Did you know that beehives are sterile? The reason is that ‘propolis’, which bees produce by collecting plant secretions and mixing their own saliva and beeswax, is a natural antibiotic.
As the antioxidant and antibacterial effects of propolis have been proven through various studies, it is being used in various forms such as toothpaste, oral spray, and candy as well as nutritional supplements. It has been found that ingredients such as vitamins, minerals, and flavonoids contained in propolis contribute to its antioxidant and antibacterial effects. Now, let's take a closer look at the benefits of consuming propolis through research papers.
Glutathione is a very important antioxidant in the human bodythat performs antioxidant action through oxidation-reduction reaction. Flavonoids and polyphenols contained in propolis increase glutathione levels and reduce substances produced by oxidation reactions.
A paper published in Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine in 2017 revealed that when propolis was consumed, glutathione increased and oxidation reaction products decreased, thereby improving antioxidant capacity.
“Compared to placebo subjects, consumption of propolis led to a net increase in glutathione (GSH) levels and a decrease in oxidation reaction products (TBARS) in the propolis group.”
Reference : Mujica, V., Orrego, R., Pérez, J., Romero, P., Ovalle, P., Zúñiga-Hernández, J., Arredondo, M., & Leiva, E. (2017). The Role of Propolis in Oxidative Stress and Lipid Metabolism: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2017, 4272940.
2. Relieves Periodontitis Symptoms
Periodontitis is an infection that spreads beyond the gums to the gum bone due to bacteria in the mouth. When periodontitis occurs, teeth become loose and pain occurs when eating. The ingredient called caffeic acid ester in propolis inhibits the activity of Toll-like receptor 4, which promotes the secretion of inflammatory cytokines, significantly slows the growth of inflammation and aids tissue regeneration.
In this regard, a paper published in the Journal of Periodontology in 2016 reported that oral consumption of propolis improved periodontal parameters by reducing periodontal pocket depth and increasing clinical attachment.
“Reduction in periodontal pocket depth and increase in clinical attachment were significantly greater in the propolis group than placebo at 3 and 6 months.”
Reference : El-Sharkawy, H. M., Anees, M. M., & Van Dyke, T. E. (2016). Propolis Improves Periodontal Status and Glycemic Control in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Chronic Periodontitis: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Journal of periodontology, 87(12), 1418–1426.
The flavonoids contained in propolis have an antioxidant effect and an effect of suppressing harmful bacteria, so you can get an antibacterial effect when you consume propolis.
“In addition, propolis acts as a disinfectant that prevents bacterial cell division, destroys cell walls and bacterial cytoplasm, and stops protein synthesis.”
Reference : Anjum, S. I., Ullah, A., Khan, K. A., Attaullah, M., Khan, H., Ali, H., Bashir, M. A., Tahir, M., Ansari, M. J., Ghramh, H. A., Adgaba, N., & Dash, C. K. (2019). Composition and functional properties of propolis (bee glue): A review. Saudi journal of biological sciences, 26(7), 1695–1703.
Today, we looked at the benefits of propolis through research papers. Although propolis is an excellent antioxidant and antibacterial substance, there are some things to be careful about when consuming it. Since propolis contains pollen, those who are allergic to pollen should be careful when consuming it. Additionally, propolis slows down blood coagulation, so if you have a bleeding disorder or are about to undergo surgery, we recommend consuming it after consulting a specialist.
I hope you have a healthy day both physically and mentally. This was Jinny.