Special Issue "Bee Products as a Source of Natural Antioxidants"

A special issue of Antioxidants (ISSN 2076-3921). This special issue belongs to the section "Natural and Synthetic Antioxidants".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2021) | Viewed by 28283

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Miguel Vilas-Boas
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Instituto Politecnico de Braganca, Braganca, Portugal
Interests: beekeeping technology; including honeybee ecology; honeybee health; quality of bee products; organic beeckeeping; chemistry of natural products

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Honeybees are recognized worldwide for their contributions to preserving the ecosystem due to their ability to pollinate, but mostly for their talent at producing honey, a naturally sweet product that has been extensively investigated due to its nutraceutical properties. The ability of these insects to gather particular substances from nature and transform it them into special products is highly sophisticated. The pollen grains collected from flowers are transformed into beebread, a rich source of proteins and amino acids with tremendous bioactive potential. The resins that gather on plants become propolis, a selective blend of phenolic substance with unrevealed applications in the food and pharmaceutical industry and in human and veterinary medicine. Bee products include royal jelly, beeswax, and apitoxin, which have extensive uses and applications.

We invite you to submit your latest research findings or reviews to this Special Issue, which will bring together current research concerning the bioactivity of bee products. We welcome submissions on the assessment of antioxidants in bee products; on their bioactivity towards potential applications in cosmetics, food, or the pharmaceutical industry; and on their applicaions in human and veterinary medicine. Papers on analytical methods and new technical approaches to understanding the role of antioxidants in bee products are also welcome. Studies on the development of new products from honeybees and other bees, based on the presence of antioxidants, will be highly appreciate. We believe that this Special Issue, “Bee Products as a Source of Natural Antioxidants”, will highlight the most recent advances on all aspects of antioxidants in bee products.

Prof. Miguel Vilas-Boas
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Antioxidants is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Bee products
  • Bioactivity
  • Honeybee

Published Papers (16 papers)

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Research

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Article
Modeling of Antioxidant Activity, Polyphenols and Macronutrients Content of Bee Pollen Applying Solid-State 13C NMR Spectra
Antioxidants 2021, 10(7), 1123; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox10071123 - 14 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 782
Abstract
An application of solid 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy for the determination of macronutrients, total polyphenols content, antioxidant activity, N C S elements, and pH in commercially available bee pollens is reported herein. Solid-state 13C NMR spectra were recorded for [...] Read more.
An application of solid 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy for the determination of macronutrients, total polyphenols content, antioxidant activity, N C S elements, and pH in commercially available bee pollens is reported herein. Solid-state 13C NMR spectra were recorded for homogenized pollen granules without chemical treatment or dissolution of samples. By combining spectral data with the results of reference analyses, partial least squares models were constructed and validated separately for each of the studied parameters. To characterize and compare the models’ quality, the relative standard errors of prediction (RSEP) were calculated for calibration and validation sets. In the case of the analysis of protein, fat and reducing sugars, these errors were in the 1.8–2.5% range. Modeling the elemental composition of bee pollen on the basis of 13C NMR spectra resulted in RSEPcal/RSEPval values of 0.3/0.6% for the sum of NHCS elements, 0.3/0.4% for C, 1.8/1.9% for N, and 4.2/6.1% for S quantification. Analyses of total phenolics and ABTS antioxidant activity resulted in RSEP values in the 2.7–3.5% and 2.8–3.8% ranges, respectively, whereas they were 1.4–2.1% for pH. The obtained results demonstrate the usefulness of 13C solid-state NMR spectroscopy for direct determination of various important physiochemical parameters of bee pollen. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bee Products as a Source of Natural Antioxidants)
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Article
Optimisation of Bee Pollen Extraction to Maximise Extractable Antioxidant Constituents
Antioxidants 2021, 10(7), 1113; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox10071113 - 12 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1419
Abstract
This paper presents the findings of a comprehensive review on common bee pollen processing methods which can impact extraction efficiency and lead to differences in measured total phenolic content (TPC) and radical scavenging activity based on 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and ferric reducing antioxidant power [...] Read more.
