Saturday, May 28, 2016

Purified Bee Venom Helps Treat Acne

Evaluation of anti-acne property of purified bee venom serum in humans

J Cosmet Dermatol. 2016 May 24

OBJECTIVE:

Acne vulgaris is a chronic dermatologic disease with four factors involved in the development of lesions. Treatments need to address as many of these underlying factors as possible in order to reduce acne lesions. As such, purified bee venom (PBV™ ) serum is an attractive therapeutic option for acne, but little data exist on the efficacy of this treatment strategy.

METHODS:

In this prospective, noncomparative study, 30 subjects having mild-to-moderate acne vulgaris were enrolled and treated with PBV™ serum twice daily for a period of 6 weeks. Clinical evaluation of lesions by expert visual grading and image analysis were made at weeks 0 (baseline), 3, and 6.

RESULTS:

The average visual acne grade of all volunteers significantly improved with the PBV™ serum treatment at weeks 3 (P < 0.05) and 6 (P < 0.001) when compared with the baseline grade at week 0. In addition, there was a mean percent improvement of 8.6% and 52.3% in acne grade observed after 3 and 6 weeks of PBV™ serum use, with 20% and 77% of the subjects showing improvement, respectively, when compared with baseline. Moreover, the subjects showed improvement in open comedones, closed comedones, papules, pustules, and nodules after 3 and 6 weeks of PBV™ serum use.

CONCLUSION:

Six weeks of treatment with PBV™ serum was found to be effective in the treatment of mild-to-moderate acne vulgaris, with no incidence of serious side effects or irritation.


Friday, May 27, 2016

Aloe Vera, Honey and Milk Ointment Boosts Healing of Burn Wounds

Anti-inflammatory and Wound Healing Activities of Aloe vera, Honey and Milk Ointment on Second-Degree Burns in Rats

Int J Low Extrem Wounds. 2016 May 23

The aim of the present study was morphological and morphometric investigation of burn healing impacts of an honey, milk, and Aloe vera (HMA) ointment on experimentally induced second-degree burns, to approve the medicinal basis of its use in Iranian traditional medicine. A total of 21 male Albino rats weighing 200 to 300 g were divided into 3 groups of 7, including (1) control group, (2) positive control group, and (3) the treatment group that were treated with eucerin, silver sulfadiazine 3% and HMA ointment 5% respectively.After anesthetizing, the second-degree burns (1 cm2 areas) were made on the back of the animals using a digital controlled hot plaque, and each group was treated topically, based on the time scheduled. Then, skin punch biopsies were obtained on the 1st, 14th, and 28th days of post-burn induction; processed; and stained using hematoxylin and eosin and Masson's trichrome methods. The results showed that HMA ointment induces cell proliferation, increasing the wound closure rate, blood vessel counts, and collagen fiber density in treated animals. It also reduced the wound secretions, inflammation, and scar formation. According to the obtained morphological, morphometric results, we concluded that the traditional HMA ointment, which is rich in therapeutic biomaterials and minerals, has multiple healing effects on burn wounds in rats.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Bee Venom May Help Treat Skin Inflammation, Neuroinflammation, Atherosclerosis, Arthritis and Liver Inflammation

Anti-Inflammatory Applications of Melittin, a Major Component of Bee Venom: Detailed Mechanism of Action and Adverse Effects 

Molecules. 2016 May 11;21(5)

Inflammation is a pervasive phenomenon triggered by the innate and adaptive immune systems to maintain homeostasis. The phenomenon normally leads to recovery from infection and healing, but when not properly phased, inflammation may cause immune disorders.

Bee venom is a toxin that bees use for their protection from enemies. However, for centuries it has been used in the Orient as an anti-inflammatory medicine for the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases. Bee venom and its major component, melittin, are potential means of reducing excessive immune responses and provide new alternatives for the control of inflammatory diseases.

Recent experimental studies show that the biological functions of melittin could be applied for therapeutic use in vitro and in vivo. Reports verifying the therapeutic effects of melittin are accumulating in the literature, but the cellular mechanism(s) of the anti-inflammatory effects of melittin are not fully elucidated.

In the present study, we review the current knowledge on the therapeutic effects of melittin and its detailed mechanisms of action against several inflammatory diseases including skin inflammation, neuroinflammation, atherosclerosis, arthritis and liver inflammation, its adverse effects as well as future prospects regarding the use of melittin.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Bee Venom Peptide is Anti-Fibrinolytic, Anti-Microbial Agent

Secapin, a bee venom peptide, exhibits anti-fibrinolytic, anti-elastolytic, and anti-microbial activities

Dev Comp Immunol. 2016 May 18

Bee venom contains a variety of peptide constituents that have various biological, toxicological, and pharmacological actions. However, the biological actions of secapin, a venom peptide in bee venom, remain largely unknown. Here, we provide the evidence that Asiatic honeybee (Apis cerana) secapin (AcSecapin-1) exhibits anti-fibrinolytic, anti-elastolytic, and anti-microbial activities.

