Honeybee Pollen Extracts Reduce Oxidative Stress and Steatosis in Hepatic Cells
Biomedical Imaging Center, School of Medicine, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, ANID-Millennium Science Initiative Program-Millennium Nucleus for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance, Santiago 7820436, Chile
Departamento de Farmacia, Facultad de Química, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Avda Vicuña Mackenna 4860, Santiago 7820436, Chile
Departamento de Ciencias Vegetales, Facultad de Agronomía e Ingeniería Forestal, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Avda Vicuña Mackenna 4860, Santiago 7820436, Chile
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Ryszard Amarowicz and Adriano Costa de Camargo
Molecules 2021, 26(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26010006
Received: 20 November 2020 / Revised: 10 December 2020 / Accepted: 15 December 2020 / Published: 22 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 25th Anniversary of Molecules—Advances in Food Chemistry, Nutraceuticals, Functional Foods, and Dietary Bioactives: Celebrating the Lifetime Achievements of Professor Fereidoon Shahidi)
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Additional therapies using functional foods and dietary supplements have been investigated and used in clinical practice, showing them to be beneficial. Honeybee pollen from Chile has shown a large concentration of phenolic compounds and high antioxidant activity. In this work, we characterized twenty-eight bee pollen extracts from the central zone of Chile according to botanical origin, phenolic profile, quercetin concentration, and antioxidant activity (FRAP and ORAC-FL). Our results show a statistically significant positive correlation between total phenolic content and antioxidant capacity. Selected samples were evaluated on the ability to reverse the steatosis in an in vitro cell model using Hepa1-6 cells. The pollen extracts protected Hepa1-6 cells against oxidative damage triggered by 2,2′-azo-bis(2-amidinopropane) dihydrochloride (AAPH)derived free radicals. This effect can be credited to the ability of the phenolic compounds present in the extract to protect the liver cells from chemical-induced injury, which might be correlated to their free radical scavenging potential. Additionally, bee pollen extracts reduce lipid accumulation in a cellular model of steatosis. In summary, our results support the antioxidant, hepatoprotective, and anti-steatosis effect of bee pollen in an in vitro model.