Monday, December 09, 2019

How Manuka Honey Can Improve Your Digestion, Heal Wounds, Promote Oral Hygiene, Treat Colds and Coughs


How Manuka honey can help improve your health, especially during winters

Manuka honey is native to Australia and New Zealand. It has many benefits and uses like healing wounds, aiding digestion, and promoting oral hygiene, among others.

KEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Honey is used all around the world as a popular condiment in food and home remedies
  • Manuka honey is produced in Australia and New Zealand
  • Here is how Manuka honey can be used to avail its many health benefits

New Delhi: Honey, as everybody knows, is a healthy food condiment. Honey has many health benefits and uses. It is used in weight loss remedies, as a natural source of sugar, to treat infections, and even as skincare solutions. Honey is of different types, based on how it is prepared and where it comes from. One such type of honey is the Manuka Honey.

Manuka honey is made in the southern continent of Australia, and its neighbouring island, New Zealand. The honey is prepared by bees that pollinate the Manuka bush, native to the region. Manuka honey is used widely and has many health benefits....

Thursday, December 05, 2019

People are Trying Bee Stings to Treat Lyme Disease

Katy Vine shares what she learned writing a story about people using bee stings to treat lyme disease.

Wednesday, December 04, 2019 7:42 a.m. by Amy Iler

In this podcast: Katy Vine,  Executive Editor of Texas Monthly, joins It Takes 2 to talk about a fascinating story she wrote about people desperately seeking treatments for lyme disease.


Thursday, November 28, 2019

Indonesian Stingless Bee Propolis is a Potential Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug


Anti-inflammatory activity of Tetragronula species from Indonesia

Saudi J Biol Sci. 2019 Nov;26(7):1531-153

Anti-inflammatory drugs inhibit inflammation, particularly those classified as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Several studies have reported that propolis has both anti-ulcerogenic and anti-inflammatory effects.

In this study, we investigated the bioactive compound and in vivo anti-inflammatory properties of both smooth and rough propolis from Tetragronula sp. To further identify anti-inflammatory markers in propolis, LC-MS/MS was used, and results were analyzed by Mass Lynx 4.1. Rough and smooth propolis of Tetragonula sp. were microcapsulated with maltodextrin and arabic gum. Propolis microcapsules at dose 25-200 mg/kg were applied for carrageenan-induced rat's paw-inflammation model.

Data were analyzed by one-way ANOVA and Kruskal-Wallis statistical tests. LC-MS/MS experiments identified seven anti-inflammatory compounds, including [6]-dehydrogingerdione, alpha-tocopherol succinate, adhyperforin, 6-epiangustifolin, deoxypodophyllotoxin, kurarinone, and xanthoxyletin. Our results indicated that smooth propolis at 50 mg/kg inhibited inflammation to the greatest extent, followed by rough propolis at a dose of 25 mg/kg. SPM and RPM with the dose of 25 mg/kg had inflammatory inhibition value of 62.24% and 58.12%, respectively, which is comparable with the value 70.26% of sodium diclofenac with the dose of 135 mg/kg.

This study suggests that propolis has the potential candidate to develop as a non-steroid anti-inflammatory drug.

Friday, November 22, 2019

What is Apitherapy?


New Bee-Centric Spa Has Us Buzzing

Worker B Wellness offers holistic services using bee-derived products and provides free educational sessions about bees

Minnesota Monthly

Apitherapy is a form of alternative medicine that uses honey bee products such as honey, propolis, pollen, royal jelly, and bee venom. This type of therapy has existed for thousands of years. According to The American Apitherapy Society Inc., rock art created in ancient times illustrated that early hunter-gatherers viewed honeybees as a source of natural medicine. In fact, apitherapy was used to treat arthritis and other joint problems, which is still practiced today.

Romanelli has always had an interest in bees. She laughs as she says her family was “urban hippies”—always growing fresh produce and eating organic, local foods.

“My interest in bees is really an interest in the product they provide and also how they work in community with each other, which is really fascinating,” Romanelli says. “Each bee has a specific job in the hive to help the whole as a superorganism. So, when we were looking at this, we’re like, ‘OK, so Worker B Wellness is a superorganism—we’re all doing something to help the concept of the hive.”...

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Can Bee Stings Treat Lyme Disease?


Treatments for chronic Lyme disease are controversial and expensive. As a last resort, some patients are pursuing this unproven and painful alternative.