This paper presents the findings of a comprehensive review on common bee pollen processing methods which can impact extraction efficiency and lead to differences in measured total phenolic content (TPC) and radical scavenging activity based on 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) data. This hampers the comparative analysis of bee pollen from different floral sources and geographical locations. Based on the review, an in-depth investigation was carried out to identify the most efficient process to maximise the extraction of components for measurement of TPC, DPPH and FRAP antioxidant activity for two bee pollen samples from western Australia (Jarrah and Marri pollen). Optimisation by Design of Experiment with Multilevel Factorial Analysis (Categorical) modelling was performed. The independent variables included pollen pulverisation, the extraction solvent (70% aqueous ethanol, ethanol, methanol and water) and the extraction process (agitation, maceration, reflux and sonication). The data demonstrate that non-pulverised bee pollen extracted with 70% aqueous ethanol using the agitation extraction method constitute the optimal conditions to maximise the extraction of phenolics and antioxidant principles in these bee pollen samples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bee Products as a Source of Natural Antioxidants)
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Article
Phytochemical Profile and Antioxidant Properties of Bee-Collected Artichoke (Cynara scolymus) Pollen
Antioxidants 2021, 10(7), 1091; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox10071091 - 07 Jul 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1001
Abstract
The current study intended to determine, for the first time, phenolic and fatty acid profile, antioxidant and certain nutritional properties of monofloral bee-collected artichoke (Cynara scolymus) pollen. Based on UHPLC-DAD MS-MS analysis the main phenolics in extractable fraction were different flavonol [...] Read more.
The current study intended to determine, for the first time, phenolic and fatty acid profile, antioxidant and certain nutritional properties of monofloral bee-collected artichoke (Cynara scolymus) pollen. Based on UHPLC-DAD MS-MS analysis the main phenolics in extractable fraction were different flavonol glycosides (in particular Isorhamnetin-3-O-glucoside, 49.2 mg/kg of dry weight) while ferulic acid was the predominant phenolic compound (39.4 mg/kg of dry weight) in the alkaline hydrolyzable fraction. Among fatty acids (FAs), results of GC-FID analysis revealed prevalence of unsaturated FAs with cis-5,8,11,14,17-eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and oleic acid as the main ones- 28.4% and 24.9%, respectively. Based on the FA composition, nutritional analysis proved that artichoke bee-collected pollen had balanced ω-6 and ω-3 FAs content. To determine the antioxidant properties of pollen, five different assays were applied. It was proved that bioactive compounds in artichoke pollen possessed significant ability to quench DPPH radical as well as ABTS radical cation. In addition, in vitro phosphomolybdenum assay confirmed that artichoke pollen is an excellent source of different antioxidants. Pollen extracts exhibited moderate ferric reducing power as well as low ferrous chelating ability. Some further antioxidant studies (preferably in vivo) should be performed to confirm the observed results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bee Products as a Source of Natural Antioxidants)
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Article
Nonaqueous Polyethylene Glycol as a Safer Alternative to Ethanolic Propolis Extracts with Comparable Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Activity
Antioxidants 2021, 10(6), 978; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox10060978 - 18 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1152
Abstract
We compared the chemical composition, antioxidant and antimicrobial activity of two propolis extracts: one obtained with nonaqueous polyethylene glycol, PEG 400 (PgEP), and the other obtained with ethanol (EEP). We analyzed the total phenolic content (TPC) and the concentrations of ten markers [...] Read more.
