Propolis is a honey-related product with reported health benefits such as improved immunity, lowered blood pressure, treated allergies and skin conditions. A literature review and narrative synthesis were conducted to investigate the evidence on the reported health benefits and future direction of propolis products. Using a predefined search strategy we searched Medline (OvidSP), Embase and Central for quantitative and qualitative studies (1990–2018). Citation, reference, hand searches and expert consultation were also undertaken. Studies of randomised control trials and observational data on humans with health-related outcomes were included. Collected data were entered into NVivo software (Version 12, QRS International) and analysed using a thematic framework and a narrative synthesis of emergent themes. A total of 63 publications were discussed. The majority were cell-based and animal studies, with a few key human trials conducted. There is significant promise for propolis as an effective antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent with particular promise in cardiometabolic health.
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