Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Bee Venom May Help Treat Asthma

Protective Effects of Intratracheally-Administered Bee Venom Phospholipase A2 on Ovalbumin-Induced Allergic Asthma in Mice

Asthma is a common chronic disease characterized by bronchial inflammation, reversible airway obstruction, and airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR). Current therapeutic options for the management of asthma include inhaled corticosteroids and β2 agonists, which elicit harmful side effects.

In the present study, we examined the capacity of phospholipase A2 (PLA2), one of the major components of bee venom (BV), to reduce airway inflammation and improve lung function in an experimental model of asthma. Allergic asthma was induced in female BALB/c mice by intraperitoneal administration of ovalbumin (OVA) on days 0 and 14, followed by intratracheal challenge with 1% OVA six times between days 22 and 30. The infiltration of immune cells, such as Th2 cytokines in the lungs, and the lung histology, were assessed in the OVA-challenged mice in the presence and absence of an intratracheal administration of bvPLA2. We showed that the intratracheal administration of bvPLA2 markedly suppressed the OVA-induced allergic airway inflammation by reducing AHR, overall area of inflammation, and goblet cell hyperplasia. Furthermore, the suppression was associated with a significant decrease in the production of Th2 cytokines, such as IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13, and a reduction in the number of total cells, including eosinophils, macrophages, and neutrophils in the airway.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Research on Apitherapy in Africa


Food Tank, 9/25/2016

Hugo Fearnley of Whitby, England is studying the potential of bee-produced medicines for the treatment of human diseases. Fearnley, CEO of BeeVital and Director of the Apiceutical Research Centre (ARC), recently earned a Churchill Travelling Fellowship to fund his research and coalition-building in four African countries.

One potentially promising compound for Fearnley is propolis, sometimes called bee glue: a mixture of plant resins and wax used for structural purposes in hives. Researchers are studying the roles of propolis in insect disease resistance and the evolutionary benefits of propolis for bees. But Fearnley aims his studies on propolis for treatment of malaria, leishmania, and sleeping sickness, diseases among the most prevalent in Africa.

According to researchers at the University of Minnesota, several studies have evidenced that “propolis has strong hepatoprotective, antitumor, antioxidative, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.” Scientists are working to find out if propolis can discourage infections in humans or act as an antibiotic. Fearnley’s BeeVital specifically focuses on propolis for periodontal issues, skin problems, wound healing, ulcers, immune deficiency diseases, and herpes simplex virus.

The pharmacological benefits of propolis for human health are most widely recognized in Eastern Europe, Asia, and South America.

The interest in propolis runs in the Fearnley family. Fearnley’s father has researched the medicinal nature of propolis for decades. Fearnley’s company BeeVital won a government research award to study future licensable bee-based medicines. Fearnley spoke recently at The First International Conference on Apiceutical Research, which focused on the potential of propolis.

Other bee products the pair cite as harboring medicinal properties include honey, royal jelly, pollen, and bee venom. Fearnley calls the beehive a “flying pharmacy.”...

Monday, September 26, 2016

Royal Jelly: An Ancient Remedy with Remarkable Antibacterial Properties

Microbiol Res. 2016 Nov;192:130-41

Royal Jelly (RJ), a honeybee hypopharyngeal gland secretion of young nurse and an exclusive nourishment for bee queen, has been used since ancient times for care and human health and it is still very important in traditional and folkloristic medicine, especially in Asia within the apitherapy.

Recently, RJ and its protein and lipid components have been subjected to several investigations on their antimicrobial activity due to extensive traditional uses and for a future application in medicine. Antimicrobial activities of crude Royal Jelly, Royalisin, 10-hydroxy-2-decenoic acid, Jelleines,

Major Royal Jelly Proteins against different bacteria have been reported. All these beehive products showed antimicrobial activities that lead their potential employment in several fields as natural additives. RJ and its derived compounds show a highest activity especially against Gram positive bacteria. The purpose of this Review is to summarize the results of antimicrobial studies of Royal Jelly following the timescale of the researches.

From the first scientific applications to the isolation of the single components in order to better understand its application in the past years and propose an employment in future studies as a natural antimicrobial agent.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Apitherapy Seminar in New Hampshire

Seminar Discusses Treating Disease With Bee Venom

Beekeeper Reyah Carlson, (apitheraphy-utilizing bee venom to treat disease) will present “The Medicine Chest Known As The Beehive” at the Connecticut River Valley Beekeepers meeting on Thursday, Oct. 13, at the Grafton County Extension Office, 3855 Dartmouth College Hwy, North Haverhill, N.H.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Propolis May Help Fight Antibiotic Resistance, MRSA

Impact of Biohybrid Magnetite Nanoparticles and Moroccan Propolis on Adherence of Methicillin Resistant Strains of Staphylococcus aureus

Molecules. 2016 Sep 9;21(9). pii: E1208

Biofilm bacteria are more resistant to antibiotics than planktonic cells. Propolis possesses antimicrobial activity. Generally, nanoparticles containing heavy metals possess antimicrobial and antibiofilm properties.

