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Bee Products as Natural Antioxidants in Disease and Health

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Natural Products Chemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 July 2022) | Viewed by 14825

Special Issue Editors

Department of Animal Physiology, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb, Rooseveltov trg 6, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Interests: oxidative stress-induced diseases; natural products; chemoprevention and tumor therapy; bee products and health; radioprotection
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,  

As natural food supplements, bee products, including honey, bee bread, bee venom, bee pollen, propolis, and royal jelly, are a valuable source of medicinal and health beneficial effects. They demonstrate strong antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, cytostatic, wound healing, antimutagenic, antitumor, antiallergic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, anti-aging, antidiabetic, immunomodulatory, estrogenic, regulatory, cardioprotective, neuroprotective, and radioprotective effects, as well as control of pain and inflammation in various chronic inflammatory diseases. The prevalence of chronic diseases, including atherosclerosis, cancer, diabetes mellitus, hypertension and oxidative stress-related neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, is increasing and has become the main cause of disability and death worldwide.

Oxidative stress is an imbalance between the production of extremely reactive molecules and endogenous antioxidant defense systems that causes structural and functional alterations of proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids, further leading to various types of biological problems, including carcinogenesis, aging, and atherosclerosis. Current data demonstrate that honeybee products might be a promising approach to combat many of the diseases directly or indirectly associated with oxidative stress. Bee products, as a functional food, administered alone or as an adjuvant therapy, might be a potential natural antioxidant medicine, which warrants further experimental and clinical research. The concept of functional food refers to food that has the ability to promote physiological or psychological health compared to traditional remediated and nutritional food. Currently, many studies are directed toward investigating health benefits and pharmacological properties of bee products and their capability to reduce risk of chronic diseases or optimize health in other ways.

We cordially invite you to submit your latest research findings or reviews to this Special Issue which aim to bring together the most recent findings concerning the bioactivity of bee products, with a special interest in bee products as exogenous antioxidants and “free radical scavengers” capable of preventing and repairing damage caused by oxidative stress, and therefore enhancing the immune defense and lower the risk of cancer and degenerative diseases. Papers with a critical review of possible allergenic properties and other studies of the pharmacological activities of bee products, demonstrating promising health benefits, are also welcome.

Prof. Dr. Nada Orsolic
Dr. Maja Jazvinšćak Jembrek
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • honeybee products
  • bioactive compounds in honeybee products
  • biological and pharmacological activities of honeybee products
  • antioxidant activity of honeybee products
  • health benefits
  • side effects of honeybee products

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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15 pages, 459 KiB  
Article
The Antiprotozoal Activity of Papua New Guinea Propolis and Its Triterpenes
Molecules 2022, 27(5), 1622; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27051622 - 01 Mar 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2153
Abstract
Profiling a propolis sample from Papua New Guinea (PNG) using high-resolution mass spectrometry indicated that it contained several triterpenoids. Further fractionation by column chromatography and medium-pressure liquid chromatography (MPLC) followed by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) identified 12 triterpenoids. Five of these were [...] Read more.
Profiling a propolis sample from Papua New Guinea (PNG) using high-resolution mass spectrometry indicated that it contained several triterpenoids. Further fractionation by column chromatography and medium-pressure liquid chromatography (MPLC) followed by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) identified 12 triterpenoids. Five of these were obtained pure and the others as mixtures of two or three compounds. The compounds identified were: mangiferonic acid, ambonic acid, isomangiferolic acid, ambolic acid, 27-hydroxyisomangiferolic acid, cycloartenol, cycloeucalenol, 24-methylenecycloartenol, 20-hydroxybetulin, betulin, betulinic acid and madecassic acid. The fractions from the propolis and the purified compounds were tested in vitro against Crithidia fasciculata, Trypanosoma congolense, drug-resistant Trypanosoma congolense, Trypanosoma b. brucei and multidrug-resistant Trypanosoma b. brucei (B48). They were also assayed for their toxicity against U947 cells. The compounds and fractions displayed moderate to high activity against parasitic protozoa but only low cytotoxicity against the mammalian cells. The most active isolated compound, 20-hydroxybetulin, was found to be trypanostatic when different concentrations were tested against T. b. brucei growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bee Products as Natural Antioxidants in Disease and Health)
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Review