The recombinant mature AcSecapin-1 peptide was expressed in baculovirus-infected insect cells. AcSecapin-1 functions as a serine protease inhibitor-like peptide that has inhibitory effects against plasmin, elastases, microbial serine proteases, trypsin, and chymotrypsin. Consistent with these functions, AcSecapin-1 inhibited the plasmin-mediated degradation of fibrin to fibrin degradation products, thus indicating the role of AcSecapin-1 as an anti-fibrinolytic agent. AcSecapin-1 also inhibited both human neutrophil and porcine pancreatic elastases. Furthermore, AcSecapin-1 bound to bacterial and fungal surfaces and exhibited anti-microbial activity against fungi and gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria.

Taken together, our data demonstrated that the bee venom peptide secapin has multifunctional roles as an anti-fibrinolytic agent during fibrinolysis and an anti-microbial agent in the innate immune response.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Libyan Propolis May Help Treat Protozoal Diseases


Chemical and Antimicrobial Profiling of Propolis from Different Regions within Libya

PLoS One. 2016 May 19;11(5)

Extracts from twelve samples of propolis collected from different regions of Libya were tested for their activity against Trypanosoma brucei, Leishmania donovani, Plasmodium falciparum, Crithidia fasciculata and Mycobacterium marinum and the cytotoxicity of the extracts was tested against mammalian cells.

All the extracts were active to some degree against all of the protozoa and the mycobacterium, exhibiting a range of EC50 values between 1.65 and 53.6 μg/ml. The toxicity against mammalian cell lines was only moderate; the most active extract against the protozoan species, P2, displayed an IC50 value of 53.2 μg/ml. The extracts were profiled by using liquid chromatography coupled to high resolution mass spectrometry. The data sets were extracted using m/z Mine and the accurate masses of the features extracted were searched against the Dictionary of Natural Products (DNP).

A principal component analysis (PCA) model was constructed which, in combination with hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA), divided the samples into five groups. The outlying groups had different sets of dominant compounds in the extracts, which could be characterised by their elemental composition.

Orthogonal partial least squares (OPLS) analysis was used to link the activity of each extract against the different micro-organisms to particular components in the extracts.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Honey Helps Treat Irritative Cough

[Use of honey associated with Ananas comosus (Bromelin) in the treatment of acute irritative cough].

[Article in Portuguese]

Rev Paul Pediatr. 2016 Apr 16

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the immediate improvement rate of irritative cough in patients treated with the combination of Ananas comosus extract and honey (Bromelin®) compared with the use of honey alone (placebo group).

METHODS:

Pragmatic, double-blind, randomized, parallel-group study with children aged between 2 and 15 years, with irritative cough for at least 24hours. The double-blind assessment of cough was through the number of observed coughing episodes and intensity score for a period of 10minutes of observation. The decrease of one point in the mean total score was considered as a therapeutic effect.

RESULTS:

There was a reduction in coughing episodes in both groups, as well as in the cough score after 30minutes of drug or honey administration. The change in clinical score above two points, which could indicate marked improvement, occurred in five patients in the bromelin group and only in one in the placebo group, but without significant difference. There were no adverse events.

CONCLUSIONS:

The immediate improvement rate of irritative cough was similar in patients treated with combination of Ananas comosus extract and honey (Bromelin®) compared with the use of honey alone (placebo group). It is possible that honey has a therapeutic effect on mucus and cough characteristics

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Rape Honey Shows Anti-Radical Activity

ANTIRADICAL AND ANTIMICROBIAL ACTIVITY OF PHENOLIC FRACTIONS OBTAINED FROM HONEYS

Acta Pol Pharm. 2016 Mar-Apr;73(2):379-88

Honey is a natural product consisting of multiple components which determine its dietary and medicinal properties. In this work there were studied methanol fractions obtained from seven honeys from Lower Silesia (Poland) collected in different seasons of three successive years. Melissopalynologic studies revealed that two of them were polyfloral, and five were classified as monofloral (two buckwheat and three rapes).

The amount of phenolic compounds in honeys varied from 0.09 to 0.38 mg per g of honey. Honeys harvested in 2010 were the richest in phenolic compounds and especially rich was buckwheat honey, comparing to 2011- 2012. Determination of antioxidant potential with the DPPH radical revealed that the strongest antiradical activity was exhibited by extracts obtained from polyfloral (1.22 TAU(515/mg)) and buckwheat (1.06 TAU(515lmg)) honeys, while the highest number of antiradical units was observed for rape honey (3.64 TAU(515/g)).

