Caffeic acid phenethyl ester, a promising component of propolis with a plethora of biological activities: A review on its anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, hepatoprotective, and cardioprotective effects

Mai F. Tolba, Samar S. Azab, Amani E. Khalifa, Sherif Z. Abdel-Rahman, Ashraf B. Abdel-Naim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

66 Scopus citations


Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) is an important active component of honey bee propolis that possesses a plethora of biological activities. Propolis is used safely in traditional medicine as a dietary supplement for its therapeutic benefits. This review highlights the recently published data about CAPE bioavailability, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective; hepatoprotective and cardioprotective activities. CAPE showed promising efficacy both in vitro and in vivo studies in animal models with minimum adverse effects. Its effectiveness was demonstrated in multiple target organs. Despite this fact, it has not been yet investigated as a protective agent or a potential therapy in humans. Investigation of CAPE efficacy in clinical trials is strongly encouraged to elucidate its therapeutic benefit for different human diseases after performing full preclinical toxicological studies and gaining more insights into its pharmacokinetics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)699-709
Number of pages11
JournalIUBMB Life
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2013



  • anti-inflammatory
  • bioavailability
  • caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE)
  • cardioprotective
  • hepatoprotective
  • neuroprotective

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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