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69 pages, 3121 KiB  
Review
Allergic Inflammation: Effect of Propolis and Its Flavonoids
Molecules 2022, 27(19), 6694; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27196694 - 08 Oct 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 4830
Abstract
The incidence of allergic diseases and their complications are increasing worldwide. Today, people increasingly use natural products, which has been termed a “return to nature”. Natural products with healing properties, especially those obtained from plants and bees, have been used in the prevention [...] Read more.
The incidence of allergic diseases and their complications are increasing worldwide. Today, people increasingly use natural products, which has been termed a “return to nature”. Natural products with healing properties, especially those obtained from plants and bees, have been used in the prevention and treatment of numerous chronic diseases, including allergy and/or inflammation. Propolis is a multi-component resin rich in flavonoids, collected and transformed by honeybees from buds and plant wounds for the construction and adaptation of their nests. This article describes the current views regarding the possible mechanisms and multiple benefits of flavonoids in combating allergy and allergy-related complications. These benefits arise from flavonoid anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, and wound healing activities and their effects on microbe-immune system interactions in developing host responses to different allergens. Finally, this article presents various aspects of allergy pathobiology and possible molecular approaches in their treatment. Possible mechanisms regarding the antiallergic action of propolis on the microbiota of the digestive and respiratory tracts and skin diseases as a method to selectively remove allergenic molecules by the process of bacterial biotransformation are also reported. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bee Products as Natural Antioxidants in Disease and Health)
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24 pages, 1158 KiB  
Review
Nonwoven Releasing Propolis as a Potential New Wound Healing Method—A Review
Molecules 2021, 26(18), 5701; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26185701 - 21 Sep 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3298
Abstract
Wound healing poses a serious therapeutic problem. Methods which accelerate tissue regeneration and minimize or eliminate complications are constantly being sought. This paper is aimed at evaluation of the potential use of biodegradable polymer nonwovens releasing propolis as wound healing dressings, based on [...] Read more.
Wound healing poses a serious therapeutic problem. Methods which accelerate tissue regeneration and minimize or eliminate complications are constantly being sought. This paper is aimed at evaluation of the potential use of biodegradable polymer nonwovens releasing propolis as wound healing dressings, based on the literature data. Propolis is honeybee product with antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and regenerative properties. Controlled release of this substance throughout the healing should promote healing process, reduce the risk of wound infection, and improve aesthetic effect. The use of biodegradable aliphatic polyesters and polyester carbonates as a propolis carrier eliminates the problem of local drug administration and dressing changes. Well-known degradation processes and kinetics of the active substance release allows the selection of the material composition appropriate to the therapy. The electrospinning method allows the production of nonwovens that protect the wound against mechanical damage. Moreover, this processing technique enables adjusting product properties by modifying the production parameters. It can be concluded that biodegradable polymer dressings, releasing a propolis, may find potential application in the treatment of complicated wounds, as they may increase the effectiveness of treatment, as well as improve the patient’s life quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bee Products as Natural Antioxidants in Disease and Health)
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16 pages, 1480 KiB  
Review
Tualang Honey: A Decade of Neurological Research
Molecules 2021, 26(17), 5424; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26175424 - 06 Sep 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3485
Abstract
Tualang honey has been shown to protect against neurodegeneration, leading to improved memory/learning as well as mood. In addition, studies have also demonstrated its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. However, a substantial part of this research lacks systematization, and there seems to be a [...] Read more.
Tualang honey has been shown to protect against neurodegeneration, leading to improved memory/learning as well as mood. In addition, studies have also demonstrated its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. However, a substantial part of this research lacks systematization, and there seems to be a tendency to start anew with every study. This review presents a decade of research on Tualang honey with a particular interest in the underlying mechanisms related to its effects on the central nervous system. A total of 28 original articles published between 2011 and 2020 addressing the central nervous system (CNS) effects of Tualang honey were analysed. We identified five main categories, namely nootropic, antinociceptive, stress-relieving, antidepressant, and anxiolytic effects of Tualang honey, and proposed the underlying mechanisms. The findings from this review may potentially be beneficial towards developing new therapeutic roles for Tualang honey and help in determining how best to benefit from this brain supplement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bee Products as Natural Antioxidants in Disease and Health)
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