return icon Vietnamnet.vn

A surprise discovery: Vietnam’s propolis can help treat cancer

Dr Nguyen Thi Thanh Mai, Dean of Chemistry, at the HCMC University of Natural Sciences, has discovered that Vietnam’s propolis has very strong anti-cancer activity, especially for pancreatic cancer.

VietNamNet Bridge - Dr Nguyen Thi Thanh Mai, Dean of Chemistry, at the HCMC University of Natural Sciences, has discovered that Vietnam’s propolis has very strong anti-cancer activity, especially for pancreatic cancer.



{keywords}

Dr Nguyen Thi Thanh Mai




Biologically, propolis is a mixture of resins and secretions from the honey bee’s salivary gland, which is flexible and glutinous at high temperatures but hard and fragile at low temperatures. 

Studies have found more than 149 compounds and 22 different types of minerals in propolis. These compounds have many biological activities: antioxidant, antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer.

Most of the products made of propolis take full advantage of its antibacterial characteristics. Bees use propolis to stabilize the structure of the nest, reduce vibration, mend tears and cracks of the nest. This strengthens the defense of the nest by blocking the entrance, prevents parasites and invasive bacteria, restricts the development of bacteria, fungi, and prevents any possibility of spreading harmful disease.

The best known propolis products available in the market are from South American countries, including Green Propolis which has very strong antibacterial activity, used to prevent flu. 

Vietnam’s propolis has weaker antioxidant and antimicrobial activity. However, Vietnam’s propolis has very strong anti-cancer activity, especially pancreatic cancer. 

Mai and her co-workers found that the propolis of Apis mellifera, which is raised in Vietnam, has flavonoid and polyphenol compounds much lower than the Brazilian honey bee, by 3-10 times. 

Therefore, Vietnam’s propolis has weaker antioxidant and antimicrobial activity. However, Vietnam’s propolis has very strong anti-cancer activity, especially pancreatic cancer. 

According to Mai, her team is joining forces with the research team led by Prof Suresh Awale from Toyama University in Japan to carry out new research used specifically for pancreas cancer cells. If the experiments and treatment mechanism can be clarified, this would be used as medicine for the treatment of pancreas cancer in the future. 

Initial studies found that the propolis from the bees raised in the western part of the southern region contain much cycloartane triterpene which can poison pancreas cells.

To find out why Vietnam’s propolis contains a lot of triterpene, Mai and her team analysed the chemical elements of mango plants, which is the major source of food for honey bee farms. And they found that mango plants also contain much cycloartane triterpene and have a cytotoxic effect on pancreatic cancer cells.

With the discovery, scientists have shown that Vietnam’s propolis has a value different from Brazilian propolis and that it is necessary to carry out further research to develop medicine to support the treatment of pancreas cancer.

According to Mai, in order to obtain active ingredients such as flavonoids, polyphenols and triterpene from propolis, it is necessary to use heat extraction method or immersion in alcohol and apply certain steps to refine propolis.


RELATED NEWS

Vietnam applies gene therapy to cancer treatment

The deficiencies in cancer treatment in Vietnam


Kim Chi

MORE NEWS

Deputy PM highlights significance of int'l solidarity, cooperation at UN session

The strengthening of international solidarity and cooperation is key to addressing interlocking global challenges, affirmed Permanent Deputy PM Pham Binh Minh while addressing the general debate of the 77th Session of the UN General Assembly.

Huge potential for luxury real estate in Vietnam

The branded residence market is gaining a stronger foothold in the Vietnamese market with potential to further develop, shaping the lifestyle of the country’s elite, according to experts.

VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS SEPTEMBER 25

Action plan to promote green growth in agriculture

Vietnam’s economic growth counts on high-tech FDI

Vietnam’s economic growth has been accelerating in 2022, with experts considering high-tech foreign investments as a driver.

The “seven-star” islands in Quang Ninh

Along with crystal blue sea and beaches, the 7 Sao (seven star) islands also have caves and primeval forests.

Customs you only see in Vietnam

The travel site Culture Trip has listed a number of Vietnamese customs that often surprise foreign tourists:

Investors and buyers play waiting game in credit switch

The State Bank of Vietnam finally created extra credit room for some banks on September 7. However, the extension is deemed low and may not help real estate businesses and homebuyers access feasible capital sources for their projects.

Woodwork exports to EU, US drop as consumers cut spending

Many woodwork manufacturers complain that exports have been sliding as people in target markets have been tightening their purse strings.

Vietnam: new destination for multinationals to set up R&D centers

Vietnam wants to upgrade foreign direct investment (FDI) quality by manufacturing products with higher hi-tech and added value, and multinationals are also striving to do this after many years in Vietnam.

Huge real estate projects seek new investors

Many investors have quit large-scale investment projects capitalized at trillions of dong.

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES SEPTEMBER 24

Work starts on Tan Van-Nhon Trach section of HCM City’s Ring Road No.3

Three Vietnamese airlines named among world’s best air services

Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air, and Bamboo Airways have been honoured in different categories by Skytrax, a UK-based site which ranks airlines and airports.

Vietnam Days Abroad 2022 to take place in Austria, India, RoK

Vietnam Days Abroad 2022 will be held in Austria, India, and the Republic of Korea (RoK) on the occasion of the anniversaries of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and these countries.

UN backs Vietnam’s development priorities: Secretary-General

The United Nations (UN) will continue paying attention to and support Vietnam's development priorities towards green and sustainable orientations, and just transition, especially in terms of financial access.

Vietnam merits seat at UN Human Rights Council: Washington Times

The Washington Times has published an article in which it supports Vietnam's candidacy for the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for the 2023-2025 term.
back_to_top