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Review

Propolis, Bee Honey, and Their Components Protect against Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): A Review of In Silico, In Vitro, and Clinical Studies

1
Department of Mental Disorder Research, National Institute of Neuroscience, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Tokyo 187-0031, Japan
2
Department of Psychiatric Nursing and Mental Health, Faculty of Nursing, Alexandria University, Alexandria 21527, Egypt
3
Department of Psychiatry, Teikyo University School of Medicine, Tokyo 173-8605, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Nada Orsolic
Molecules 2021, 26(5), 1232; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26051232
Received: 5 January 2021 / Revised: 19 February 2021 / Accepted: 20 February 2021 / Published: 25 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bee Products: Recent Progress in Health Benefits Studies)
Despite the virulence and high fatality of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), no specific antiviral treatment exists until the current moment. Natural agents with immune-promoting potentials such as bee products are being explored as possible treatments. Bee honey and propolis are rich in bioactive compounds that express strong antimicrobial, bactericidal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, and antioxidant activities. This review examined the literature for the anti-COVID-19 effects of bee honey and propolis, with the aim of optimizing the use of these handy products as prophylactic or adjuvant treatments for people infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). Molecular simulations show that flavonoids in propolis and honey (e.g., rutin, naringin, caffeic acid phenyl ester, luteolin, and artepillin C) may inhibit viral spike fusion in host cells, viral-host interactions that trigger the cytokine storm, and viral replication. Similar to the potent antiviral drug remdesivir, rutin, propolis ethanolic extract, and propolis liposomes inhibited non-structural proteins of SARS-CoV-2 in vitro, and these compounds along with naringin inhibited SARS-CoV-2 infection in Vero E6 cells. Propolis extracts delivered by nanocarriers exhibit better antiviral effects against SARS-CoV-2 than ethanolic extracts. In line, hospitalized COVID-19 patients receiving green Brazilian propolis or a combination of honey and Nigella sativa exhibited earlier viral clearance, symptom recovery, discharge from the hospital as well as less mortality than counterparts receiving standard care alone. Thus, the use of bee products as an adjuvant treatment for COVID-19 may produce beneficial effects. Implications for treatment outcomes and issues to be considered in future studies are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: Coronaviruses; coronavirus disease 2019; COVID -19; severe acute respiratory syndrome; SARS-CoV-2; cytokine storm; propolis; bee honey; bee products; flavonoids; ACE-II; non-structural proteins; spike glycoprotein; main protease; in silico; in vitro; randomized clinical trials; molecular docking/biochemical modeling Coronaviruses; coronavirus disease 2019; COVID -19; severe acute respiratory syndrome; SARS-CoV-2; cytokine storm; propolis; bee honey; bee products; flavonoids; ACE-II; non-structural proteins; spike glycoprotein; main protease; in silico; in vitro; randomized clinical trials; molecular docking/biochemical modeling
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ali, A.M.; Kunugi, H. Propolis, Bee Honey, and Their Components Protect against Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): A Review of In Silico, In Vitro, and Clinical Studies. Molecules 2021, 26, 1232. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26051232

AMA Style

Ali AM, Kunugi H. Propolis, Bee Honey, and Their Components Protect against Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): A Review of In Silico, In Vitro, and Clinical Studies. Molecules. 2021; 26(5):1232. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26051232

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ali, Amira M., and Hiroshi Kunugi. 2021. "Propolis, Bee Honey, and Their Components Protect against Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): A Review of In Silico, In Vitro, and Clinical Studies" Molecules 26, no. 5: 1232. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26051232

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