TEXAS MONTHLY, DECEMBER 2019

Avery was 41 and had been diagnosed with Lyme in 2013, though her symptoms dated back years before that. She told me that it had taken a few months to work up to ten stings; she thought the bee venom was setting off something called a Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction, a response to antimicrobials like antibiotics, in which the bacteria being destroyed release their contents into the bloodstream and cause flu-like symptoms. (It’s not scientifically documented whether venom in fact triggers the same reaction.) “I’m starting to handle it better than at first,” Avery said. “Like I’m not—knock on wood—getting as sick now because the bacterial load is going down, and I think I have a pretty good detox routine.” On the day following a stinging session, the women typically soak in Epsom salt baths, dry brush the skin around their lymph glands, and take coffee enemas—an effort they believe will expel toxins.

Like a nurse giving a vaccine, Gschwind held a bee in tweezers as Avery removed her ice pack. “Okay, ready?” Gschwind asked. “One, two, three.” She held the bee’s butt about an inch to the left of Avery’s lower spine and waited for the tiny stinger to pierce the skin. Then she pulled away the bee, now missing its stinger, which was still drilling into Avery’s back. The vibrating fuzzball was doomed without its barb, and Gschwind placed it in some soapy water to hasten its inevitable end. Afterward, Avery grimaced and breathed deeply as she returned the ice pack to her lower spine, preparing for the next sting.

This process would continue until the bottom portion of Avery’s spine looked like a clear highway running between two parallel rows of five inflamed bumps. Each protrusion was dotted with a stinger, moving like a pumpjack atop a tiny, rising hill, as it continued to gently, rhythmically, excrete venom. Twenty minutes later, when the barbs had done their job and stopped moving, Gschwind extracted them. Then Avery went through the same procedure to sting Gschwind.

While everything about this routine was taxing—the stinging, the seeming Herxheimer reaction, collecting bees and keeping them in her apartment—Gschwind didn’t see much of an alternative. She could not sit on the couch and groan in pain year in and year out while doctors told her she was fine, or that she should be fine, or that she would feel better in time. She’d tried that already. “What am I going to do? Because this isn’t fair. I deserve to have a life, to be functional,” she said. “Well, I guess I’m going to stick myself with bees.”...

Monday, November 18, 2019

Black Seed Oil, Honey, Whey Protein Increase Antioxidant Activity


Effect of black seed oil, honey, whey protein concentrate and their interaction on antioxidant activity, elastic modulus and creaming index of O/W emulsions

Journal of Dispersion Science and Technology

An emulsion based on a combination of highly-valued black seed oil (BSO) and honey shall be introduced as an emerging nutraceutical since the emulsion could be an efficient carrier for bioactive compounds from both.

This study aimed to determine effect of BSO, honey, whey protein concentrate (WPC) and their interaction on antioxidant activity (i.e. IC50, the concentration of sample required to scavenge 50% of 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl free radicals), elastic modulus (G′) and creaming index (CI) of O/W emulsions by means of a response surface methodology. Twenty emulsions were ultrasonically prepared by using various combinations of BSO (10–20%), honey (10–20% and WPC (2–6%) based on a central composite design. Regression analysis (R2 = 0.92–1.00) revealed that a decrease in the IC50 was mainly due to significant (p < 0.05) linear effect of honey and WPC.

The quadratic effect of WPC significantly increased the G′ yet decreased the CI. Synergistic effects of BSO-honey on IC50 and G′ were also significant (p < 0.05). However, the antagonistic effect (p < 0.05) of honey-WPC seemed to increase the IC50. By using the fitted quadratic models, the optimized levels of BSO (20.0%), honey (18.2%) and WPC (6.0%) were proposed and predicted to provide the desired emulsion with IC50 = 0.12 mg/ml, G′ = 606.65 Pa and CI = 1.45%. These values were successfully validated with their respective experimental values.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Propolis an Eco-Friendly Antibacterial Coating for Wound Sutures

Characterization of silk sutures coated with propolis and biogenic silver nanoparticles (AgNPs); an eco-friendly solution with wound healing potential against surgical site infections (SSIs)

Turk J Med Sci. 2019 Oct 27

BACKGROUND/AIM:

Bacterial adherence to a suture material is one of the main reasons that cause surgical site infections. An antibacterial suture material with enhanced wound healing function may prevent the surgical site from infections. Thus, the present study was aimed to investigate the synergistic effect of propolis and biogenic metallic nanoparticles when combined with silk sutures for biomedical use.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Silver nanoparticle (AgNP) synthesis was carried out via a microbial-mediated biological route and impregnated on propolis-loaded silk sutures using an in situ process. silk sutures fabricated with propolis and biosynthesized AgNPs (bioAgNP-propolis coated sutures) were intensively characterized using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS), Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA) and Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC). Antibacterial characteristics of the bioAgNP-propolis coated sutures was evaluated using agar plate method. Biocompatibility of the bioAgNP-propolis coated sutures was evaluated using 3T3 fibroblast cells and their wound healing potential was also investigated.
RESULTS:

BioAgNP-propolis coated sutures displayed potent antibacterial activity against pathogenic Gram negative and Gram positive bacteria; Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, respectively. BioAgNP-propolis coated silk sutures were found to be biocompatible with 3T3 fibroblast cell culture. In vitro wound healing scratch assay was also demonstrated that the extract of bioAgNP-propolis coated sutures stimulated the 3T3 fibroblasts? cell proliferation.