Polyphenolic fractions exhibited various bactericidal activities against Klebsiella pneumoniae and Staphylococcus aureus and weak or no activity was observed against Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Review of Bee Venom Use in Treatment of Skin Conditions, Atherosclerosis, Arthritis and Liver Inflammation

Anti-Inflammatory Applications of Melittin, a Major Component of Bee Venom: Detailed Mechanism of Action and Adverse Effects

Molecules. 2016 May 11;21(5)

Inflammation is a pervasive phenomenon triggered by the innate and adaptive immune systems to maintain homeostasis. The phenomenon normally leads to recovery from infection and healing, but when not properly phased, inflammation may cause immune disorders. Bee venom is a toxin that bees use for their protection from enemies.

However, for centuries it has been used in the Orient as an anti-inflammatory medicine for the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases. Bee venom and its major component, melittin, are potential means of reducing excessive immune responses and provide new alternatives for the control of inflammatory diseases.

Recent experimental studies show that the biological functions of melittin could be applied for therapeutic use in vitro and in vivo. Reports verifying the therapeutic effects of melittin are accumulating in the literature, but the cellular mechanism(s) of the anti-inflammatory effects of melittin are not fully elucidated.

In the present study, we review the current knowledge on the therapeutic effects of melittin and its detailed mechanisms of action against several inflammatory diseases including skin inflammation, neuroinflammation, atherosclerosis, arthritis and liver inflammation, its adverse effects as well as future prospects regarding the use of melittin.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Filipino Beekeepers Plan Apitherapy Products from Stingless Bees

Farmers make money out of honey in Real, Quezon

Philippines News Agency
May 16, 2016

LUCENA CITY, Quezon — Thirty five farmers in Quezon province’s northeastern town of Real started honey bee production with the assistance of the Office of the Provincial Agriculture (OPA) and the Rotary Club Lucena University District.

Quezon provincial information office reported over the weekend that the Real farmers undertook a three-day training conducted by Dr. PJ De Castro, a noted beekeeper and researcher.

De Castro said the honey or “pulot” in Filipino from stingless bees locally known as “lukutan” provides more health benefits and is processed as an ingredient for medicine, food, beverages and cosmetics.

De Castro explained that more products can also be made from bee hives like pollen, royal jelly, propolis (bee glue), wax bee venom and bee brood that command higher prices than honey.

He said that honey from stingless bees is also priced higher than the other honey-producing bee varieties and will provide additional income to farmers since these stingless bees abound in the province...

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Australia Seeks to Capitalize on Medical Honey

Medical honey on cards for Australian beekeepers

May 18, 2016, The Weekly Times

AUSTRALIAN beekeepers could capitalise on a growing market for medicinal honey.

Initial results from a five-year research project, conducted by the University of Technology Sydney, have found some types of Australian honey can compete with New Zealand’s manuka honey, when it comes to fighting bacteria.

Opportunity knocks: Beekeeper James Kershaw says leptospermum honey could fight bacteria.
James Kershaw, beekeeper and spokesman for the res­earch program, said there were concerns New Zealand’s man­uka honey production would be insufficient to meet global demand, creating opportunities for the Australian honey industry...

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Royal Jelly Protects Heart from Chemotherapy Damage


Cardioprotective effect of royal jelly on paclitaxel-induced cardio-toxicity in rats

Iran J Basic Med Sci. 2016 Feb;19(2):221-7.

OBJECTIVES:

Paclitaxel is a potent chemotherapy agent with severe side effects, including allergic reactions, cardiovascular problems, complete hair loss, joint and muscle pain, which may limit its use and lower its efficiency. The cardioprotective effect of royal jelly was investigated on paclitaxel-induced damages.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Adult male Wistar rats were divided into control and test groups (n=8). The test group was assigned into five subgroups; 4 groups, along with paclitaxel administration (7.5 mg/kg BW, weekly), received various doses of royal jelly (50, 100, and 150 mg/kg BW) for 28 consecutive days. The last group received only royal jelly at 100 mg/kg. In addition to oxidative and nitrosative stress biomarkers, the creatine kinase (CK-BM) level was also determined. To show the cardioprotective effect of royal jelly on paclitaxel-induced damages, histopathological examinations were conducted.

RESULTS:

Royal jelly lowered the paclitaxel-elevated malondialdehyde and nitric oxide levels in the heart. Royal jelly could also remarkably reduce the paclitaxel-induced cardiac biomarker of creatine kinase (CK-BM) level and pathological injuries such as diffused edema, hemorrhage, congestion, hyaline exudates, and necrosis. Moreover, royal jelly administration in a dose-dependent manner resulted in a significant (P<0 .05="" antioxidant="" capacity.="" in="" increase="" p="" paclitaxel-reduced="" the="" total="">
CONCLUSION:

Our data suggest that the paclitaxel-induced histopathological and biochemical alterations could be protected by the royal jelly administration. The cardioprotective effect of royal jelly may be related to the suppression of oxidative and nitrosative stress.


