Propolis is the resinous mixture that honey bees gather from poplar tree exudates. Propolis contains a diverse array of bioflavonoids that varies depending on its geographic location.

New Zealand propolis is known to be very high in CAPE (caffeic acid phenethyl ester), a compound being studied around the world for a number of medical conditions. New research is published regularly, some of which is included below.

Antiproliferative Activity of New Zealand Propolis and Phenolic Compounds vs Human Colorectal Adenocarcinoma Cells

Owen Catchpole, Kevin Mitchell, Stephen Bloor, Paul Davis, Amanda Suddes, Antiproliferative Activity of New Zealand Propolis and Phenolic

Compounds vs Human Colorectal Adenocarcinoma Cells, Fitoterapia (2015), doi: 10.1016/j.fitote.2015.09.004

Fitoterapia. 2015 Sep 5

New Zealand propolis is a "European" type propolis obtained by honey bees mainly from exudates of poplar. European type propolis is known to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties and this activity has been attributed to some of the main constituents such as chrysin and CAPE (caffeic acid phenethyl ester).

As part of our studies on how New Zealand propolis might benefit gastro-intestinal health, we carried out in vitro bioactivity-guided fractionation of "Bio30™" propolis using both anti-inflammatory (TNF-α, COX-1, COX-2) and anti-colon cancer (DLD-1 colon cancer cell viability) assays; and determined the phenolic compounds responsible for the activity. The New Zealand wax-free Bio30™ propolis tincture solids had very high levels of the dihydroflavonoids pinocembrin and pinobanksin-3-O-acetate, and high levels of the dimethylallyl, benzyl and 3-methyl-3-butenyl caffeates relative to CAPE.

The DLD-1 assays identified strong anti-proliferative activity associated with these components as well chrysin, galangin and CAPE and a number of lesser known or lower concentration compounds including benzyl ferulate, benzyl isoferulate, pinostrobin, 5-phenylpenta-2,4-dienoic acid and tectochrysin. The phenolic compounds pinocembrin, pinobanksin-3-O-acetate, tectochrysin, dimethylallyl caffeate, 3-methyl-3-butenyl caffeate, benzyl ferulate and benzyl isoferulate also showed good broad spectrum activity in anti-proliferative assays against three other gastro-intestinal cancer cell lines; HCT-116 colon carcinoma, KYSE-30 oesophageal squamous cancer, and NCI-N87 gastric carcinoma.

Activity is also observed in anti-inflammatory assays although it appears to be limited to one of the first cytokines in the inflammatory cascade, TNF-α.