CONCLUSION:

Coating the silk sutures with propolis and biogenic AgNPs gained an effective antibacterial capacity to surgical sutures besides providing biocompatibility and wound healing activity.

Friday, November 08, 2019

Honey and Its Combination with Metformin Prevents Hyperglycemia, Stimulates Insulin Secretion, Reduces Liver Fat Accumulation, Attenuates Liver Injury and Kidney Damage


Combination of honey with metformin enhances glucose metabolism and ameliorates hepatic and nephritic dysfunction in STZ-induced diabetic mice

Food Funct. 2019 Nov 5

Honey is a natural sweetener that contains a large amount of monosaccharides such as glucose and fructose, as well as small amounts of disaccharides and trisaccharides such as sucrose and pine trisaccharides. In addition to carbohydrates, honey also contains vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, and polyphenols including phenolic acids and flavonoids.

The polyphenols in honey have been proved to have great antioxidant activity, besides inhibiting α-glycosidase activity and improving blood-lipid metabolism. However, whether it is safe for diabetic patients to consume honey remains controversial.

This study investigated the effects of honey, metformin and their combination on the characteristic pathological changes and glucose metabolism in STZ-induced diabetic mice over five weeks.

Our results showed that honey and its combination with metformin could prevent hyperglycemia, stimulate insulin secretion, reduce liver fat accumulation, attenuate liver injury and kidney damage in STZ-induced diabetic mice.

Moreover, treatment with honey or combination of honey and metformin significantly enhanced glucokinase (GK) activity (p < 0.05), and meanwhile suppressed the activities of glucose-6-phosphatase (G6Pase), phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK), pyruvate carboxylase (PC) and pyruvate dehydrogenase kinases (PDK) (p < 0.05) in diabetic mice.

Thursday, November 07, 2019

Bee Venom Has Anticoagulant Properties

The anticoagulant effect of Apis mellifera phospholipase A2 is inhibited by CORM-2 via a carbon monoxide-independent mechanism

J Thromb Thrombolysis. 2019 Nov 2

Bee venom phospholipase A2 (PLA2) has potential for significant morbidity. Ruthenium (Ru)-based carbon monoxide releasing molecules (CORM) inhibit snake venoms that are anticoagulant and contain PLA2. In addition to modulating heme-bearing proteins with carbon monoxide, these CORM generate reactive Ru species that form adducts with histamine residues resulting in changes in protein function.

This study sought to identify anticoagulant properties of bee venom PLA2 via catalysis of plasma phospholipids required for thrombin generation. Another goal was to determine if Ru-based CORM inhibit bee venom PLA2 via carbon monoxide release or via potential binding of reactive Ru species to a key histidine residue in the catalytic site of the enzyme. Anticoagulant activity of bee venom PLA2 was assessed via thrombelastography with normal plasma.

Bee venom PLA2 was then exposed to different CORM and a metheme forming agent and anticoagulant activity was reassessed. Using Ru, boron and manganese-based CORM and a metheme forming agent, it was demonstrated that it was unlikely that carbon monoxide interaction with a heme group attached to PLA2 was responsible for inhibition of anticoagulant activity by Ru-based CORM. Exposure of PLA2 to a Ru-based CORM in the presence of histidine-rich human albumin resulted in loss of inhibition of PLA2.

Ru-based CORM likely inhibit bee venom PLA2 anticoagulant activity via formation of reactive Ru species that bind to histidine residues of the enzyme.

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

UMF Value a Not Reliable Indicator of Manuka Honey Antibacterial Activity

Antibacterial activity of varying UMF-graded Manuka honeys

PLoS One. 2019 Oct 25;14(10):e0224495

Honey has been used as a traditional remedy for skin and soft tissue infections due to its ability to promote wound healing. Manuka honey is recognized for its unusually abundant content of the antibacterial compound, methylglyoxal (MGO).

The Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) grading system reflects the MGO concentration in Manuka honey sold commercially. Our objective was to observe if UMF values correlated with the antibacterial activity of Manuka honey against a variety of pathogens purchased over the counter.

The antibacterial effect of Manuka honey with UMF values of 5+, 10+, and 15+ from the same manufacturer was assessed by the broth microdilution method. Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values were determined against 128 isolates from wound cultures representing gram-positive, gram-negative, drug-susceptible, and multi-drug resistant (MDR) organisms.

