Cognitive Improvement and Safety Assessment of a Dietary Supplement Containing Propolis Extract in Elderly Japanese: A Placebo-Controlled, Randomized, Parallel-Group, Double-Blind Human Clinical Study
Takashi Asama, Toshihito Hiraoka, Akio Ohkuma, Nobuaki Okumura, Ayanori Yamaki, and Katsuya Urakami
Objectives. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of propolis on cognitive function in elderly Japanese with a placebo-controlled design. Material and Methods. This study was performed on 79 elderly Japanese. Participants orally received either a placebo or dietary supplement containing propolis extract for 24 weeks. Cognitive function assessed by Cognitrax and various blood or urine markers were measured at pre- and postadministration. Results and Conclusion. Eligible data from 68 subjects (placebo: 33, propolis: 35) who completed the study were analyzed. Compared to the placebo group, the propolis group showed significant improvement in verbal memory in Cognitrax (). Total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, urea nitrogen, creatinine, and uric acid were significantly improved in the propolis group compared to the placebo group (, , , , and , respectively). However, urea nitrogen, creatinine, and uric acid fluctuated within the normal level. Furthermore, a subgroup analysis was performed on those with higher than 100 of the standardized score of the neurocognitive index indicated by the overall Cognitrax score. Significant improvements in the propolis group compared to placebo were confirmed in verbal memory () and processing speed as indications for information processing ability, complex attention, and concentration (). No side effects were observed in any of the groups. This study demonstrates that propolis is effective in improving cognitive functions such as memory, information processing, complex attention, and concentration in elderly Japanese.
* THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. THIS IS NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT CURE OR PREVENT ANY DISEASE.