Friday, October 15, 2021

Yogurt, Propolis, Cinnamon Product Studied to Help Reduce Risk of Severe Viral Infections, Including COVID-19

Preparation and evaluation of novel functional fermented dairy products containing propolis and cinnamon

J Food Sci Technol. 2021 Oct 3;1-10

Novel functional food products might be an easy accessible and eligible approach to help reduce the risk of severe viral infections including SARS-CoV-2. Hence a product containing probiotics, propolis and cinnamon was developed and interferences of the ingredients were characterized.

Yogurts were prepared using starter cultures with propolis (0.03%) and cinnamon in various concentrations (0.3%, 1%, and 2.5%). Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. lactis, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Streptococcus thermophilus, and Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus were used as microorganisms for yogurt production. Chemical analysis revealed a decline of fat matter in the presence of propolis and/or cinnamon.

Propolis had statistically significant suppressive effects on Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. lactis as well as on Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus numbers (p < 0.05). These effects were diminished in the presence of increasing cinnamon concentrations. For Lactobacillus acidophilus a statistically significant reducing effect on the number of colonies was observed in all products investigated. Nevertheless all samples met the standard of recommended level of ≥ 106 viable cells/g of a product.

Propolis showed an inverse effect on Streptococcus thermophilus by increasing its colony numbers in yogurts. The probiotic yogurt samples containing propolis (0.03%) and cinnamon (2.5%) gained the highest number of points in the sensory evaluation compared to control.

Friday, October 01, 2021

Thyme Honey, Olive Oil Combine to Protect Against Diabetes Complications

The Synergistic Beneficial Effect of Thyme Honey and Olive Oil against Diabetes and Its Complications Induced by Alloxan in Wistar Rats

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2021 Sep 20;2021:9949056

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder characterized by a chronic increase in blood glucose. Owing to the limitations observed with antidiabetics in modern medicine, medicinal plants and bee products are known as good matrices for the search for new antidiabetic molecules. 

The present study focused on the evaluation of the hypoglycemic and the protective properties of two natural products widely used in complementary and alternative medicine (thyme honey and olive oil). To achieve this, the study was carried out on Wistar rats rendered diabetic by the injection of a single dose of alloxan monohydrate (65 mg/kg body weight (BW)). 

First, the physicochemical characterization and the phytochemical analysis of thyme honey and olive oil were carried out, and then in vivo study was conducted on 42 Wistar rats divided into seven groups: three groups were normal, one group was untreated diabetic, and three groups were diabetic rats treated with thyme honey (2 g/kg BW) or olive oil (10 mL/kg BW) or their combination ((1 g/kg BW of thyme honey) and (5 mL/kg BW of olive oil)). During the experiment, the glycemia was measured regularly every 10 days. 

After 30 days of treatment, the rats were sacrificed. The serum and urine were analyzed to determine hepatic enzymes levels (AST, ALT, ALP, and LDH), lipidic profile (total cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein, low-density lipoprotein), and kidney parameters (urea, uric acid, creatinine, total protein, sodium, potassium, and chloride). The liver, pancreas, and kidneys were analyzed to evaluate their histological changes and to determine their enzymatic antioxidant content (catalase, GSH, and GPx) and the levels of MDA. 

The results obtained showed that thyme honey or olive oil, and especially their combination, improved significantly the blood glucose levels and they protect against metabolic changes and the complications induced by diabetes.

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Bee Venom Helps Treat Diabetic Heart Dysfunction

Bee venom ameliorates cardiac dysfunction in diabetic hyperlipidemic rats

Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2021 Sep 22;15353702211045924

High levels of blood glucose and lipids are well-known risk factors for heart diseases. Bee venom is a natural product that has a potent hypoglycemic, hypolipidemic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant effects.