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Honey Better for Burn Wound Healing Than Silver

A systematic review and meta-analysis of dressings used for wound healing: the efficiency of honey compared to silver on burns  

Published online: 18 Apr 2016
Contemporary Nurse

Background: Honey has the antibacterial effect of silver without the toxic effect of silver on the skin. Even so, silver is the dominant antibacterial dressing used in wound healing.

Objectives: To evaluate the healing effects of honey dressings compared to silver dressings for acute or chronic wounds.

Design: A systematic review with meta-analysis.

Method: The search, conducted in seven databases, resulted in six randomised controlled trial studies from South Asia focusing on antibacterial properties and healing times of honey and silver.

Result: Honey was more efficacious for wound healing than silver, as measured in the number of days needed for wounds to heal (pooled risk difference −20, 95% CI −0.29 to −0.11, p < .001). Honey turned out to have more antibacterial qualities than silver.

Conclusion: All the included studies based on burns showed the unequivocal result that honey had an even more positive effect than silver on wound healing.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Bee Venom Component May Help Block Tumor Growth

Melittin inhibits tumor angiogenesis modulated by endothelial progenitor cells associated with the SDF-1α/CXCR4 signaling pathway in a UMR-106 osteosarcoma xenograft mouse model

Mol Med Rep. 2016 May 6

Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) are important in tumor angiogenesis. Stromal cell-derived factor-1α (SDF-1α) and its receptor C-X-C chemokine receptor type 4 (CXCR4) are key in stem cell homing. Melittin, a component of bee venom, exerts antitumor activity, however, the underlying mechanisms remain to be elucidated.

The present study aimed to assess the effects of melittin on EPCs and angiogenesis in a mouse model of osteosarcoma. UMR‑106 cells and EPCs were treated with various concentrations of melittin and cell viability was determined using the MTT assay. EPC adherence, migration and tube forming ability were assessed. Furthermore, SDF‑1α, AKT and extracellular signal‑regulated kinase (ERK)1/2 expression levels were detected by western blotting. Nude mice were inoculated with UMR‑106 cells to establish an osteosarcoma mouse model. The tumors were injected with melittin, and its effects were assessed by immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence. Melittin decreased the viability of UMR‑106 cells and EPCs.

In addition, it decreased EPC adhesion, migration and tube formation when compared with control and SDF‑1α‑treated cells. Melittin decreased the expression of phosphorylated (p)‑AKT, p‑ERK1/2, SDF‑1α and CXCR4 in UMR‑106 cells and EPCs when compared with the control. The proportions of cluster of differentiation (CD)34/CD133 double‑positive cells were 16.4±10.4% in the control, and 7.0±4.4, 2.9±1.2 and 1.3±0.3% in tumors treated with 160, 320 and 640 µg/kg melittin per day, respectively (P < 0.05). At 11 days, melittin reduced the tumor size when compared with that of the control (control, 4.8±1.3 cm3; melittin, 3.2±0.6, 2.6±0.5, and 2.0±0.2 cm3 for 160, 320 and 640 µg/kg, respectively; all P < 0.05).

Melittin decreased the microvessel density, and SDF‑1α and CXCR4 protein expression levels in the tumors. Melittin may decrease the effect of osteosarcoma on EPC‑mediated angiogenesis, possibly via inhibition of the SDF-1α/CXCR4 signaling pathway.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Australian Honey Matches New Zealand Manuka's Bacteria Fighting Capabilities


Queensland Country Life, May 14, 2016

PRELIMARY research results are showing that some types of Australian honey promise to be every bit as good as New Zealand’s manuka honey, when it comes to fighting bacteria.

Scientists involved in the massive five-year study are calling on beekeepers from across Australia to continue providing honey samples from bees visiting leptospermum plants, and they have launched a website to provide regular updates.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Brazilian Green Propolis May Help Treat Type 2 Diabetes

Brazilian Green Propolis Improves Antioxidant Function in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(5), 498

Propolis contains a variety of bioactive components and possesses many biological properties. This study was designed to evaluate potential effects of Brazilian green propolis on glucose metabolism and antioxidant function in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).

In the 18-week randomized controlled study, enrolled patients with T2DM were randomly assigned to Brazilian green propolis group (900 mg/day) (n = 32) and control group (n = 33). At the end of the study, no significant difference was found in serum glucose, glycosylated hemoglobin, insulin, aldose reductase or adiponectin between the two groups. However, serum GSH and total polyphenols were significantly increased, and serum carbonyls and lactate dehydrogenase activity were significantly reduced in the Brazilian green propolis group. Serum TNF-α was significantly decreased, whereas serum IL-1β and IL-6 were significantly increased in the Brazilian green propolis group.

It is concluded that Brazilian green propolis is effective in improving antioxidant function in T2DM patients.