Friday, April 03, 2009

Propolis a Valuable Source of New Bioactive Molecules

Chemical Diversity of Propolis Makes it a Valuable Source of New Biologically Active Compounds
Journal of ApiProduct and ApiMedical Science, 1 (2): 23 - 28 (2009)

Propolis with its diverse pharmacological activities and low toxicity has attracted the attention of modern scientists since about 50 years. However, propolis, or bee glue, has demonstrated remarkable chemical variability, which is a serious obstacle to its standardization and consequently, to its official acceptance into the main stream of our healthcare system.

On the other hand, the variation in the chemistry of propolis from different ecosystems has made it a source of new biologically active molecules, mainly antioxidative, antibacterial and anticancer agents. The most important recent findings concerning bioactive molecules isolated from propolis are reviewed and discussed here…

Research into propolis has revealed the pharmacological properties of substances previously known as plant secondary metabolites, but insufficiently evaluated. Analysis of propolis has also led to the discovery of many valuable plant substances that otherwise might not have been found. This is due to the ability of honeybees to find, in whatever environment they inhabit, sources of substances in plants that provide an efficient protection of their hives from infections and from the elements of weather.

Obviously, the study of bee glue and the search for plants used by bees for propolis collection in tropical, subtropical and even northern regions has the potential to uncover new biologically active compounds with important pharmacological effects, especially antibacterial, antioxidant and anticancer substances. For this reason, new types of propolis from unexplored regions will continue to attract growing interest among scientists searching for new bioactive molecules.

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