The current study aimed to determine the bee venom effects on cardiac dysfunction compared to combined therapy of metformin and atorvastatin in diabetic hyperlipidemic rats. The median lethal dose of bee venom was estimated, and then 50 adult male albino rats were categorized into five groups. One group was fed a standard diet and served as a negative control, while the other groups were given nicotinamide and streptozotocin injections to induce type 2 diabetes.

After confirming diabetes, the rats were fed a high-fat diet for four weeks. The four groups were divided as follows: one group served as a positive control, whereas the other three groups were treated with bee venom (0.5 mg/kg), bee venom (1.23 mg/kg), and combined therapy of metformin (60 mg/kg) and atorvastatin (10 mg/kg), respectively, for four weeks.

Upon termination of the experiment, blood samples and heart tissue were obtained. Administration of bee venom using both doses (0.5 and 1.23 mg/kg) and combined therapy of metformin and atorvastatin revealed a significant decrease in the concentrations of glucose, total cholesterol, triacylglycerol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, troponin I, creatine kinase, and lactate dehydrogenase activities.

Moreover, a significant decrease had been detedcted in malondialdehyde, nuclear factor-kappa-β levels, and relative mRNA expression of vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 and galectin-3 in heart tissue compared to the positive control (P < 0.0001). Furthermore, there was a significant increase in bodyweight levels of insulin, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and total antioxidant capacity in heart tissue compared to the positive control (P < 0.0001).

The results indicate that bee venom can ameliorate cardiac dysfunction through attenuating oxidative stress and downregulating the NF-κβ signaling pathway.

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Pakistan Randomized Trial of Honey, Black Seed in Preventing Community Spread of COVID-19

Prophylactic potential of honey and Nigella sativa L. against hospital and community-based SARS-CoV-2 spread: a structured summary of a study protocol for a randomised controlled trial

Trials. 2021 Sep 15;22(1):618

Objectives: Considering the therapeutic potential of honey and Nigella sativa (HNS) in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients, the objective of the study is defined to evaluate the prophylactic role of HNS.

Trial design: The study is a randomized, placebo-controlled, adaptive clinical trial with parallel group design, superiority framework with an allocation ratio of 1:1 among experimental (HNS) and placebo group. An interim analysis will be done when half of the patients have been recruited to evaluate the need to adapt sample size, efficacy, and futility of the trial.

Participants: All asymptomatic patients with hospital or community based COVID-19 exposure will be screened if they have had 4 days exposure to a confirmed case. Non-pregnant adults with significant exposure level will be enrolled in the study High-risk exposure (<6 feet distance for >10min without face protection) Moderate exposure (<6 feet distance for >10min with face protection) Subjects with acute or chronic infection, COVID-19 vaccinated, and allergy to HNS will be excluded from the study. Recruitment will be done at Shaikh Zayed Post-Graduate Medical Institute, Ali Clinic and Doctors Lounge in Lahore (Pakistan).

Intervention and comparator: In this clinical study, patients will receive either raw natural honey (0.5 g) and encapsulated organic Nigella sativa seeds (40 mg) per kg body weight per day or empty capsule with and 30 ml of 5% dextrose water as a placebo for 14 days. Both the natural products will be certified for standardization by Government College University (Botany department). Furthermore, each patient will be given standard care therapy according to version 3.0 of the COVID-19 clinical management guidelines by the Ministry of National Health Services of Pakistan.

Main outcomes: Primary outcome will be Incidence of COVID-19 cases within 14 days of randomisation. Secondary endpoints include incidence of COVID-19-related symptoms, hospitalizations, and deaths along with the severity of COVID-19-related symptoms till 14th day of randomization.

Randomisation: Participants will be randomized into experimental and control groups (1:1 allocation ratio) via the lottery method. There will be stratification based on high risk and moderate risk exposure.

Blinding (masking): Quadruple blinding will be ensured for the participants, care providers and outcome accessors. Data analysts will also be blinded to avoid conflict of interest. Site principal investigator will be responsible for ensuring masking.

