Propolis in Metabolic Syndrome and Its Associated Chronic Diseases: A Narrative Review
Propolis is a resinous product collected by bees from plants to protect and maintain the homeostasis of their hives. Propolis has been used therapeutically by humans for centuries. This review article attempts to analyze the potential use of propolis in metabolic syndrome (MetS) and its associated chronic diseases. MetS and its chronic diseases were shown to be involved in at least seven out of the top 10 causes of death in 2019. Patients with MetS are also at a heightened risk of severe morbidity and mortality in the present COVID-19 pandemic. Propolis with its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties is potentially useful in ameliorating the symptoms of MetS and its associated chronic diseases. The aim of this article is to provide a comprehensive review on propolis and its therapeutic benefit in MetS and its chronic diseases, with an emphasis on in vitro and in vivo studies, as well as human clinical trials. Moreover, the molecular and biochemical mechanisms of action of propolis are also discussed. Propolis inhibits the development and manifestation of MetS and its chronic diseases by inhibiting of the expression and interaction of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) and their receptors (RAGEs), inhibiting pro-inflammatory signaling cascades, and promoting the cellular antioxidant systems.