We compared the chemical composition, antioxidant and antimicrobial activity of two propolis extracts: one obtained with nonaqueous polyethylene glycol, PEG 400 (PgEP), and the other obtained with ethanol (EEP). We analyzed the total phenolic content (TPC) and the concentrations of ten markers of propolis antioxidant activity with HPLC-UV: caffeic acid, p-coumaric acid, trans-ferulic acid, trans-cinnamic acid, kaempferol, apigenin, pinocembrin, chrysin, CAPE, and galangin. Antioxidant activity was tested using DPPH and FRAP assay, and antimicrobial activity was assessed through minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) and minimum biofilm eradication concentration (MBEC) determination. Maceration gave the yield of propolis of 25.2 ± 0.08% in EEP, and 21.5 ± 0.24% in PgEP. All ten markers of antioxidant activity were found in both extracts, with all marker concentrations, except kaempferol, higher in EEP. There was no significant difference between the TPC and antioxidant activity of the PgEP and the EEP extract; TPC of PgEP was 16.78 ± 0.23 mg/mL, while EEP had TPC of 15.92 ± 0.78 mg/mL. Both extracts had antimicrobial activity against most investigated pathogens and Staphylococcus aureus, Acinetobacter baumannii, and Escherichia coli biofilms. EEP was more effective against all tested susceptible pathogens, except E. coli, possibly due to higher content of kaempferol in PgEP relative to other polyphenols. Nonaqueous PEG 400 could be used for propolis extraction. It gives extracts with comparable concentrations of antioxidants and has a good antioxidant and antimicrobial activity. It is a safe excipient, convenient for pediatric and veterinary formulations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bee Products as a Source of Natural Antioxidants)
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Article
Assessment of Bioactive Compounds under Simulated Gastrointestinal Digestion of Bee Pollen and Bee Bread: Bioaccessibility and Antioxidant Activity
Antioxidants 2021, 10(5), 651; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox10050651 - 23 Apr 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2182
Abstract
Bee pollen and bee bread have always been regarded as excellent natural resources for application in food and pharmaceutical fields due to their rich nutrient content and diversity of bioactive compounds with health-improving properties. Extensive studies on both bee products as ingredients for [...] Read more.
Bee pollen and bee bread have always been regarded as excellent natural resources for application in food and pharmaceutical fields due to their rich nutrient content and diversity of bioactive compounds with health-improving properties. Extensive studies on both bee products as ingredients for a healthy diet were reported, although the data concerning their metabolization on the gastrointestinal tract is quite limited. Here, we report, at each digestive stage, the bioactive profile for both bee products, their bioaccessibility levels and the antioxidant activity evaluation. The findings indicated that the average bioaccessibility level of total phenolic and total flavonoid content for bee pollen was 31% and 25%, respectively, while it was 38% and 35% for bee bread. This was reflected in a decrease of their antioxidant capacity at the end of in vitro gastrointestinal digestion, both in free radicals scavenging capacity and in reducing power. Moreover, within the 35 phytochemicals identified, the most affected by gastrointestinal digestion were phenylamides, with a complete digestibility at the end of the intestinal phase. Overall, our results highlight that bioactive compounds in both raw products do not reflect the real amount absorbed in the intestine, being bee bread more accessible in bioactive content than bee pollen. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bee Products as a Source of Natural Antioxidants)
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Article
Antioxidant Activity of Frozen and Freeze-Dried Drone Brood Homogenate Regarding the Stage of Larval Development
Antioxidants 2021, 10(5), 639; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox10050639 - 22 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1079
Abstract
Drone brood is a little-known and poorly studied bee product used and valued in the treatment of many diseases, including male infertility and women’s menopausal disorders. The aim of this study was to evaluate the antioxidant activity of drone brood depending on the [...] Read more.