Numbers to be randomised (sample size): 1000 participants will be enrolled in the study with 1:1 allocation.

Trial status: The final protocol version 1.4 was approved by institutional review board of Shaikh Zayed Post-Graduate Medical Complex on February 15, 2021. The trial recruitment was started on March 05, 2021, with a trial completion date of February 15, 2022.

Trial registration: Clinical trial was registered on February 23, 2021, with registration ID NCT04767087 .

Full protocol: The full protocol is attached as an additional file, accessible from the Trials website (Additional file 1). With the intention of expediting dissemination of this trial, the conventional formatting has been eliminated; this Letter serves as a summary of the key elements of the full protocol. The study protocol has been reported in accordance with the Standard Protocol Items: Recommendations for Clinical Interventional Trials (SPIRIT) guidelines.

Keywords: COVID-19; Honey; Nigella Sativa; Pakistan; Prophetic Medicine; Protocol; Randomised controlled trial.

Monday, September 13, 2021

Honey and Propolis Protect Liver and Kidneys from Damage

Protective Effect of Honey and Propolis against Gentamicin-Induced Oxidative Stress and Hepatorenal Damages

Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2021 Sep 2;2021:9719906

Bee products are a promising source of phenolic compounds with strong antioxidant activity. The present study was designed to explore the protective effect of honey, propolis, and their combination on gentamicin-induced oxidative stress and hepatorenal dysfunction. This study was conducted on male Wistar rats by intraperitoneal injections of gentamicin (120 mg/kg BW/day, i.p.) or normal saline (1 ml/kg BW/day, i.p.) for 10 consecutive days.

Honey (2 g/kg BW), propolis (100 mg/kg BW), or their combination were given daily by gavage to normal and gentamicin groups. Honey and propolis samples were evaluated for their phytochemical composition and antioxidant capacity. The in vitro investigations showed that the evaluated samples especially propolis extract have high antioxidant power associated with the presence of several phenolic compounds such as flavonoids, flavan-3-ols, hydroxybenzoic acids, hydroxycinnamic acids, and stilbenes, while honey contains only hydroxybenzoic acids and hydroxycinnamic acids.

It was also shown that simultaneous treatment with honey or propolis extract alone or in association prevented changes caused by gentamicin administration and improved hepatic and renal functions. Changes caused by gentamicin administration, observed by in vivo experiments, include significant elevation of uric acid, urea, creatinine, and hepatic enzyme levels (ALT, AST, and ALP) and kidney biochemical changes (an increase of urea, uric acid, and creatinine and a decrease of albumin and total protein) as well as remarkable changes of renal and liver oxidative stress markers (CAT, GPx, and GSH) and elevation of MDA levels.

Overall, it can be concluded that honey and propolis might be useful in the management of liver and renal diseases induced by xenobiotics.

Wednesday, September 01, 2021

Bee Venom is Shows Antibacterial, Anti-Cancer, Anti-Arthritic, Anti-Inflammatory Activities

Bee Venom: From Venom to Drug

Molecules. 2021 Aug 15;26(16):4941

Insects of the order Hymenoptera have a defensive substance that contains many biologically active compounds. Specifically, venom from honeybees (Apis mellifera) contains many enzymes and peptides that are effective against various diseases. Different research papers stated the possibility of using bee venom (a direct bee sting or in an injectable form) in treating several complications; either in vivo or in vitro. Other reports used the active fractions of bee venom clinically or at labratory scale.

Many reports and publications have stated that bee venom and its constituents have multiple biological activities including anti-microbial, anti-protozoan, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and anti-arthritic properties. 

The present review aims to refer to the use of bee venom itself or its fractions in treating several diseases and counteracting drug toxicities as an alternative protocol of therapy. The updated molecular mechanisms of actions of bee venom and its components are discussed in light of the previous updated publications. The review also summarizes the potential of venom loaded on nanoparticles as a drug delivery vehicle and its molecular mechanisms. Finally, the products of bee venom available in markets are also demonstrated.

