Propolis and inflammation

There are numerous scientific proofs about the antiinflammatory effects of propolis, not just on inflammations caused by microorganisms but on aseptic inflammations which are not caused by infectious agens (burns from radiations and chemicals, autoimmune inflammations). Leading role in it has have the polyphenols from propolis. Researches discover more and more of the complexity of biochemic mechanisms which propolis starts in inflammatory processes. Its antioxidant activity is base of antiinflammatory effect which manifests itself in the prevention of oxidative stress, neutralization of free radicals and strengthened activity of antioxidant enzymes (1,2). Aside from this, propolis stimulates cells of immunological system for production of substances with the antiinflamatory effect (IL-10 etc.), but prevents creation of substances which support the inflammation (IL-1 beta, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-8, IL-12, TNF-alphas etc.) (3).

Strong antiinflammatory effect has been proved in the inflammation caused by radiation which was observed in decrease of free radicals and strengthened activity of antioxidant enzymes (4). Which is why the protection with propolis is especially significant in risky professions in medicine and industries because of the possible exposure to radiation.

In kidney inflammation (pyelonephritis) caused by bacterias (for example Escherichia coli), propolis diminishes the degree of inflammatory process because its antioxidant effect neutralizes free oxygen radicals that are damaging kidneys (5, 6).

Diabetes (diabetes mellitus type) increases the oxidative stress and accumulates free radicals in hearth that damage heart tissue. Antioxidants from propolis are reducing the consequences of oxidative stress (7).

Thanks to antiinflammatory and antioxidant activity, prevention with propolis prevents the damage of heart muscle caused by free radicals that are result of ishemical - reperfusional phenomenon* (the infarct, angioplastics, trombolisis, coronary by-pass) (8,9). Same mechanisms are used for interrupting deepening of violation of tissue after the blow (for example muscles) which is also result of ishemical - reperfusional phenomenon (10,11). The long-lasting use of propolis has no harmful effects on heart (12).

Substances from propolis are efficient in decreasing of inflammation and lung tissue damages (13). The effect of propolis in skin transplants is favourable thanks to not just neutralizations of free radicals and increasing activity of antioxidant enzymes, but also to reduced amount of N oxides (NO) (14). N oxide is included in process of damaging tissues in inflammatory and autoimmune illnesses (15).

It is known that the oxidative tissue damages (the brain is especially sensitive) are present in the inflammatory and autoimmune illnesses (multipla scleroses, encefalomielitis). Substances out of propolis are reducing the accumulation of free radicals caused by inflammatory processes and ease clinical symptoms. The favourable effect is also because of decreased number of substances that support inflammation (NF-KAPPA B, BUT-sintetase) (16,17,18). Propolis increasingly proves itself in therapeutic potential of preventioning of neurotoxic events caused by inflammatory processes in the brain.
Considerable improvement in patients with mild to moderate asthma, who has taken propolis, can be attributed to decreasing number of substances that support inflammation and shrink respiratory tracts and enlarging antiinflammatory substances (19,3, 20,21). It has been proved that propolis reduces the creation of cytocin which supports inflammation of colitises (22).

It is also believed that propolis prevents angiogenesis which favors inflammatory processes (23).

Antiinflammatory effect of propolis has been proved in acute and chronic inflammatory process of upper respiratory tracts, chemical violations of eye, acute and chronical arthritises and bacterial keratitis, uveitisa and rhinitis (24,25,26,27,28,29).

Ishemical - reperfusional appearance on the reduced blood flow through some organs or parts of body because of spasms or organic obstruction of arteries (ischemia), reaction of organism is huge inflow of necessary matters (the reperfusion) which causes tissue damage.


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