Drone brood is a little-known and poorly studied bee product used and valued in the treatment of many diseases, including male infertility and women’s menopausal disorders. The aim of this study was to evaluate the antioxidant activity of drone brood depending on the stage of larval development and the method of preservation. Aqueous and ethanolic homogenate extracts of drone brood were assayed for antioxidant activity (with the DPPH, FRAP, and ABTS methods), polyphenol, and flavonoid content. The extracts’ polyphenolic profiles were compared by the HPTLC method. Drone brood has been shown to be more active in the earlier stages of development (between days 7–11), with a decline in antioxidant activity in the later period (by the 14th day). The freeze-drying process did not cause significant changes in the antioxidant activity of brood preparations converted to dry mass. Based on the higher activity of the aqueous compared to 70% ethanolic extracts, it was shown that the dominant fraction of brood consisted of hydrophilic antioxidants. The results obtained with different methods were highly correlated, excluding those from the ABTS assay. The HPTLC method showed that the polyphenol fraction of drone brood homogenate consisted mainly of phenolic acids and flavonoids. It was shown that drone brood has valuable antioxidant properties that can be compared with royal jelly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bee Products as a Source of Natural Antioxidants)
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Article
The Bioactive Compound Contents and Potential Protective Effects of Royal Jelly Protein Hydrolysates against DNA Oxidative Damage and LDL Oxidation
Antioxidants 2021, 10(4), 580; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox10040580 - 09 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 700
Abstract
In this study, the inhibition of DNA oxidative damage and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation of royal jelly protein (RJP) hydrolysates obtained from two commercial proteases were investigated. The results showed that the inhibition of DNA oxidative damage induced by the Fenton reaction, RJP, [...] Read more.
In this study, the inhibition of DNA oxidative damage and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation of royal jelly protein (RJP) hydrolysates obtained from two commercial proteases were investigated. The results showed that the inhibition of DNA oxidative damage induced by the Fenton reaction, RJP, RJPs hydrolyzed by alcalase (RJP-A), RJPs hydrolyzed by flavourzyme (RPJ-F) and RJP two-stage hydrolysates (RPJ-AF) all had the effect of inhibiting deoxyribose oxidative damage. The inhibition effect of RJP, RJP-A, RJP-F and RJP-AF (1.0 mg/mL) were 47.06%, 33.70%, 24.19% and 43.09%, respectively. In addition, studies have also found that both RJP and RJP hydrolysates can reduce the production of 8-OH-2′-dG and the order of its inhibitory ability is RJP-AF ≒ RJP-A > RJP-F > RJP. The inhibition of DNA damage induced by bleomycin-Fe3+/ascorbic acid (Asc) with the addition of RJP, RJP-A, RPJ-F and RPJ-AF were 17.16%, 30.88%, 25.00% and 37.25%, respectively. The results of LDL oxidation inhibition showed that RJP-AF (1 mg/mL) not only had the most effective inhibitory Cu2+-induced LDL oxidation to produce a thiobarbituric acid reactive substance (TBARS) but also extended the lag time of conjugated diene formation to 300 min, which was 3.3 times that of the control group. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bee Products as a Source of Natural Antioxidants)
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Article
Botanic Origin of Propolis Extract Powder Drives Contrasted Impact on Diabesity in High-Fat-Fed Mice
Antioxidants 2021, 10(3), 411; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox10030411 - 09 Mar 2021
Viewed by 863
Abstract
Propolis extracts are considered as nutraceutical products with potentialities towards obesity and comorbidities management. Nevertheless, propolis extracts composition is highly variable and depends on the botanic origin of plants used by the bees to produce propolis. This study aims to evaluate the differential [...] Read more.
