Brazilian Green Propolis Prevents Cognitive Decline into Mild Cognitive Impairment in Elderly People Living at High Altitude.
J Alzheimers Dis. 2018 ;63(2):551-560. PMID: 29630549
BACKGROUND: Systemic inflammation is known as a risk factor of cognitive decline.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effects of propolis on cognitive decline and systemic inflammation in elderly people living at high altitude.
METHODS: Sixty participants (average 72.8 years) living at altitude (2,260 meters) were randomized to receive propolis (0.83 g, n = 30) or placebo (n = 30) for 24 months. Cognitive outcomes were assessed using MMSE and serum cytokine levels were measured for 24 months in a double-blind study.
RESULTS: MMSE scores were 26.17 at baseline and 23.87 at 24 months in placebo group. Compared to placebo group, improvements of MMSE scores were significant in propolis-treated subjects (p = 0.007) with a response emerging over time (time points×group interaction, p = 0.016). In addition, the serum IL-1β and IL-6 levels were significantly different across treatments (p < 0.0001) showing upward and downward trends in placebo- and propolis-treated subjects, respectively (p < 0.0001). Serum levels of TNF-α were not significantly different across treatment (p = 0.0528) but with a response emerging over time (time points×group interaction, p = 0.016). In contrast, serum levels of TGFβ1 were significantly different across treatments (p < 0.0001) showing downward and upward trends in placebo- and propolis-treated subjects, respectively. Serum levels of IL-10 were significant for the effect of groups (p = 0.0411). Furthermore, MMSE scores correlated with the decrease in IL-1β and the increase in TGFβ1 in serum.
CONCLUSION: Elderly people living at high altitude developed to MCI in 24 months with exacerbation of systemic inflammation. Ingestion of propolis (>12 months) protected against cognitive decline after systemic inflammation was reduced.