In this study, the ability of adherence of Methicillin Resistant Strains of Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) to catheters treated with magnetite nanoparticles (MNPs), produced by three methods and functionalized with oleic acid and a hydro-alcoholic extract of propolis from Morocco, was evaluated. The chemical composition of propolis was established by gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS), and the fabricated nanostructures characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Mossbauer spectroscopy and Fourrier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The capacity for impairing biofilm formation was dependent on the strain, as well as on the mode of production of MNPs. The co-precipitation method of MNPs fabrication using Fe(3+) and Na₂SO₃ solution and functionalized with oleic acid and propolis was the most effective in the impairment of adherence of all MRSA strains to catheters (p < 0.001). The adherence of the strain MRSA16 was also significantly lower (p < 0.001) when the catheters were treated with the hybrid MNPs with oleic acid produced by a hydrothermal method.

The anti-MRSA observed can be attributed to the presence of benzyl caffeate, pinocembrin, galangin, and isocupressic acid in propolis extract, along with MNPs. However, for MRSA16, the impairment of its adherence on catheters may only be attributed to the hybrid MNPs with oleic acid, since very small amount, if any at all of propolis compounds were added to the MNPs.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Polish Propolis May Help Prevent Spread of Cancer

Anti-proliferative and anti-migration effects of Polish propolis combined with Hypericum perforatum L. on glioblastoma multiforme cell line U87MG

BMC Complementary and Alternative MedicineBMC

Published: 20 September 2016

Background

Propolis and Hypericum perforatum L. are natural products which contain many active compounds and have numerous beneficial effects, including an antitumor effect. Gliobmastoma multiforme (GBM) is a common primary brain tumor with poor prognosis and limited treatment options. In this study, the effect of propolis (EEP) combined with H. perforatum L. (HPE) on glioblastoma cell line U87MG was investigated for the first time.

Methods

Anti-proliferative activity of EEP, HPE and their combination (EEP + HPE) was determined by a cytotoxicity test, DNA binding by [3H]-thymidine incorporation and cell migration assay. Anti-metastatic properties in U87MG treated with EEP, HPE and EEP + HPE were estimated on cells migration test (scratch assay) and metalloproteinases (MMP2 and MMP9) secretion (gelatin zymography).

Results

Combination of HPE and EEP extracts was found to have a time- and dose-dependent inhibitory effect on the viability of U87MG cells. This effect was significantly higher (p < 0.05) when compared to these two extracts applied separately, which was confirmed by the significant reduction of DNA synthesis and significantly higher mitochondrial membrane permeabilization. A significant decreasing in migration cells and in pro-MMP9 and pro-MMP2 secretion in U87MG cells were demonstrated after exposure to combination of EEP (30 μg/ml) with HPE (6.25 μg/ml).

Conclusions

In this study, the combination of ethanolic extract from propolis and ethanolic extract of fresh-cut H. perforatum L. was proved the ability to reduce invasiveness of glioma cells through the inhibition of MMP2 and MMP9 secretion and suppression of cell migration. It has a more potent anti-proliferative effect on U87MG glioma cell line compared to using propolis and H. perforatum L. separately.

Further studies are required to verify whether the examined extracts can activate apoptotic pathways.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Propolis Extract, Vitamin E Supplements Boost Milk Quality for Dairy Cows


By Aerin Einstein-Curtis, 20-Sep-2016

Supplementing dairy cattle diets with vitamin E or propolis extract may improve milk quality, cow health, say researchers...

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Apitherapy Has Long History in Lithuania

Ethnomedicinal Uses of Honeybee Products in Lithuania: The First Analysis of Archival Sources

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2016;2016:9272635

Lithuania has old ethnomedicine traditions, consisting of many recipes with herbal, animal, and mineral original ingredients. All these findings were mostly collected in Lithuanian language, often in local community's dialects, and stored only in archives.

