Thursday, June 28, 2012

Antimicrobial Agents Found in Honey and Propolis

Honey bees collect plant-based products to protect and nourish their hive. Propolis is a flavonoid-rich product containing over 300 compounds, 19 different flavonoids, plus numerous phenolic acids and etheric oils. Honey also possesses phenolic compounds identifying their sources, i.e. monofloral honeys, such as Buckwheat, Clover, Manuka - all possessing certain strengths based on their origins...

Antimicrobial activity of flavonoids

Flavonoids are ubiquitous in photosynthesising cells and are commonly found in fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, stems, flowers, tea, wine, propolis and honey

For centuries, preparations containing these compounds as the principal physiologically active constituents have been used to treat human diseases. Increasingly, this class of natural products is becoming the subject of anti-infective research, and many groups have isolated and identified the structures of flavonoids possessing antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial activity. Moreover, several groups have demonstrated synergy between active flavonoids as well as between flavonoids and existing chemotherapeutics

... The activity of quercetin, for example, has been at least partially attributed to inhibition of DNA gyrase. It has also been proposed that sophoraflavone G and (−)-epigallocatechin gallate inhibit cytoplasmic membrane function, and that licochalcones A and C inhibit energy metabolism. Other flavonoids whose mechanisms of action have been investigated include robinetin, myricetin, apigenin, rutin, galangin, 2,4,2′-trihydroxy-5′-methylchalcone and lonchocarpol A. These compounds represent novel leads, and future studies may allow the development of a pharmacologically acceptable antimicrobial agent or class of agents.

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