Monday, August 30, 2021

Bee Venom Acupuncture Helps Relieve Pain

Bee Venom Acupuncture Effects on Pain and Its Mechanisms: An Updated Review

Toxins 2021, 13(9), 608

Bee venom (BV) is a complex natural toxin that contains various pharmaceutical compounds. Bee venom acupuncture (BVA), involving a BV injection into a certain acupuncture point, has been utilized to relieve a range of pain conditions. Regardless of whether pain is caused by disease or injury, if not effectively treated, pain can exert a detrimental effect on all aspects of life. 

In the past decade, many researchers have investigated the anti-nociceptive effects of BVA through clinical use and experimental evaluation. This report reviews the existing knowledge on the analgesic effects of BVA, focusing on musculoskeletal pain, inflammatory pain and neuropathic pain, and its analgesic mechanisms. Although further clinical trials are needed to clinical application of experimental results, this review will contribute to the standardization and generalization of BVA.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Lyme Disease, COVID-19 Leads New York Woman to Attempt Bee Venom Therapy

NNY 360

In Ms. Ricci’s case, she had Lyme Disease roughly 15 years ago. She had swelling and joint pain back then, but a couple rounds of antibiotics all-but relieved it. Fast forward to December 2020, when she tested positive for COVID-19. She said it felt like the worst hangover she’s ever had for three weeks straight. But then the joint pain came back and stayed. Her hands would swell and the joint pain would be so severe that she couldn’t get out of bed for days at a time. It took her back to 15 years ago. She would end up showing signs of Lyme Disease again in February, and it appears her COVID-19 case was affecting it. Dr. Duah said it’s possible the COVID-19 case caused the Lyme in Ms. Ricci to flair up. Another possibility that Dr. Duah and Ms. Ricci are not ruling out is that it could be COVID-19 long haulers, which is when symptoms persist for weeks if not months after they first test positive. Either way, COVID-19 is either helping her Lyme along or it’s doing all the work.

Monday, August 23, 2021

Ajwain Honey Shows Anti-Inflammatory, Antioxidant Therapeutic Applications

Unifloral ajwain honey ameliorates differential inhibition of matrix metalloproteinases 2 and 9 protein, cytotoxicity, and antioxidant potential

J Ayurveda Integr Med. 2021 Aug 17;S0975-9476(21)00106-6


Background: Free radicals lead to inflammation, which in turn could intervene several chronic diseases including cancer. The promising scientific finding for anti-cancer properties of honey is an area of great interest.

Objective: The present study was designed to investigate the invitro biological effects (cytotoxic, and anti-inflammatory through differential inhibition of metalloproteinases and antioxidant) of unifloral Ajwain honey along with its physicochemical properties (pH, moisture, ash content, electrical conductivity, color, protein).

Materials and methods: Three Ajwain honey samples (AJ-1, AJ-2, and AJ-3) were collected from different geographical origins of Western Ghats of India. Melissopalynological analysis was carried out to confirm uniflorality. Physicochemical analysis for ash, moisture content, pH, electrical conductivity, color, and total protein was estimated. Total polyphenol, total flavonoid content, and ferric reducing ability of plasma assay were determined using appropriate methods. The cytotoxic effect was assessed against breast cancer cells (MDA-MB-231) by 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay and the anti-inflammatory activity was evaluated by gelatin zymography of matrix metalloproteinases MMP-2 and MMP-9 proteins.

Results: Melissopalynological analysis confirmed pollens from Ajwain plant's and so-called Ajwain honey. MTT assay depicted inhibitory trend for all honey samples across the concentrations (6.25-100 mg/ml) as compared to untreated cells. Gelatin zymography of metalloproteinases (MMP-2 and MMP-9) showed inhibitory tendency in all Ajwain honey samples. The AJ-3 honey sample had the highest inhibition at 0.625%. A significant correlation between honey color, pH, and protein content was perceived throughout the study.