We analyzed archival sources about honeybee and its products used for medicinal purposes dated from 1886 till 1992 in different parts of Lithuania. We systematized and presented the most important information about bees and their products: indication for usage, ingredients used in the recipe, their preparation techniques, and application for therapeutic purposes. Researchers in Lithuania are now looking for new evidence based indications and preparation and standardization methods of bee products. Archival sources are a foundation for studies in Lithuania. The results can be integrated into scientifically approved folk medicine practices into today's healthcare.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Honey and Sesame Seeds Help Treat Complications of Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)

Effects of Dietary Honey and Ardeh Combination on Chemotherapy- Induced Gastrointestinal and Infectious Complications in Patients with Acute Myeloid Leukemia: A Double-Blind Randomized Clinical Trial

Iran J Pharm Res. 2016 Spring;15(2):661-8

We aimed to investigate the effects of dietary combination of honey and Ardeh on chemotherapy-induced complications in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

A total of 107 AML patients who underwent chemotherapy for at least 30 consecutive days were recruited to this double-blind randomized placebo-controlled clinical-trial which was conducted in the Imam Reza and Ghaem teaching hospitals (Mashhad, Iran). They were divided into two age and sex-matched groups: 58 treated and 49 untreated patients. A combination of 50 grams of honey and 150 grams of Ardeh was added to the treated group's diet for 30 consecutive days, three times each day; while the untreated group received their regular diet.

Both groups received their standard medication for AML as well. After one month, they were all examined and lab tests were done on them by an internist and laboratory technicians who were blinded to the subject allocations.

Mean value of WBC count in treated group was significantly lower than that of untreated group. Duration of fever and admission in the hospital due to fever were both significantly lower in the treated group (P = 0.014, P = 0.032 respectively).

Total gastrointestinal complications were significantly less in the treated group one month after therapy with the special honey and Ardeh compound.

No unusual or unexpected side effects were observed. Honey and Ardehare easily accessible materials that can be helpfully administered in AML patients receiving chemotherapy, since their useful effects in ameliorating gastrointestinal complications and reducing fever and neutropenia in AML patients have been shown.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Natural Pakistani Honey Exhibits Potent Amoebistatic and Amoebicidal Effects

Antiacanthamoebic properties of natural and marketed honey in Pakistan

Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine

Available online 17 September 2016

Objective

To determine antiacanthamoebic activity of natural and marketed honey samples.

Methods

Natural honey samples were collected directly from the bee hive and marketed honey samples were purchased from the local market in Karachi, Pakistan. Both honey samples were tested for their flavonoid content (quercetin equivalent per gram of the extract) and phenolic content (gallic acid equivalent per gram). Furthermore, their antioxidant activity was determined by measuring 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl. Using amoebistatic and amoebicidal assays, the effects of honey samples were tested against growth and viability of Acanthamoeba parasites.

Results

Natural honey exhibited potent amoebistatic and amoebicidal effects, in a concentration-dependent manner. Honey-treated Acanthamoeba castellanii showed loss of acanthopodia, following which amoebae detached, rounded up, reduced in size, decreased in cytoplasmic mass and they were observed floating in the culture medium. Importantly, honey-treated amoebae did not revive when inoculated in fresh growth medium, however, glycerol-treated amoebae exhibited viable trophozoite and active growth. In contrast, marketed honey samples varied in their efficacy against Acanthamoeba castellanii. The proportion of flavonoid, as determined by quercetin measurements and the proportion of phenolic, as determined by gallic acid measurements was higher in natural honey compared with marketed honey. Similarly, the antioxidant activity, as determined by 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl scavenging activity was higher in natural honey vs. marketed honey.

Conclusions

This study shows that natural honey has antiacanthamoebic properties and possesses higher flavonoid, phenolic and antioxidant properties compared with the marketed honey. These findings are of concern to the public, health officials, and to the manufacturers regarding production of honey for medical applications.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

'Beekeepers rarely get malaria, cancer or arthiritis'

Bee for Bengaluru

By Express Features Published: 17th September 2016

There are also the products of honey and bee venom. "Beekeepers rarely get malaria, cancer or arthiritis because of the occasional sting," he says.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Review of Antimicrobial Activity, Medicinal Applications of Beeswax

Beeswax: A minireview of its antimicrobial activity and its application in medicine

Asian Pac J Trop Med. 2016 Sep;9(9):839-43

Beeswax is the substance that forms the structure of a honeycomb; the bees secrete wax to build the honeycombs where to store honey. Thanks to its rich hydrophobic protective properties, the beeswax is in fact present within cosmetics and body products. Also, beeswax is used in the food industry: as a film to wrap cheese for maturing or as a food additive (E901) to give shine to the products.

Exactly as the honey which it contains, beeswax is also characterized by several therapeutic properties of great interest to us; it is thought to be particularly effective in healing bruises, inflammation and burns. Recently, the interest of researchers has moved even on antimicrobial properties of beeswax although there are still few studies in the literature focused only on the action of beeswax.

