Normally, when you think about bees, the first thing that comes to mind is honey.
But bees produce more than just honey. Two other consumable substances that bees produce are royal jelly and propolis. In this article, I’m going to talk about how propolis can be used to help you lose weight.
First of all, what is propolis?
When bees combine the sap of needle-leaved trees or evergreen trees with their own secretions and beeswax, they produce a sticky, greenish-brown substance which they use to help build their hives.
There are many different types of propolis which depends on location of the bees and the tree sap used by the bees to create the substance. For example, Chinese propolis is not going to have the same chemical composition as propolis from tropical Brazil.
People have used propolis for thousands of years for their medicinal properties including the ancient Greeks from which the word originated.
Propolis has various uses and contain many nutrients that are beneficial to one’s health. It also has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-cancer, antiseptic, anti-bacterial, antimycotic and anti-fungal properties so it can be used in the treatment of a number of diseases and conditions.
Researches have also found that propolis may also have anti-obesity effects and this is what we’re going to see in this article. If you wanted to know how propolis can help with weight loss, read on.
Propolis Weight Loss: What Is In Propolis?
Before we can see how propolis helps with weight loss, let us first look at the composition of this substance. Propolis is very nutrient rich and has a lot of benefits so what exactly does it contain?
The propolis itself is made up of:
- resin (50%)
- wax (30%)
- essential oils (10%)
- pollen (5%)
- organic compounds (5%)
The organic compounds present in propolis are what contribute to the health benefits derived from it. These organic compounds include phenolic compounds, esters, flavonoids, beta-steroids and alcohols. The most important compounds when it comes to weight loss are the flavonoids and the most important ones here are:
One phenolic compound worth mentioning is a phenolic acid called caffeic acid. This is very important to weight loss as well and we’ll see how below.
Finally, propolis is also rich in vitamins and minerals and contain vitamin B1, B2, B6, C and E as well as magnesium, calcium, potassium, zinc and iron. These all contribute to the very nutritious nature and the numerous health benefits you can get from consuming propolis.
How Does Propolis Help With Weight Loss?
There have been a number of studies that seem to confirm that propolis can be used for weight loss. Researchers believe that propolis could be a possible treatment for high-fat diet induced obesity.
The many nutrients and rich phytochemical make-up of propolis contribute to its numerous health benefits and importance to weight loss.
How does propolis actually help you lose weight? Here’s how what’s present in the substance can help.
1. Luteolin boosts brown adipose tissue
Luteolin is a naturally occurring dietary flavonoid that is present in propolis. It has been shown to boost brown adipose tissue (BAT) which when activated starts the process of thermogenesis. During thermogenesis, the brown adipose tissue burns fat as it’s energy source to create heat.
By helping to reduce fat storage, luteolin reduces the risk of obesity related diseases such as hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes.
This is one of the reasons why using propolis in your diet can promote weight loss and metabolic health. Luteolin is just one of the many different compounds that make propolis valuable to weight loss.
2. Quercetin also boosts brown adipose tissue
Another flavonoid present in propolis is quercetin. This antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound is also present in foods like red wine, green tea, apples, onions and berries. It has many health benefits including killing cancer cells, controlling blood sugar and helping to prevent heart disease.
Just like luteolin, quercetin is also known to boost brown adipose tissue (BAT) which we know promotes metabolic health and weight loss by rapidly burning white fat stores in the body for energy.
Quercetin and luteolin together make propolis a very good source of food to help boost brown adipose tissue.
Some supplements are available that are made up of mainly propolis or contain the substance. This includes Exipure which has propolis and 7 other brown adipose tissue boosting natural ingredients including quercetin from other sources.
3. Catechin help reduce belly fat
Green tea is one of the richest sources of catechins. Research shows that drinking green tea rich in catechins can reduce body fat and bad cholesterol in the body.
Catechins are also present in propolis and along with the above-mentioned compounds luteolin and quercetin, this makes a very powerful combination that helps to reduce body fat and promote better overall metabolic health.
Catechins are particularly very effective with visceral (belly) fat and you should include foods with this flavonoid in your diet.
4. Caffeic acid reduces body fat and boosts BAT
Besides the flavonoids above, propolis also contains caffeic acid. This is not to be confused with caffeine.
Caffeic acid is an important phenolic compound that is useful to the weight loss process. Chinese researchers found that caffeic acid:
- significantly reduces high fat diet induced obesity and accumulation of fat
- activates brown adipose tissue and increases energy
- is effective in reducing metabolic risks by regulating gut microbiota
Propolis may not be as rich in caffeic acid as green tea and other plants but it does help along with the fact that it works in combination with other BAT boosting compounds.
Propolis is definitely one food you should include in your diet if you want to lose weight. Researchers have concluded that propolis can be effective in treating obesity.
The bee produced food can:
- help inhibit fat absorption
- boost lipid metabolism
- boost brown adipose tissue
- alleviate insulin resistance
- delay obesity
Propolis can help with many health issues due to it’s rich nutrient composition and is available in supplement form.
It is available in combination with other brown adipose tissue boosting ingredients and plant extracts in Exipure dietary supplement which is one of the first supplements of its kind backed by new research on how brown fat promotes weight loss.