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Propolis is a resin-like bee product that the bees collect from the leaves, stems and buds of the plants. It’s main function is to provide and maintain the antiseptic environment in the hive. Honey bees use propolis to protect their larvae and themselves against microorganisms (viruses, bacteria and fungus) and they use it as a source of disinfectant in the hive. It has a high antioxidant capacity due to its rich content of flavonoids and phenolic compounds.
A joint research carried out at University of Health Sciences in USA and Campinas State University in Brazil in 2007 investigated the effect of propolis extracts on proliferation of metastasis, and primary malignant tumor derived from human prostate cancer cells. The results demonstrated that propolis extracts showed a significant inhibitory effect on the spread of human prostate cancer cells (1). The scientists proposed that propolis is promising as a chemotherapeutic and a preventive agent against prostate cancer.
Ref: Li, H., Kapur, A., Yang, J.X., Srivastava, S., McLeod, D.G., Paredes-Guzman, J.F., Daugsch, A., Park, Y.K ve Rhim, J.S. 2007. Antiproliferation of human prostate cancer cells by ethanolic extracts of Brazilian propolis and its botanical origin. International Journal of Oncology 31(3): 601-6.