Sunday, January 10, 2021

Green and Red Brazilian Propolis May Help Treat Heart (Cardiovascular) Disease (High Blood Pressure, Hardening of the Arteries)

The Cardiovascular Therapeutic Potential of Propolis—A Comprehensive Review

Biology 2021, 10(1), 27

Simple Summary

Propolis, also described as bee glue, is a natural component made up of a resinous mixture of honeybee compounds from multiple botanical sources. The literature has demonstrated a variety of medicinal properties attributed to propolis due to its chemical complexity. However, the positive effects of propolis on cardiovascular health have gained little coverage. Therefore, we aimed to provide an accurate and up-to-date review of the main cardiovascular health benefits of propolis. In particular, we intend to establish the key varieties of propolis and pharmacological compounds with the therapeutic effects that are most encouraging, as well as the physiological processes by which those advantages are accomplished.

The Brazilian green and red varieties reveal the greatest number of beneficial activities among the varieties of propolis studied. While much of the cardiovascular beneficial effects appear to derive from the cumulative actions of several compounds working via multiple signaling mechanisms, some individual compounds that may enhance the existing therapeutic arsenal have also shown significant results. It is also worth exploring the prospect of using propolis as food supplements.


Owing to its chemical richness, propolis has a myriad of therapeutic properties. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first comprehensive review paper on propolis to focus exclusively on its major effects for cardiovascular health. The propolis compound varieties with the most promising therapeutic benefits and their respective physiological mechanisms will be discussed. Propolis displays an anti-atherosclerotic activity, attained through modulation of the plasma lipid profile and through stabilization of the fatty plaque by inhibiting macrophage apoptosis, vascular smooth muscle proliferation and metalloproteinase activity.

The antihypertensive effects of propolis probably arise through the combination of several mechanisms, including the suppression of catecholamine synthesis, stimulation of endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation and vascular anti-inflammatory activity. The anti-hemostatic activity of propolis is attributed to the inhibition of platelet plug formation and antifibrinolytic activity. By inhibiting the secretion of proangiogenic factors, propolis suppresses endothelial cell migration and tubulogenesis, exerting antiangiogenic activity. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities are responsible for protection against vascular endothelial and cardiomyocyte dysfunction, mostly by the prevention of oxidative stress. Among the reviewed propolis varieties, the Brazilian green and red varieties show the largest number of beneficial activities. Further research, especially preclinical, should be conducted to assess the cardiovascular benefits of the given varieties with different compositions.

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