Propolis extracts are considered as nutraceutical products with potentialities towards obesity and comorbidities management. Nevertheless, propolis extracts composition is highly variable and depends on the botanic origin of plants used by the bees to produce propolis. This study aims to evaluate the differential effect of poplar propolis extract powder (PPEP), Baccharis propolis extract powder (BPEP), and/ or Dalbergia propolis extract powder (DPEP) on obesity and glucose homeostasis in high-fat-fed mice. PPEP supplementation reduced high-fat (HF)-mediated body weight gain, adiposity index, and improved glucose homeostasis in male C57Bl/6J mice that were submitted to a high-fat diet for 12 weeks, whereas BPEP, DPEP, or a mix of the three PEPs did not modify those parameters. Adipose tissue (AT) gene expression profiling highlighted an induction of mRNA related to lipid catabolism and an inhibition of mRNA coding for inflammatory markers. Several Nrf2 target genes, coding for antioxidant enzymes, were induced in AT under PPEP effect, but not by other PEP. Interestingly, representative PPEP polyphenols mediated the induction of Nrf2 target genes cell-autonomously in adipocytes, suggesting that this induction may be related to the specific polyphenol content of PPEP. Whereas PPEP supplementation has demonstrated a clear potential to blunt the onset of obesity and associated comorbidities, other PEPs (from Baccharis and Dalbergia) were inefficient to support their role in preventive nutrition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bee Products as a Source of Natural Antioxidants)
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Article
Active Antioxidant Phenolics from Brazilian Red Propolis: An Optimization Study for Their Recovery and Identification by LC-ESI-QTOF-MS/MS
Antioxidants 2021, 10(2), 297; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox10020297 - 16 Feb 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1582
Abstract
Brazilian red propolis (BRP) is a natural product widely known for its phenolic composition and strong antioxidant properties. In this study, we used the Box–Behnken Design (BBD) with Surface Response Methodology to optimize the extraction conditions for total phenolic content (TPC) and Trolox [...] Read more.
Brazilian red propolis (BRP) is a natural product widely known for its phenolic composition and strong antioxidant properties. In this study, we used the Box–Behnken Design (BBD) with Surface Response Methodology to optimize the extraction conditions for total phenolic content (TPC) and Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity(TEAC) of bioactive phenolics from BRP. The extraction time, ethanol/water concentration and temperature, were tested. All variables had significant effects (p  ≤ 0.05), with a desirability coefficient of 0.88. Under optimized conditions (90% ethanol at 80 °C for 30 min), the BRP extract showed a TPC of 129.00 ± 2.16 mg GAE/g and a TEAC of 3471.76 ± 53.86 µmol TE/g. Moreover, FRAP and ORAC assays revealed that the optimized BRP extract had 1472.86 ± 72.37 µmol Fe2+/g and 4339.61 ± 114.65 µmol TE/gof dry weight, respectively. Thirty-two phenolic compounds were tentatively identified by LC-QTOF-ESI-MS/MS, of which thirteen were found for the first time in BRP, including four flavones, one flavanol, two flavanones, two chalcones, and four isoflavonoids. Thus, our results highlight the importance of BRP as a source of a wide variety of phenolic compounds with significant antioxidant properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bee Products as a Source of Natural Antioxidants)
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Article
Seasonality Modulates the Cellular Antioxidant Activity and Antiproliferative Effect of Sonoran Desert Propolis
Antioxidants 2020, 9(12), 1294; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox9121294 - 17 Dec 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1609
Abstract
The main chemical composition and pharmacological potential of propolis from arid and semi-arid regions of the Sonoran Desert have been previously reported. Caborca propolis (CP), from an arid zone of the Sonoran Desert, has shown a polyphenolic profile that suggests a mixed plant [...] Read more.
