Over the last years, the hive products such as propolis and pollen have been highlighted due to their potential health benefits, including antioxidant abilities that have been correlated with their content in phenolic compounds. Regardless of the several factors that may affect propolis and pollen antioxidant activity, these products have been shown to possess, either through the use of in vitro or in vivo models, important features concerning the modulation of cellular oxidative stress caused by environmental factors (e.g. UV-light), metals, pesticides and other xenobiotics. This modulatory effect focus not only on the capture of radicals that these elements might eventually generate, but also by the activation of cellular antioxidant mechanisms such as enzymatic antioxidants or by modifying gene expression patterns. Although the mechanisms behind these responses are not fully known, it has been showed that caffeic acid phenethyl ester, pinocembrin and chrisin are some of the compounds responsible for some of these responses. Taking into account the gathered results, propolis and pollen can be viewed as potential agents in the re-stabilization of cellular oxidative imbalance and in the prevention of oxidative stress related diseases.
Keywords: Antioxidant activity, Antioxidant defenses, Antioxidant enzymes, CAPE catalase, Chrysin, DPPH, Glutathione, Glutathione peroxidase, Hive, Lipidoxidation, Oxidative stress, Phenolic compounds, Pinocembrin, Pollen, Propolis, ROS.