A comparative study of Ghanaian propolis extracts: Chemometric analysis of the chromatographic profile, antioxidant, and hypoglycemic potential and identification of active constituents

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Scientific African
Diabetes is a disease characterized by high post-prandial glucose levels, which lead to other complications such as peripheral end organ damage. The use of enzyme inhibitors in the management of Type-2 diabetes ensure the control of blood glucose levels via the control of carbohydrate metabolism. The use of standard agents such as acarbose is associated with unwanted side effects hence the need to investigate other sources of antihyperglycemic agents. Propolis, a natural substance from bees, possesses diverse biological activities including antioxidant, antimicrobial and antidiabetic properties. However, the phytochemical content of propolis and its extracts may vary depending on the geographical area, the solvent of extraction and type of bees. This study represents the first attempt to compare different extracts of propolis from the same source in sub-Saharan Africa. In this study, the effect of solvent and source of Ghanaian propolis on parameters such as the total phenolic and flavonoid contents, chromatographic profile, antioxidant and α-amylase inhibitory effects were investigated with the aim of identifying and characterizing the most promising extract, which could be of direct or indirect benefit in the management of Type-2 diabetes. Combinations of water, ethanol-water and ethanol extracts were prepared from propolis from three regions. Phytochemical screening was performed on the extracts after which the Folin Ciocalteu method and aluminum chloride colorimetric assay were used to estimate the total phenolic and flavonoid contents respectively. Antioxidant potential of extracts was estimated using DPPH and phosphomolybdenum assays. In-vitro α-amylase inhibition assay was used to investigate hypoglycemic effect of the extracts. Statistical tools such as ANOVA, principal component analysis, hierarchical cluster analysis employed to determine sources of variations within the data obtained, to classify the extracts based on activity and to predict the most effective extract. This extract was then subjected to UHPLC-Q-TOF MS/MS and GC–MS techniques to characterize the constituents. Chemometric analysis of the data obtained showed that the variations in the data could be explained by both propolis source and extraction solvent. Though ethanol extracts generally contained more constituents, the more notable activities were in the ethanol-water extracts. The ethanol-water extract of Bono East propolis (EWBE) was the most potent DPPH radical scavenger (IC50 of 149.37 ± 2.90 µg/mL as compared to 116.60 ± 0.93 µg/mL GAE standard). It was also one of the three extracts which were more potent than acarbose (369.89 µg/mL) in the α-amylase inhibition assay. The predominant constituents from the LC-MS dereplication of EWBE were caffeic acid and flavonoid derivatives whilst 5,5-dimethyl-1-oxa-5 silacyclononanone-9 was the most significant active constituent identified through the GC–MS analysis. The identified constituents are known to have strong antioxidant and antidiabetic properties. The effects of source and solvent of extraction on the biological and physicochemical properties of propolis in Ghana have been quantified using statistical tools. The combined biological effects of propolis suggest a possible role in their usage in the management of type-2-diabetes and its related complications. Ethanol-water extracts were the most promising with EWBE showing the strongest antihyperglycemic activity. Such extracts represent leads towards further research into toxicity and formulation in order to develop safe and useful products for the management of type-2 diabetes.
This is an article published in Scientific African Volume 22, November 2023, e01956; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sciaf.2023.e01956
Scientific African Volume 22, November 2023, e01956; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sciaf.2023.e01956