The main chemical composition and pharmacological potential of propolis from arid and semi-arid regions of the Sonoran Desert have been previously reported. Caborca propolis (CP), from an arid zone of the Sonoran Desert, has shown a polyphenolic profile that suggests a mixed plant origin, presenting poplar-type markers, as well as a 6-methoxylated flavonoid, xanthomicrol, characteristic of Asteraceae plants. In addition, CP has shown significant antioxidant properties and antiproliferative activity on cancer cells. In this study, we analyzed the influence of collection time on the chemical constitution, antiproliferative activity and protective capacity of CP against reactive oxygen species (ROS), by using HPLC–UV–diode array detection (DAD) analysis, 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-Dimethyltetrazoliumbromide (MTT) and 2,2-diphenyl-1-picryl-hydrazyl (DPPH) assays, as well as cellular antioxidant activity (CAA) assay on murine B-cell lymphoma M12.C3.F6 cells. HPLC–UV–DAD analyses of seasonally collected CP (one-year period) revealed quantitative differences among the most abundant CP constituents: pinocembrin, galangin, chrysin and pinobanksin-3-O-acetate. Though all seasonal samples of CP induced an antiproliferative effect in M12.C3.F6 cells, CP from autumn showed the highest inhibitory activity (IC50: 5.9 ± 0.6 µg/mL). The DPPH assay pointed out that CP collected in autumn presented the highest antioxidant potential (IC50: 58.8 ± 6.7 µg/mL), followed by winter (65.7 ± 12.2 µg/mL) and spring (67.0 ± 7.5 µg/mL); meanwhile, the summer sample showed a lesser antioxidant capacity (IC50: 98.7 ± 2.5 µg/mL). The CAA assay demonstrated that CP induced a significant protective effect against ROS production elicited by H2O2 in M12.C3.F6 cells. Pretreatment of M12.C3.F6 cells with CP from spring and autumn (25 and 50 µg/mL for 1 h) showed the highest reduction in intracellular ROS induced by H2O2 (1 and 5 mM). These results indicate that the antiproliferative effect and cellular antioxidant activity of CP are modulated by quantitative fluctuations in its polyphenolic profile due to its collection time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bee Products as a Source of Natural Antioxidants)
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Article
Mediterranean Propolis from the Adriatic Sea Islands as a Source of Natural Antioxidants: Comprehensive Chemical Biodiversity Determined by GC-MS, FTIR-ATR, UHPLC-DAD-QqTOF-MS, DPPH and FRAP Assay
Antioxidants 2020, 9(4), 337; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox9040337 - 20 Apr 2020
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 2496
Abstract
There is no systematic report about propolis chemical biodiversity from the Adriatic Sea islands affecting its antioxidant capacity. Therefore, the samples from the islands Krk, Rab, Pag, Biševo and Korčula were collected. Comprehensive methods were used to unlock their chemical biodiversity: headspace solid-phase [...] Read more.
There is no systematic report about propolis chemical biodiversity from the Adriatic Sea islands affecting its antioxidant capacity. Therefore, the samples from the islands Krk, Rab, Pag, Biševo and Korčula were collected. Comprehensive methods were used to unlock their chemical biodiversity: headspace solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME) and hydrodistillation (HD) followed by gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (GC-MS); Fourier transform mid-infrared spectroscopy (FT-MIR); ultra high performance liquid chromatography with diode array detector and quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UHPLC-DAD-QqTOF-MS) and DPPH and FRAP assay. The volatiles variability enabled differentiation of the samples in 2 groups of Mediterranean propolis: non-poplar type (dominated by α-pinene) and polar type (characterized by cadinane type sesquiterpenes). Spectral variations (FT-MIR) associated with phenolics and other balsam-related components were significant among the samples. The UHPLC profiles allowed to track compounds related to the different botanical sources such as poplar (pinobanksin esters, esters and glycerides of phenolic acids, including prenyl derivatives), coniferous trees (labdane, abietane diterpenes) and Cistus spp. (clerodane and labdane diterpenes, methylated myricetin derivatives). The antioxidant potential determined by DPPH ranged 2.6–81.6 mg GAE/g and in FRAP assay 0.1–0.8 mmol Fe2+/g. The highest activity was observed for the samples of Populus spp. origin. The antioxidant potential and phenolic/flavonoid content was positively, significantly correlated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bee Products as a Source of Natural Antioxidants)
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Article
Anti-Inflammatory and Antioxidant Activity of Pollen Extract Collected by Scaptotrigona affinis postica: in silico, in vitro, and in vivo Studies
Antioxidants 2020, 9(2), 103; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox9020103 - 24 Jan 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2233
Abstract
Bees are of great importance for plant diversity for being an important pollinating agents. Stingless bees such as Scaptotrigona affinis postica, is cultivated largely due to the products offered by it. Pollen is one of these products, which has been highlighted for [...] Read more.
