Propolis has many therapeutic applications. The phenolic compounds are numerous as are their effects, from anti-inflammatory and antifungal, to antimicrobial and antiviral. Best of all, propolis is complementary with traditional and alternative practices...
Immunomodulatory and Anticancer Properties of Propolis
waxy substance produced by the honeybee, has been adopted as a form of folk
medicine since ancient times. It has a wide spectrum of alleged applications
including potential anti-infection and anticancer effects. Many of the
therapeutic effects can be attributed to its immunomodulatory functions.
composition of propolis can vary according to the geographic locations from
where the bees obtained the ingredients. Two main immunopotent chemicals have
been identified as caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) and artepillin C.
Propolis, CAPE, and artepillin C have been
shown to exert summative immunosuppressive function on T lymphocyte subsets but
paradoxically activate macrophage function. On the other hand, they also have
potential antitumor properties by different postulated mechanisms such as
suppressing cancer cells proliferation via its anti-inflammatory effects;
decreasing the cancer stem cell populations; blocking specific oncogene
signaling pathways; exerting antiangiogenic effects; and modulating the tumor
The good bioavailability by the oral route and good
historical safety profile makes propolis an ideal adjuvant agent for future
immunomodulatory or anticancer regimens. However, standardized quality controls
and good design clinical trials are essential before either propolis or its
active ingredients can be adopted routinely in our future therapeutic armamentarium.