Honey bee products and their anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties

There are thousands of plant species visited by bees: some give rise to unifloral honeys due to the presence of plants over vast areas

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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Honey bee products and their anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties

There are thousands of plant species visited by bees: some give rise to unifloral honeys due to the presence of plants over vast areas, others combine to produce the millefiori. In unifloral honeys there is however a variable percentage of nectars from different plants, because it is impossible for bees to take nectar from a single type of plant.

Depending on the flowering from which the nectar is collected, the color and consistency of the honey vary, but above all its flavor and organoleptic properties, leading to differences in smell and taste: from the delicate aroma of acacia honey, clear and liquid, with a resinous scent of linden, with a lactic taste of fir and eucalyptus honeydew.

We go from greenish reflections, to the bitter taste of that of chestnut, to the more gentle and floral one of that of citrus or asphodel. Honey Bee Products: Preclinical and Clinical Studies of Their Anti-inflammatory and Immunomodulatory Properties, study published on the Frontiers in nutrition, explained: "Inflammation is a defense process triggered when the body faces assaults from pathogens, toxic substances, microbial infections, or when tissue is damaged.

Immune and inflammatory disorders are common pathogenic pathways that lead to the progress of various chronic diseases, such as cancer and diabetes The overproduction of cytokines, such as interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor-α, is an essential parameter in the clinical diagnosis of auto-inflammatory diseases.

In this review, the effects of bee products have on inflammatory and autoimmune diseases are discussed with respect to the current literature. Bee products, including g propolis, royal jelly, honey, bee venom, and bee pollen, or their bioactive chemical constituents like polyphenols, demonstrate interesting therapeutic potential in the regulation of inflammatory mediator production as per the increase of TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6 , Il-2, and Il-7, and the decrease of reactive oxygen species (ROS) production.

Additionally, improvement in the immune response via activation of B and T lymphocyte cells, both in in vitro, in vivo and in clinical studies was reported. Thus, the biological properties of bee products as anti-inflammatory, immune protective, antioxidant, anti-apoptotic, and antimicrobial agents have prompted further clinical investigation."