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The Many Ways Bee Green Propolis Can Fight Cancers

Posted by Daniel Grande on
The Many Ways Bee Green Propolis Can Fight Cancers

Right now as I write this blog post there are 2,993 studies about Propolis published at PubMed (the US National Library of Medicine). Yes, you heard it right, almost 3,000 studies! Amongst them we can find about 433 specific researches on Propolis and Cancer.

It is amazing how thousands of scientists keep getting positive results on these studies about the propolis benefits. So they keep on performing studies from different angles and today we can find a Propolis study for just about every type of cancer.

But Wait, What is Bee Propolis Again?

We are talking about bee propolis, also called “bee glue.” Propolis or bee glue is a resinous mixture that honey bees produce by mixing saliva and beeswax with exudate gathered from tree buds, sap flows, or other botanical sources.

It is used as a sealant for unwanted open spaces in the hive. Propolis is used for small gaps (approximately 6 millimetres (0.24 in) or less), while larger spaces are usually filled with beeswax.

Its color varies depending on its botanical source, with dark brown as the most common. Propolis is sticky at and above 20 °C (68 °F), while at lower temperatures, it becomes hard and brittle.

This real therapeutic product not only seals beehives against intruders, but it can also fend off and treat many kinds of health conditions. Bee propolis has actually been used by humans since ancient times as a medicine. Since then Bee propolis is widely studied by scientists and they were able to demonstrate benefits such as antimicrobial, anti-ulcer, antioxidant and anti-tumor properties

When researching the material, scientists found out that Propolis is a complex mixture made by bee-released and plant-derived compounds. In general, raw propolis is composed of around 50% resins, 30% waxes, 10% essential oils, 5% pollen, and 5% of various organic compounds.

More than 300 constituents, including amino acids, coumarins, phenolic aldehydes, polyphenols, sesquiterpene quinines and steroids were identified. Exactly as it is with honey, the proportions of the various substances present in the propolis depend upon its place and time of collection. 

The Brazilian green propolis, for example, is a specific type of propolis, which contains Baccharis dracunculifolia resin as its main botanical source.

Baccharis dracunculifolia is a medical plant found in Brazil. It is mainly used for its antiulcer and anti-inflammatory properties, which is why researches demonstrate that green propolis also treats ulcer and inflammatory diseases. 

A Research for every type of Cancer

In a 2015 publication (1) that compiled several studies about Propolis and its ability to fight cancers, the author (a Bioinformatics and Medical Informatics Research Center in San Diego State University), states the following:

Propolis biological effects, which range from antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, dermatoprotective, anti-allergic, laxative and immunomodulatory to anticancer, have been validated. Propolis also has shown efficacy against brain, head and neck, skin, breast, liver, pancreas, kidney, bladder, prostate, colon and blood cancers.

The inhibition of matrix metalloproteinases, anti-angiogenesis, prevention of metastasis, cell-cycle arrest, induction of apoptosis ("cancer cell auto-destruction") and moderation of the chemotherapy-induced deleterious side effects have been deduced as the key mechanisms of cancer manipulation. The components conferring antitumor potentials have been identified as caffeic acid phenethyl ester, chrysin, artepillin C, nemorosone, galangin, cardanol, etc. These compounds target various genetic and biochemical pathways of cancer progression. Depending on the botanical sources and the geographical origin, biological activities of propolis vary. The Brazilian Green Propolis is the one with the most biological activity amongst all other types of Propolis, which explains its higher efficacy.  

Propolis Can Even Fight Cancer Stem Cells (CSC)

Stem cells are the ones that reproduce themselves and sustain the cancer, resisting to chemo and maintaining an attack on our bodies over the long term. In a study named “Identification of compounds that selectively target highly chemotherapy refractory neuroblastoma cancer stem cells,” scientists found several compounds in Cuban propolis with “considerable anti-iCSC activity.”

According to the same research, the majority of the compounds act in a pleiotropic manner on the molecular biology of tumors although their specific targets remain unclear. Nevertheless, two substances, one of them a flavonoid, induced a strong disruption of tubulin polymerization. In addition, an unknown compound strongly inhibited replicative enzymes like toposimerases I/II and DNA polymerase. For the first time cytotoxic activities of small molecules isolated from Caribbean propolis which could be promising therapeutics or lead structures against therapy-refractory neuroblastoma entities. 

Want to Lean More About the Benefits of Propolis?

You can just access PubMed and research yourself of just visit our "Science Facts", where we have selected the best studies related to the theme. Enjoy your research!

 

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(1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25723108

(2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24902844

 

 

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