Antioxidant Potential of Propolis, Bee Pollen, and Royal Jelly: Possible Medical Application

Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2018 May 2:2018:7074209. doi: 10.1155/2018/7074209. eCollection 2018.


Honeybees products comprise of numerous substances, including propolis, bee pollen, and royal jelly, which have long been known for their medicinal and health-promoting properties. Their wide biological effects have been known and used since antiquity. Bee products are considered to be a potential source of natural antioxidants such as flavonoids, phenolic acids, or terpenoids. Nowadays, the still growing concern in natural substances capable of counteracting the effects of oxidative stress underlying the pathogenesis of numerous diseases, such as neurodegenerative disorders, cancer, diabetes, and atherosclerosis, as well as negative effects of different harmful factors and drugs, is being observed. Having regarded the importance of acquiring drugs from natural sources, this review is aimed at updating the current state of knowledge of antioxidant capacity of selected bee products, namely, propolis, bee pollen, and royal jelly, and of their potential antioxidant-related therapeutic applications. Moreover, the particular attention has been attributed to the understanding of the mechanisms underlying antioxidant properties of bee products. The influence of bee species, plant origin, geographic location, and seasonality as well as type of extraction solutions on the composition of bee products extracts were also discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism*
  • Bees
  • Fatty Acids / chemistry*
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism
  • Flavonoids / chemistry
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Oxidoreductases / metabolism
  • Pollen / chemistry*
  • Pollen / metabolism
  • Propolis / chemistry*
  • Propolis / metabolism


  • Antioxidants
  • Fatty Acids
  • Flavonoids
  • Propolis
  • Oxidoreductases
  • royal jelly