Kai Wang, Xiaolu Jin , Mengmeng You, Wenli Tian, Richard K. Le Leu, David L. Topping, Michael A. Conlon, Liming Wu and Fuliang Hu
Propolis is an important hive product and considered beneficial to health. However, evidence of its potential for improving gut health is still lacking. Here we use rats to examine whether dietary supplementation with propolis could be used as a therapy for ulcerative colitis. Rats were fed with a Western style diet alone (controls) or supplemented with different amounts of Chinese propolis (0.1%, 0.2%, and 0.3%) to examine effects on acute colitis induced by 3% dextran sulphate sodium (DSS) in drinking water. Propolis at 0.3%, but not lower levels, significantly improved colitis symptoms compared with the control group, with a less pronounced disease activity index (DAI) (p < 0.001), a significant increase in colon length/weight ratio (p < 0.05) and an improved distal colon tissue structure as assessed by histology. Although short chain fatty acid levels in digesta were not altered by propolis supplementation, 16S rRNA phylogenetic sequencing revealed a significant increase in gut microbial diversity after 21 days of 0.3% propolis supplementation compared with controls including a significant increase in bacteria belonging to the Proteobacteria and Acidobacteria phyla. This is the first study to demonstrate that propolis can attenuate DSS-induced colitis and provides new insight into diet-microbiota interactions during inflammatory bowel disease.
* THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. THIS IS NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT CURE OR PREVENT ANY DISEASE.