Conclusion: This study highlights the invitro biological evidence for possible therapeutic application of Ajwain honey samples in cytotoxic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant management as well as can be considered a potent source of supplements in human nutrition.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Bee Pollen, Probiotic May Help Improve Poor Detoxification, Oxidative Stress, Neuroinflammation Implicated in Mechanism of Autism

Testing the combined effects of probiotics and prebiotics against neurotoxic effects of propionic acid orally administered to rat pups

Food Sci Nutr. 2021 Jun 23;9(8):4440-4451

The present study investigated the combined effects of mixed probiotic and bee pollen on brain intoxication induced by propionic acid (PPA) in rat pups.

Thirty western albino rats were divided into five groups, six animals each: (1) Control group receiving phosphate-buffered saline; (2) Probiotic and bee pollen-treated group being administered at the same dose with 200 mg/kg body weight; (c) PPA-treated group receiving a neurotoxic dose 250 mg/kg body weight of PPA for 3 days; (d) Therapeutic group being administered the neurotoxic dose of PPA followed by probiotic and bee pollen treatment 200 mg/kg body weight; (e) Protective group receiving probiotic and bee pollen mixture treatment followed by neurotoxic dose of PPA. 

Selected biochemical parameters linked to oxidative stress, energy metabolism, and neurotransmission were investigated in brain homogenates from all the five groups. PPA treatment showed an increase in oxidative stress markers like lipid peroxidation coupled with a significant decrease in glutathione level. Impaired energy metabolism was ascertained via the alteration of creatine kinase (CK) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activities. Dramatic increase of Na+ and K+ concentrations together with a decrease of GABA and IL-6 and an elevation of glutamate levels in PPA-treated rat's pups confirmed the neurotoxicity effect of PPA. 

Interestingly, the mixed probiotic and bee pollen treatment were effective in restoring the levels of glutamate, GABA, and IL-6 in addition to normalizing the levels of lipid peroxidation and glutathione and the activities of CK and LDH. 

The present study indicates that mixed probiotic and bee pollen treatment can improve poor detoxification, oxidative stress, and neuroinflammation as mechanisms implicated in the etiology of autism.

Monday, August 16, 2021

Bee Bread Prevents Migration of Breast Cancer Cells

The effect of bee bread (Perga) with chemotherapy on MDA-MB-231 cells

Mol Biol Rep. 2021 Mar;48(3):2299-2306

Bee bread (BB) is a bee product like propolis and honey. It is the main food for larvae and bees producing royal jelly in the hive. It also known as Perga. As with other bee products, it is increasingly popular due to its antioxidant properties. 

The aim of this study was to examine the effects of BB on MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells and the effects on these cells when administered together with Doxorubicin (DOX) and Cisplatin (CDDP), used in cancer treatment. The proliferation of the cells was determined by applying 5 mg/mL BB together with different concentrations of DOX and CDDP. In addition to these studies, the effect of DOX+BB and CDDP+BB combinations on the migration of MDA-MB-231 cells was determined by the wound healing method. 

The expression levels of Bid and Bcl-2 were determined by RtqPCR. According to these studies, as expected, BB did not show a significant toxic effect on MDA-MB-231 cells at different concentrations. BB significantly suppressed the effect of DOX and CDDP on the proliferation of MDA-MB-231 cells. BB with DOX and CDDP suppressed the proapoptotic Bid gene while overexpressing the anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 gene, separately. Interestingly, BB blocked the migration of MDA-MB-231 cells by 50% even after 72 h. 

As a result, BB significantly reduced the toxicity of DOX and CDDP on MDA-MB-231 cells. The most interesting result of the study is that BB prevented the migration of cancer cells.