Bees are of great importance for plant diversity for being an important pollinating agents. Stingless bees such as Scaptotrigona affinis postica, is cultivated largely due to the products offered by it. Pollen is one of these products, which has been highlighted for exhibit various therapeutic properties. Considering the bioactivity of this natural product, this study investigated the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antinociceptive activities, and elucidated the chemical composition of pollen collected extract by Scaptotrigona affinis postica. Using in vitro assays, the antioxidant potential and inhibitory activity against the COX enzyme from pollen extract was evaluated. Additionally, tests were performed to measure the anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive activities in animal models. In our results, we found that pollen extract showed antioxidant effects and inhibitory activity against the COX enzyme. The in vivo assays showed that the extract acts on the nervous system in local and systemic levels and that the anti-inflammatory activity is due the prostanoids reducing. Chemical analyses recognize 10 molecules in the extract belonging to the polyphenol and flavonoids classes and the computational study suggests that is responsible for the observed results. Thus, it is reported for the first time the biological potential of S. aff. postica pollen extract and we conclude that this bee product can be considered as one source of potential new drugs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bee Products as a Source of Natural Antioxidants)
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Review

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Review
Monofloral Honeys as a Potential Source of Natural Antioxidants, Minerals and Medicine
Antioxidants 2021, 10(7), 1023; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox10071023 - 25 Jun 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2098
Abstract
Background: vegetative diversity is based on different climate and geographical origins. In terms of beekeeping, herbal diversity is strongly correlated to the production of a wide variety of honey. Therefore, based on the existing plant diversity in each country, multiple honey varieties are [...] Read more.
Background: vegetative diversity is based on different climate and geographical origins. In terms of beekeeping, herbal diversity is strongly correlated to the production of a wide variety of honey. Therefore, based on the existing plant diversity in each country, multiple honey varieties are produced with different health characteristics. While beekeeping potential and consumption preferences are reflected in products’ variety, this leads to an increase in the region’s economy and extensive export. In the last years, monofloral honey has gained interest from consumers and especially in the medicinal field due to the presence of phytochemicals which are directly linked to health benefits, wound healing, antioxidant, anticancer and anti-inflammatory activities. Scope and approach: this review aims to highlight the physicochemical properties, mineral profiles and antioxidant activities of selected monofloral honeys based on their botanical and geographical origin. Moreover, this review focuses on the intercorrelation between monofloral honey’s antioxidant compounds and in vitro and in vivo activities, focusing on the apoptosis and cell proliferation inhibition in various cell lines, with a final usage of honey as a potential therapeutic product in the fight towards reducing tumor growth. Key findings and conclusions: multiple studies have demonstrated that monofloral honeys have different physicochemical structures and bioactive compounds. Useful chemical markers to distinguish between monofloral honeys were evidenced, such as: 2-methoxybenzoic acid and trimethoxybenzoic acid are distinctive to Manuka honey while 4-methoxyphenylacetic acid is characteristic to Kanuka honey. Furthermore, resveratrol, epigallocatechin and pinostrobin are markers distinct to Sage honey, whereas carvacrol and thymol are found in Ziziphus honey. Due to their polyphenolic profile, monofloral honeys have significant antioxidant activity, as well as antidiabetic, antimicrobial and anticancer activities. It was demonstrated that Pine honey decreased the MDA and TBARS levels in liver, kidney, heart and brain tissues, whereas Malicia honey reduced the low-density lipoprotein level. Consumption of Clover, Acacia and Gelam honeys reduced the weight and adiposity, as well as trygliceride levels. Furthermore, the antiproliferative effect of chrysin, a natural flavone in Acacia honey, was demonstrated in human (A375) and murine (B16-F1) melanoma cell lines, whereas caffeic acid, a phenolic compound found in Kelulut honey, proves to be significant candidate in the chemoprevention of colon cancer. Based on these features, the use of hiney in the medicinal field (apitherapy), and the widespread usage of natural product consumption, is gaining interest by each year. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bee Products as a Source of Natural Antioxidants)
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Review
The Sardinian Bitter Honey: From Ancient Healing Use to Recent Findings
Antioxidants 2021, 10(4), 506; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox10040506 - 24 Mar 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1283
Abstract
Sardinian bitter honey, obtained from the autumnal flowering of the strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo L.), has an old fame and tradition in popular use, especially as a medicine. Its knowledge dates back over 2000 years, starting from the Greeks and Romans to [...] Read more.
