ISSN: 0970-938X (Print) | 0976-1683 (Electronic)

Biomedical Research

An International Journal of Medical Sciences

- Biomedical Research (2016) Volume 27, Issue 1

Phytochemical composition and activity against hyperglycaemia of Malaysian propolis in diabetic rats.

Umar Zayyanu Usman, Ainul Bahiyah Abu Bakar, Mahaneem Mohamed*
Department of Physiology, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 16150 Kelantan, Malaysia.
Corresponding Author: Mahaneem Mohamed, Department of Physiology School of Medical Sciences Universiti Sains Malaysia 16150 Kelantan, Malaysia Email:
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Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a disease associated with hyperglycaemia and loss of body weight. Brazilian propolis is shown to have hypoglycaemic effect in diabetic rats. However, the role of Malaysian propolis on food intake, body weight gain and fasting blood glucose in diabetes has yet been reported. We aimed to determine the phytochemical compounds in ethanol extract of Malaysian propolis (EEP) and its hypoglycaemic effect on diabetic rats. Thirty female rats were randomly assigned into five groups (n= 6/group): Non-DM (non-diabetes on distilled water 1 ml/day), DM (diabetes on distilled water 1 ml/day), DM+300EEP (diabetes on 300 mg/ kg/day EEP), DM+600EEP (diabetes on 600 mg/kg/day EEP) and DM+metformin (diabetes on metformin 100 mg/kg/day) groups. DM was induced by a single dose of streptozotocin (60 mg/kg) intraperitoneally and treatments were given by oral gavage for four weeks. There were 36 volatile phytochemicals compounds identified in EEP using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis. Total food intake and fasting blood glucose were significantly higher while body weight gain was significantly lower in DM group compared to Non-DM group. DM+600EEP group had significantly lower total food intake compared to DM group. Significantly higher body weight gain and lower fasting blood glucose were found in DM+300EEP, DM+600EEP and DM+metformin groups compared to DM group. In conclusion, the GC-MS analysis of EEP revealed 36 volatile phytochemical compounds. EEP significantly reduced fasting blood glucose level and total food intake, and increased body weight gain in streptozotocin-induced diabetic female rats.


Phytochemistry, Hypoglycaemia, Propolis, Diabetes


Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a complex metabolic disease characterized with hyperglycaemia, increased thirst, polyuria, polyphagia and weight loss. Gradually it alters and virtually affects all the systems in the body leading to an increase in acute and chronic metabolic problems as well as micro and macro vascular complications [1]. There were 382 million people in the world with diabetes in 2013 and it is projected to increase up to 592 million by 2035. Its effect on the patient socio-economy, physical and medical state has become a major concern globally [2]. The healthy life styles, pre-diabetic check-up, adequate evaluation of family history of diabetes and exercise have been a major effective strategic intervention in preventing the disease progression, cardiovascular involvement and further complications [3]. Several medicine and natural products are used to treat DM whereby, some of these materials may negatively influence the diabetic symptoms. Thus, the investigation for new compounds has become necessary to come up with treatment with little or no side effects with scientific proof [4].
Bee glue known as propolis is a natural product derived from plant resins, collected by honeybees for shelter development as beehives [5]. It has a long history of medicinal use by humans [6] and has captured researchers attention as a result of its properties such as, antiviral and antifungal [7], antibacterial [8,9] anti- inflammatory [10] and antioxidant properties [11], has hepatic and pancreatic protection against oxidative stress in diabetic male rats [12] as well as improved sperm parameters [13] and protect reproductive system against aluminium chloride toxicity in male rats [14]. However, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) report shows propolis to contain at least 200 compounds with more than 100 being commonly present in all the samples in respect of any factor [15]. These include phenolic acids and esters, flavonoids (flavones, flavanones, flavonols and others), terpenes, Ã


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