Propolis: Is there a potential for the development of new drugs?
José Maurício Sforcina, Vassya Bankovab
Propolis has plenty of biological and pharmacological properties and its mechanisms of action have been widely investigated in the last years, using different experimental models in vitro and in vivo. Researchers have been interested in the investigation of isolated compounds responsible for propolis action; however, there is lack of clinical research on the effects of propolis.
Strategy and objectives
Since propolis-containing products have been marketed and humans have used propolis for different purposes, the goal of this review is to discuss the potential of propolis for the development of new drugs, by comparing data from the literature that suggest candidate areas for the establishment of drugs against tumors, infections, allergy, diabetes, ulcers and with immunomodulatory action.
The efficacy of propolis in different protocols in vitro and in vivo suggests its therapeutic properties, but before establishing a strategy using this bee product, it is necessary to study: (a) the chemical nature of the propolis sample. (b) Propolis efficacy should be compared to well-established parameters, e.g. positive or negative controls in the experiments. Moreover, possible interactions between propolis and other medicines should be investigated in humans as well. (c) Clinical investigation is needed to evaluate propolis potential in patients or healthy individuals, to understand under which conditions propolis may promote health. Data point out the importance of this research field not only for the readers and researchers in the scientific community waiting for further clarification on the potential of propolis but also for the pharmaceutical industry that looks for new drugs.
* THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. THIS IS NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT CURE OR PREVENT ANY DISEASE.