Pot-Honey pp 513-523 | Cite as

Immunological Properties of Bee Products

Chapter

Abstract

Honey, bee pollen, propolis and royal jelly are among the main products obtained from bees. They contain many compounds that may fight disease, making them useful in medicine. Bee products act upon both innate and adaptive immune response. At different levels, in the human innate response, these compounds suppress DNA synthesis, decrease proinflammatory cytokine synthesis (IL-2, IL-12 and IL-4), inactivate both the classical and alternative complement pathway, and decrease superoxide anion production in rabbit neutrophils. In adaptive immune response, propolis and honey induce the increase of antibody production by plasma cells, enhance the secretion of TGF-β after the activation of T regulatory cells, and inhibit Con A-stimulated cell proliferation in mice. The honey bee products act mainly through anti-inflammatory action which can ameliorate allergic and autoimmune diseases where inflammation plays an important role. Based on this knowledge, clinical studies to evaluate such products could be designed to obtain a new class of drugs, with application to allergies and autoimmune disease treatment.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Medicine, Clinical Immunology InstituteUniversidad de Los AndesMéridaVenezuela

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