The few studies showed an antimicrobic effectiveness of beeswax against overall Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella enterica, Candida albicans and Aspergillus niger; these inhibitory effects are enhanced synergistically with other natural products such as honey or olive oil.

This minireview aims to be a collection of major scientific works that have considered the antimicrobial activity of beeswax alone or in combination with other natural products in recent years.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Red Propolis: Anticancer Mechanism Probed

Ezine
Published: Sep 15, 2016

The mechanism by which red propolis acts as an anticancer agent can be clarified by the identification of proteins that are differentially expressed in a cancer cell line, say Brazilian researchers.

Propolis has a range of renowned medicinal properties and has been used to treat bacteria, viruses, fungal infections and gastrointestinal problems. One more string to the bow of this resin, produced by bees as a glue to block up unwanted gaps in the hive and protect the entrance, is its anticancer activity which has been demonstrated on a number of different cancers including leukaemia and bladder, breast and pancreatic cancer.

In South America, one type of propolis is produced exclusively when bees collect resin from the coinvine (Dalbergia ecastophyllum). Known as red propolis, it is found in the northeastern region of Brazil and it, too, has been credited with the ability to kill cancer cells. The mechanism by which red propolis acts is unclear, but it is rich in flavonoids and phenolic acids, as a team of researchers in Brazil established by high resolution mass spectrometry.

Many of these compounds have been attributed with health-promoting properties but they still cannot explain how the anticancer mechanism operates. So, the same team has undertaken a proteomics investigation to see which proteins are affected by red propolis and whether they can throw any light on its mode of action...

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Bee Venom Component May Help Treat Kidney Disease

The Protective Effect of Melittin on Renal Fibrosis in an Animal Model of Unilateral Ureteral Obstruction

Molecules. 2016 Aug 27;21(9)

Renal fibrosis is the principal pathological process underlying the progression of chronic kidney disease that leads to end-stage renal disease. Melittin is a major component of bee venom, and it has anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory properties in various cell types.

Thus, this study examined the therapeutic effects of melittin on the progression of renal fibrosis using the unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO) model. In addition, the effects of melittin on inflammation and fibrosis in renal fibroblast cells were explored using transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1).

Histological observation revealed that UUO induced a considerable increase in the number of infiltrated inflammatory cells. However, melittin treatment markedly reduced these reactions compared with untreated UUO mice. The expression levels of inflammatory cytokines and pro-fibrotic genes were significantly reduced in melittin-treated mice compared with UUO mice. Melittin also effectively inhibited fibrosis-related gene expression in renal fibroblasts NRK-49F cells.

These findings suggest that melittin attenuates renal fibrosis and reduces inflammatory responses by the suppression of multiple growth factor-mediated pro-fibrotic genes. In conclusion, melittin may be a useful therapeutic agent for the prevention of fibrosis that characterizes the progression of chronic kidney disease.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Honey, Papaya Extract Dressing May Help Treat Burn Injuries

Fabrication and hemocompatibility assessment of novel polyurethane-based bio-nanofibrous dressing loaded with honey and Carica papaya extract for the management of burn injuries

Int J Nanomedicine. 2016 Sep 2;11:4339-55

Management of burn injury is an onerous clinical task since it requires continuous monitoring and extensive usage of specialized facilities. Despite rapid improvizations and investments in burn management, >30% of victims hospitalized each year face severe morbidity and mortality. Excessive loss of body fluids, accumulation of exudate, and the development of septic shock are reported to be the main reasons for morbidity in burn victims.

To assist burn wound management, a novel polyurethane (PU)-based bio-nanofibrous dressing loaded with honey (HN) and Carica papaya (PA) fruit extract was fabricated using a one-step electrospinning technique. The developed dressing material had a mean fiber diameter of 190±19.93 nm with pore sizes of 4-50 µm to support effective infiltration of nutrients and gas exchange. The successful blending of HN- and PA-based active biomolecules in PU was inferred through changes in surface chemistry. The blend subsequently increased the wettability (14%) and surface energy (24%) of the novel dressing.

Ultimately, the presence of hydrophilic biomolecules and high porosity enhanced the water absorption ability of the PU-HN-PA nanofiber samples to 761.67% from 285.13% in PU. Furthermore, the ability of the bio-nanofibrous dressing to support specific protein adsorption (45%), delay thrombus formation, and reduce hemolysis demonstrated its nontoxic and compatible nature with the host tissues.

In summary, the excellent physicochemical and hemocompatible properties of the developed PU-HN-PA dressing exhibit its potential in reducing the clinical complications associated with the treatment of burn injuries.