Sardinian bitter honey, obtained from the autumnal flowering of the strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo L.), has an old fame and tradition in popular use, especially as a medicine. Its knowledge dates back over 2000 years, starting from the Greeks and Romans to the present day. There are many literary references from illustrious personalities of the past such as Cicero, Horace, Virgil, and Dioscorides, until recent times, associated with the peculiar anomaly of its taste, which lends itself to literary and poetic metaphors. The curiosity of its bitter taste is also what led to the first studies starting in the late 1800s, aimed to reveal its origin. Other studies on its botanical source and characteristics have been carried out over time, up to the most recent investigations, which have confirmed its potential for use in the medical field, thanks to its antioxidant, antiradical, and cancer-preventing properties. These benefits have been associated with its phenolic component and in particular with the prevailing phenolic acid (homogentisic acid). Later, other strawberry tree honeys from the Mediterranean area have also shown the same properties. However, Sardinian bitter honey maintains its geographical and historical identity, which is recognized by other Mediterranean cultures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bee Products as a Source of Natural Antioxidants)
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Review
Improving Reproductive Performance and Health of Mammals Using Honeybee Products
Antioxidants 2021, 10(3), 336; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox10030336 - 24 Feb 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1167
Abstract
Honeybee products have positive effects on the reproductive performance of mammals. Many honeybee product constituents are biologically active, with antioxidant, antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, antifungal, wound-healing, and cardio-protective properties. Honeybee products also improve male and female fertility rates by enhancing gamete cryopreservation, in [...] Read more.
Honeybee products have positive effects on the reproductive performance of mammals. Many honeybee product constituents are biologically active, with antioxidant, antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, antifungal, wound-healing, and cardio-protective properties. Honeybee products also improve male and female fertility rates by enhancing gamete cryopreservation, in vitro maturation and fertilization, and embryo development. Previously published studies confirmed their efficacy for alleviating reproductive toxicity caused by contaminants and lifestyle habits that impair overall health and well-being. However, high-dose oral administration of honeybee products may adversely affect the reproductive system, and unfavorable effects were alleviated by treatment cessation. For this reason, this review proposes that bioactive components from bee products can be used as a strategy for improving the reproductive performance and health of mammals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bee Products as a Source of Natural Antioxidants)
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Review
Antioxidant Activity in Bee Products: A Review
Antioxidants 2021, 10(1), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox10010071 - 07 Jan 2021
Cited by 51 | Viewed by 5083
Abstract
Bee products have been used since ancient times both for their nutritional value and for a broad spectrum of therapeutic purposes. They are deemed to be a potential source of natural antioxidants that can counteract the effects of oxidative stress underlying the pathogenesis [...] Read more.
Bee products have been used since ancient times both for their nutritional value and for a broad spectrum of therapeutic purposes. They are deemed to be a potential source of natural antioxidants that can counteract the effects of oxidative stress underlying the pathogenesis of many diseases. In view of the growing interest in using bioactive substances from natural sources to promote health and reduce the risk of developing certain illnesses, this review aims to update the current state of knowledge on the antioxidant capacity of bee products such as honey, pollen, propolis, beeswax, royal jelly and bee venom, and on the analytical methods used. The complex, variable composition of these products and the multitude of analytical methods used to study their antioxidant activities are responsible for the wide range of results reported by a plethora of available studies. This suggests the need to establish standardized methods to more efficiently evaluate the intrinsic antioxidant characteristics of these products and make the data obtained more comparable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bee Products as a Source of Natural Antioxidants)
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