Recent in vitro studies suggest that propolis and some of its phenolic components are able to inhibit Helicobacter pylori growth. To date, there are no clinical studies.
Aims: To evaluate the effect of Brazilian green propolis on H. pylori-infected individuals.
Patients and methods: Eighteen (11 females, 7 males, mean age 47 years) participants were included. Before treatment, all participants were submitted to gastroscopy, and H. pylori infection was confirmed by histology, urease test, and (13)C-urea breath test (UBT). Participants with UBT showing a delta over baseline (DOB) value higher than 4 per thousand were considered positive for H. pylori infection. Twenty drops from an alcoholic preparation of Brazilian green propolis were administered three times a day for 7 days. Clinical evaluation and UBT were performed at 1-3 days and at 40 days after the end of therapy to evaluate H. pylori suppression or eradication, respectively.
Results: All participants took all medication and completed the study. Eighty-three percent of the subjects did not succeed in suppressing or eradicating H. pylori. Two participants reached partial suppression after treatment, but became positive again at UBT performed 40 days after treatment. Another participant presented negative at UBT 40 days after treatment, not confirmed by a second UBT performed 100 days after treatment.
Conclusions: Brazilian green propolis used in popular dose showed minimal effect on H. pylori infection. Larger studies with longer duration, larger dose, and different frequency of administration of propolis extract should be undertaken to define its role on H. pylori therapy.