Propolis prevents diet-induced hyperlipidemia and mitigates weight gain in diet-induced obesity in mice

Biol Pharm Bull. 2009 Dec;32(12):2022-8. doi: 10.1248/bpb.32.2022.


We examined the hypolipidemic effect of propolis in a mouse obesity model induced by a high fat-diet. C57BL/6N mice were fed a high-fat diet ad libitum and given propolis extract intragastrically at 0 mg/kg (control), 5 mg/kg or 50 mg/kg twice daily for 10 d. Compared with mice in the control group, mice in the propolis extract-administrated groups displayed a reduction in all of the following parameters: body weight gain, weight of visceral adipose tissue, liver and serum triglycerides, cholesterol, and non-esterified fatty acids. Real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis of the liver showed down-regulation of mRNA expression associated with fatty acid biosynthesis, including fatty acid synthase, acetyl-CoA carboxylase alpha, and sterol regulatory element binding protein in the propolis-administrated mice. Subsequently, obese C57BL/6N mice that had been administered a high-fat diet were given propolis extract at 0 mg/kg (control), 2.5 mg/kg or 25 mg/kg for 4 weeks. The propolis extract treated mice showed a decrease in weight gain, a reduction of serum non-esterified fatty acids, and lipid accumulation in the liver. These results suggest that propolis extract prevented and mitigated high-fat diet-induced hyperlipidemia by down-regulating the expression of genes associated with lipid metabolism.

MeSH terms

  • Acetyl-CoA Carboxylase / genetics
  • Acetyl-CoA Carboxylase / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Apitherapy*
  • Body Weight / drug effects*
  • Diet / adverse effects
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Fats / adverse effects*
  • Down-Regulation
  • Fatty Acid Synthases / genetics
  • Fatty Acid Synthases / metabolism
  • Hyperlipidemias / etiology
  • Hyperlipidemias / prevention & control*
  • Hypolipidemic Agents / pharmacology
  • Hypolipidemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Intra-Abdominal Fat / drug effects
  • Lipid Metabolism / drug effects
  • Lipid Metabolism / genetics
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Obesity / drug therapy*
  • Propolis / pharmacology
  • Propolis / therapeutic use*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sterol Regulatory Element Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Sterol Regulatory Element Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Weight Gain / drug effects*


  • Dietary Fats
  • Hypolipidemic Agents
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Sterol Regulatory Element Binding Proteins
  • Propolis
  • Fatty Acid Synthases
  • Acetyl-CoA Carboxylase