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Will bee Propolis which is known as a Natural Antibiotics, kill the good bacteria in our gut?

Propolis has been used as a medicinal agent to treat infections and promote wound healing for centuries. Derived from the biological activities of antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumour and anaesthetic properties. In any type of Propolis, there are over 150 components that have been identified. Flavonoids are considered as an important index for evaluating Propolis quality. The flavonoid which is polyphenols, contributes to the antimicrobial activity of Propolis.

Probiotics plays an important role in resisting many digestive system diseases. It helps neutralize cholera toxins in the digestive tract, and inflammation in our colon lining membrane, resulting from an infection by clostridium. Probiotics produce inhibiting substances, which retard the growth of pathogenic microorganisms from reaching the intestines, by competing with them for nutrients. As well as its role in activation of our immune system.

Research have indicated that Propolis offers additional benefits as a stimulant of the metabolism of, Bifidobacterium infants, and Lactobacillus acidophilus 1*, which are classified as probiotics that are able to produce short-chain fatty acids. That are essential for the health of our colon. Later research have indicated that, Propolis extract has a positive effect on growth inhibition of the pathogenic bacteria and fungi. It also showed, positive effects on growth rate of some probiotic bacterias 2*.

Based on the above researches, Propolis have positive effects on probiotics, and synergetic effects to maintain and modulate the gut microbial balance. This may be due to the non-digestible oligosaccharides contained in Propolis, that are utilised as fermentable prebiotic substrate by probiotic bacterias like Lactobacilli, and Bifidobacteria.

Credit to: Dr. Teh Peng Hong


1. Haddadin, M.S.Y., Nazer, I., Raddad, S.J.A. &  Robinson, R.K. (2008) ‘Effect of Propolis on Two Bacterial Species with Probiotic Potential’ Pakistan Journal of Nutrition. Vol.7. iss.2, pp. 391-394.

2. Saddiq, A.A. & Danial, E.N. (2014) ‘Effect of Propolis as a Food Additive on the Growth Rate of the Beneficial Bacteria’ Main Group Chemistry, vol.13, pp. 223-232.