Evidence on the Health Benefits of Supplemental Propolis

Nutrients. 2019 Nov 8;11(11):2705. doi: 10.3390/nu11112705.


Propolis is a honey-related product with reported health benefits such as improved immunity, lowered blood pressure, treated allergies and skin conditions. A literature review and narrative synthesis were conducted to investigate the evidence on the reported health benefits and future direction of propolis products. Using a predefined search strategy we searched Medline (OvidSP), Embase and Central for quantitative and qualitative studies (1990-2018). Citation, reference, hand searches and expert consultation were also undertaken. Studies of randomised control trials and observational data on humans with health-related outcomes were included. Collected data were entered into NVivo software (Version 12, QRS International) and analysed using a thematic framework and a narrative synthesis of emergent themes. A total of 63 publications were discussed. The majority were cell-based and animal studies, with a few key human trials conducted. There is significant promise for propolis as an effective antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent with particular promise in cardiometabolic health.

Keywords: bioactives; cardiovascular; nutrition; stroke.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / adverse effects
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antioxidants / adverse effects
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Dietary Supplements* / adverse effects
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Observational Studies as Topic
  • Propolis / adverse effects
  • Propolis / therapeutic use*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Propolis

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