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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 4272940, 11 pages
Research Article

The Role of Propolis in Oxidative Stress and Lipid Metabolism: A Randomized Controlled Trial

1Escuela de Medicina, Universidad Católica del Maule, Talca, Chile
2Departamento de Bioquímica Clínica e Inmunohematología, Facultad Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad de Talca, Talca, Chile
3Programa de Investigación de Excelencia Interdisciplinario en Envejecimiento Saludable (PIEI-ES), Universidad de Talca, Talca, Chile
4Escuela de Tecnología Médica, Facultad Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad de Talca, Talca, Chile
5Research Department, Laboratorio Rotterdam Ltda, Talca, Chile
6Laboratorio de Investigaciones Médicas, Escuela de Medicina, Universidad de Talca, Talca, Chile
7Laboratorio de Micronutrientes, Instituto de Nutrición y Tecnología de los Alimentos (INTA), Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile

Correspondence should be addressed to Elba Leiva

Received 4 October 2016; Accepted 14 November 2016; Published 30 April 2017

Academic Editor: Andrzej K. Kuropatnicki

Copyright © 2017 Verónica Mujica et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Although there is evidence of the benefits of propolis on human health, the vast majority of studies have been conducted using animal models. The present study includes the chemical characterization and clinical evaluation of the effects of the oral administration of propolis solution on the oxidative status and modulation of lipids in a human population in Talca, Chile. Chemical characterization of propolis, total phenol, flavonoids, and total antioxidant capacity were determined by ORAC. Identification of phenols and flavonoids in propolis was assessed by HPLC-DAD. A double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial was conducted. Subjects provided informed consent form and the Bioethics Committee of the Universidad de Talca approved protocol. Eligible subjects () were randomized in two groups: propolis () and placebo (). All subjects were evaluated at 0 (baseline), 45, and 90 days. In the propolis group, we observed that increases in HDL-c went from 53.9 ± 11.9 to 65.8 ± 16.7 mg/dL () from baseline to 90 days. Compared to placebo subjects, consumption of propolis induced a net increase in GSH levels () and a decrease () in TBARS levels for the propolis group. Our findings indicate potential benefits of propolis use in human health. The use of propolis appears to have positive effects on oxidative status and improvement of HDL-c, both of which contribute to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.