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Propolis Increases Antibacterial Resistance of Medical Screws, Prevents Biofilm Formation

The Antibacterial Effectiveness of Propolis on Medical Screws

Cureus. 2021 Jul 9;13(7):e16278


Medical screws are widely used in orthopedic surgery for fracture fixation. The antibacterial effectiveness of propolis is well known. In this study, we aimed to demonstrate the antibacterial effectiveness of medical screws coated with propolis.


Between March 2019 and April 2020, we formed five experimental groups and investigated the antibacterial activities of different amounts of propolis and polymer-coated screws. Staphylococcus aureus was used to determine the antibacterial activity. Carbopol, chosen as the model polymer, was used to improve the adhesion of propolis to the screws. Agar diffusion test of surface-coated screws was used to evaluate the antibacterial effect.


The mean zone diameters were 24.3 ± 1.1, 23.0 ± 0.8, 21.8 ± 1.6, 19.3 ± 0.6, and 20.2 ± 0.8 mm for IS-7.5, IS-5.0, IS-2.5, IS-P, and IS-P-7.5, respectively. The IS-7.5 group had the most antibacterial activities. The antibacterial activities of the medical screws determined using the agar diffusion method were significantly increased by the propolis coating on the screws. Our results showed that the propolis-coated screws had antibacterial activity against S. aureus.

As a result, we believe that the combination of gel and propolis is an effective method in increasing the antibacterial resistance of medical screws and preventing the formation of a biofilm layer of microorganisms.


In our view, the gel and propolis combination significantly improved the antibacterial resistance of the medical screws, and the method developed in this study can be an alternative approach to increase the antibacterial resistance of medical implants owing to its simplicity, effectiveness, and biocompatibility.

Friday, August 13, 2021

Bee Venom Shows Anti-Cancer Properties Against Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM), a Frequent Form of Malignant Glioma

Molecular characterization of the anticancer properties associated with bee venom and its components in glioblastoma multiforme

Physicians Weekly

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a frequent form of malignant glioma. Strategic therapeutic approaches to treat this type of brain tumor currently involves a combination of surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Nevertheless, survival of GBM patients remains in the 12-15 months range following diagnosis. Development of novel therapeutic approaches for this malignancy is therefore of utmost importance.

Interestingly, bee venom and its components have shown promising anti-cancer activities in various types of cancer even though information pertaining to GBMs have been limited. The current work was thus undertaken to better characterize the anti-cancer properties of bee venom and its components in Hs683, T98G and U373 human glioma cells. MTT-based cell viability assays revealed IC values of 7.12, 15.35 and 7.60 μg/mL for cell lines Hs683, T98G and U373 treated with bee venom, respectively...

Overall, this study provides preliminary insight on molecular mechanisms via which bee venom and its main components can impact viability of glioma cells and warrants further investigation of its anticancer potential in gliomas.

Sunday, August 08, 2021

Honey Bee Products Show Anti-Cancer, Anti-Bacterial, Anti-Viral, Anti-Parasitic Properties

Pharmaceutical Prospects of Bee Products: Special Focus on Anticancer, Antibacterial, Antiviral, and Antiparasitic Properties

Antibiotics (Basel). 2021 Jul 6;10(7):822

Bee products have long been used in traditional healing practices to treat many types of disorders, including cancer and microbial-related diseases. Indeed, several chemical compounds found in bee products have been demonstrated to display anticancer, antibacterial, antiviral, and antiparasitic properties. With the improvement of research tools and in view of recent advances related to bee products, this review aims to provide broad yet detailed insight into the pharmaceutical prospects of bee products such as honey, propolis, bee pollen, royal jelly, bee bread, beeswax, and bee venom, in the domain of cancer and infectious disease management. Available literature confirms the efficacy of these bee products in the alleviation of cancer progression, inhibition of bacterial and viral proliferation, and mitigation of parasitic-related symptoms. With such potentials, bioactive components isolated from the bee products can be used as an alternative approach in the long-run effort to improve humans' health at a personal and community level.