How Bee Propolis Might Help Your Diabetes

Among many bee propolis benefits, there is anti hyperglycemia properties. Studies show that bee propolis can stabilize glucose/blood sugar level within our body, thus, enabling it as a possible treatments for diabetes. But before discussing the possibility of bee propolis for diabetes treatment, it is better to understand about diabetes and lethal problems which related to it.

Quick Explanation to Diabetes

Diabetes can be described as problem associated with metabolism – Metabolism itself is the manner of how our body system works with consumed foods to produce energy. All of digested foods will be converted into blood sugar or glucose. Glucose itself works as the human body's energy supply.

Right after digestive process happen, glucose goes into our circulatory system. And then it transported to each cells in where it will be utilized for producing the required energy. But, a hormone known as insulin has to be exists so that glucose can enter our cells.

Normal people will have their insulin produced in the right exact amount, thus, enabling glucose transportation from bloodstream into cells appropriately. However, people who suffer to diabetes will have these following cases:
  1. Their body does not produce enough insulin.
  2. Their body's cells (such as muscle cells, liver cells) and fats are not able to utilize insulin in a proper manner.

As the result, there are excessive amount of glucose in the body circulatory system, but cells can’t use them to produce energy.

What Makes It Lethal?

In the long run, massive quantities of glucose will harm nerve system as well as circulatory system. This key fact shows how coronary disease and stroke has been a leading factors that cause the most death in diabetes sufferers. In addition, it may definitely produces some other ailments, for example blindness, eye diseases, renal failure, digestion complications, and also oral health problems. Regarding the danger of diabetes, here are statistic which is issued by the US government:

  • Diabetes stands out as the 7th most recognized reason behind the exact fatality figure which is based on United States death records.
  • Heart problems is known as a leading reason behind fatality between diabetes patient - around 68 % die connected with heart problems and also heart stroke.
  • The entire exposure to possible fatality between diabetes sufferer is approximately two times higher compared to people without having diabetic.
The main purpose of all diabetes medications is to get a stable glucose level within a specified range. All people with diabetes are required to perform a proper diet and regular exercise. If one still can’t attain the objective thorugh proper diet and exercise, they will need to have diabetes prescription drugs.

Anti Hyperglycemia Properties of Bee Propolis

Oxidation and free radicals gives a negative impact to your diabetes problem. This is because[7]:
  1. They impair insulin action and glucose disposal in the peripheral tissues.
  2. They contribute to pancreatic dysfunction and blunt insulin secretion
  3. They result in chronic inflammation, which is an underlying pathway for development of insulin resistance, diabetes, and Cardiovascular disease.

This means, the presence of antioxidant compounds plays vital role for diabetes treatment. And without a doubt, antioxidant properties is the benefit that can be found in every sample of bee propolis from around the world, thus making it as a possible treatment for diabetes.

One of the first study that brings the benefits of bee propolis for diabetes is conducted by Kedzia in 1988. Kedzia found that concentrated extract of bee propolis is able to reduce blood pressure, produce a sedative effect, and stabilize serum glucose[1]. And up until now, there are also other researches that show the benefits of bee propolis for treating diabetes (2005 – 2012):
  • Bee propolis is able to manage blood sugar and also regulate the exact metabolic process of glucose and blood lipid. Ultimately causing lower results of lipid peroxidation and scavenge free radicals in rats with diabetes mellitus[2].
  • Powerful antioxidant properties of bee propolis are able to improve oxidative stress and hold off the prevalence of diabetic nephropathy in diabetes mellitus. Propolis extract provides promising anti-diabetic and hypo-lipidemic effects which might be mostly related to its strong antioxidant[3].
  • Bee propolis could be a potential antidiabetic agent for the treatment of insulin-insensitive diabetes[4].
  • Encapsulated propolis can regulate blood sugar, modulate lipid metabolism, and also enhance the insulin responsiveness in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus rats[5].
  • Bee propolis with a range of dosage from 100 – 300 mg/kg showed to be able to improve body and kidney weights, serum glucose level, lipid profile, MDA and renal/kidney function tests. These results may suggest a strong antioxidant effect of propolis which can ameliorate oxidative stress and delay the occurrence of diabetic nephropathy (kidney disease as a result of type 2)[6].

  1. Kedzia, B., Iwaszkiewicz, J. and Geppert, B. 1988. [Pharmacological investigations on ethanolic extract of bee propolis for diabetes. Herba Polonica, 34(4): 243-253
  2. Fuliang HU, Hepburn HR, Xuan H, Chen M, Daya S, Radloff SE. Bee propolis for diabetes, effects for blood sugar, lipid and free radicals in rats with diabetes mellitus. Pharmacol Res. 2005.
  3. El-Sayed el-SM. Potential diabetes treatment and hypo-lipidemic effects of bee propolis extract in diabetic rats. Pak J Pharm Sci. Apr 2009(2):168-74.
  4. Li Y, Chen M, Xuan H, Hu F. Effects of encapsulated propolis on blood glycemic control, lipid metabolism, and insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes mellitus rats. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012
  5. Kang LJ, Lee HB, Bae HJ, Lee SG. Propolis for diabetes. Antidiabetic effect of bee propolis: reduction of expression of glucose-6-phosphatase through inhibition of Y279 and Y216 autophosphorylation of GSK-3a/ß in HepG2 cells.Phytother Res. 2010 Oct;24(10):1554-61
  6. Abo-Salem OM, El-Edel RH, Harisa GE, El-Halawany N, Ghonaim MM. Experimental propolis for diabetes nephropathy can be prevented : Effect on metabolic disturbances and renal oxidative parameters. 2009 Apr;22(2):205-10. Pharmacology Department, Faculty of Pharmacy, Al-Azahar University, Cairo, Egypt.
  7. Paolisso and Giugliano 1996, Ceriello and Motz 2004, Paolisso et al. 1993, Evans et al. 2003, Robertson et al. 2003, Sakai et al. 2003.