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Exploring the anti-carcinogenic potential and biosafety of Indian propolis


Researchers at Bharati Vidyapeeth University in India extracted and standardized Indian propolis (IP) with respect to selected markers so they could evaluate its anti-cancer activity and biosafety in vitro and in vivo. The results of their study were published in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine.

  • Propolis from apiculture has a wide range of medicinal properties, thanks to its abundance in phytonutrients, such as polyphenols, flavonoids and the anti-cancer agent, caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE).
  • For their analysis, the researchers extracted, optimized and standardized IP using a newly developed and validated liquid chromatography method that simultaneously estimates caffeic acid, apigenin, quercetin and CAPE content.
  • Then, they screened the standardized ethanolic extract of IP (EEIP) for in vitro cytotoxicity, anti-carcinogenic effect (against Dalton’s Lymphoma ascites (DLA) cells), hemolytic effect and pesticidal potential.
  • The researchers found that EEIP contains more flavonoids, polyphenolic compounds and all the selected markers except for caffeic acid, than IP extracts obtained using other solvents.
  • EEIP also showed better anti-cancer activities than CAPE on MCF-7 and HT-29 cells in vitro.
  • In vivo, EEIP had better anti-carcinogenic effects against DLA than 5-fluorouracil. It also proved to be non-hemolytic.

Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that the standardized EEIP is a safe anti-carcinogenic agent that can be further developed into a natural anti-cancer medicine.

Read the full study at this link.

Journal Reference:

Kapare H, Lohidasan S, Sinnathambi A, Mahadik K. STANDARDIZATION, ANTI-CARCINOGENIC POTENTIAL AND BIOSAFETY OF INDIAN PROPOLIS. Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine. 2019;10(2):81–87. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaim.2017.06.003



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