Research by Josephine Farshi and Professor Elmer Mojica
In continuation of my research on the phenolics of bee propolis, I have been focusing on the health-related benefits of varying forms of propolis. Due to the department’s current construction in our lab, I have decided on literary research. Although this has created a challenge in terms of physical research in the lab, exposure to literary research has been an extremely effective way to better understand how propolis plays a critical role in human health. In today’s blog post, I will be explaining how several propolis types are shown to be beneficial in terms of cancer, diabetes, and brain injury.
Bee propolis is not a new discovery and has been used since ancient times as a natural health remedy. For this reason, present-day researchers have investigated the chemical and biological properties of bee propolis and how said properties can be applied as an anticancer remedy. One study from Saudi Arabia determined the chemical makeup of the propolis, which consists of triterpenoids and diterpenoids, discovered using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.
These chemical compounds are mainly made up of steroids, which can prevent further growth and multiplying of cancer cells. In terms of further research, I would be interested in understanding the extent to which the growth could be stopped. For instance, would the propolis be capable of preventing cancer, or would it be able to help put an end to mature cancer cells?
Traumatic brain injuries are common in the United States, occurring more than 200,000 times per year. For this reason, I sought interest in understanding how bee propolis can have an effect on this sort of internal trauma. Bazmandegan et al. used brown propolis from Iran. They specified that the propolis was from Iran because this type of propolis differs in biological activities depending on where it is from. The chemical composition and amount of polyphenol in the propolis were determined using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Then, the propolis was treated on mice who had undergone a stroke. The sensory-motor skills improved for those who were treated with the propolis as opposed to those who had not been treated. I would like to be able to further investigate or research if it is only brown propolis that would have this effect on brain injuries. I would also like to understand why the researcher chose brown propolis as opposed to any other sort of bee propolis. It can thus be understood that brown propolis can improve the skills of humans with ischemic brain injuries.
Another common disease in the United States is diabetes. I became interested in conducting literary research on this disease in particular because I have both friends and family affected by this. I therefore wanted to better understand ways that diabetes could be prevented using natural remedies, if possible. Aberomand et al. studied the effect of bee propolis on human erythrocytes when placed under high-glucose conditions. The researchers were able to conclude that while propolis is not exactly a cure for diabetes, it serves as a solid candidate for further researcher. I would be interested in researching whether the propolis serves mainly as a preventative asset, or could reverse the disease as a whole.
Thus far, my literary analysis has shown a desire for further research. The outlook for bee propolis seems none other than positive in terms of human health. I would be interested in seeing the difference between human impacts by propolis in comparison to the data gathered from the animal testing. I believe that cancer, brain injuries, and diabetes are all significant health issues that remain prominent in our society. For this reason, bee propolis could lead science in a positive direction, with successful treatments and a possibility for curing.