemed necessary to find a new type of α-glucosidase inhibitor from the cycloartane-type triterpenes or to improve those inhibitors that are known to help in the treatment of diabetes