Lower MICs were observed with UMF 5+ honey for staphylococci (n = 73, including 25 methicillin-resistant S. aureus) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (n = 22, including 10 MDR) compared to UMF 10+ honey (p < 0.05) and with UMF 10+ compared to UMF 15+ (p = 0.01). For Enterobacteriaceae (n = 33, including 14 MDR), MIC values were significantly lower for UMF 5+ or UMF 10+ compared to UMF 15+ honey (p < 0.01). MIC50 for UMF 5+, UMF 10+, and UMF 15+ honey against staphylococci was 6%, 7%, and 15%, and for Enterobacteriaceae was 21%, 21%, and 27%, respectively.

For Pseudomonas aeruginosa MIC50 was 21% and MIC90 was 21-27% for all UMFs. Manuka honey exhibited antimicrobial activity against a spectrum of organisms including those with multi-drug resistance, with more potent activity overall against gram-positive than gram-negative bacteria.

Manuka honey with lower UMF values, in our limited sampling, paradoxically demonstrated increased antimicrobial activity among the limited samples tested, presumably due to changes in MGO content of honey over time. The UMF value by itself may not be a reliable indicator of antibacterial effect.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Honey May Help Prevent Osteoporosis, Promote Bone Health


A Review of Potential Beneficial Effects of Honey on Bone Health

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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2019 Sep 19;2019:8543618

Bone remodelling is a complex and tightly regulated process. Disruption of bone remodelling skewing towards resorption will cause osteoporosis and increase the risk of fragility fracture. Honey is a natural product containing various bioactive ingredients with health benefits, especially polyphenols.

Therefore, honey may be a novel dietary supplement to prevent osteoporosis. This review aims to summarize the current evidence on the effects of honey on bone health. The evidence reported so far indicates a skeletal-beneficial effect of honey in animal models of osteoporosis. However, the number of studies on humans is limited.

Honey can protect the bone via its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, primarily through its polyphenol content that acts upon several signalling pathways, leading to bone anabolic and antiresorptive effects.

In conclusion, honey is a potential functional food for bone health, but the dose and the bioactive contents of honey need to be verified prior to its application in humans.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Propolis Mouthwash More Effective Against Oral Bacteria Than Listerine


Evaluation of Antibacterial Effect of Propolis and its Application in Mouthwash Production

Front Dent. 2019 Jan-Feb;16(1):1-12

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Objectives:

Our purpose was to determine the antibacterial properties of propolis and to evaluate its use as an antibacterial mouthwash with minimal complications.

Materials and Methods:

In this experimental laboratory study, an alcoholic propolis extract was prepared. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) was calculated for four bacterial species including Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans), Lactobacillus acidophilus (L. acidophilus), and Enterococcus faecalis (E. faecalis) using agar dilution. According to the MIC, a propolis antibacterial mouthwash was produced and compared to water, chlorhexidine (CHX), and Listerine using laboratory rats for clinical examination. Salivary specimens of rats were collected at 12 hours, 1 week, and 2 weeks after using the mouthwash and examined by real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Data were analyzed using one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and repeated measures ANOVA (α = 0.05).

Results:

The results of agar dilution by the number of colony-forming units showed the lowest MIC for S. aureus and the highest for L. acidophilus. Our RT-PCR findings indicated that water alone had no effect on the level of oral bacteria. Propolis mouthwash showed a significant difference with CHX and Listerine (P < 0.05) in terms of the number of S. mutans, E. faecalis, and L. acidophilus colonies, while CHX and Listerine were less efficient. There was no significant difference between CHX and propolis (P = 0.110) regarding S. aureus colonies, but Listerine had a lower efficacy than either (P < 0.05).

Conclusion:

According to the results, propolis mouthwash was more efficient against the studied oral bacteria compared to CHX and Listerine.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Propolis Boosts Healing of Diabetic Foot Wounds


Propolis as an Adjuvant in the Healing of Human Diabetic Foot Wounds Receiving Care in the Diagnostic and Treatment Centre from the Regional Hospital of Talca

J Diabetes Res. 2019 Sep 12;2019:2507578

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Objective:

Diabetic foot wounds are a relevant diabetes complication and a major health problem. It has been described that propolis has health benefits due to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and support in the healing process. The current study assessed the effect of propolis as an adjuvant in the healing of human diabetic foot ulcers. This was evaluated in a randomized placebo-controlled study of subjects receiving care in the Diagnostic and Treatment Centre from the Regional Hospital of Talca, Chile.

Research Design and Methods:

Randomized subjects received ambulatory healing treatment for diabetes foot wounds with propolis spray (3%), which was applied to cover the entire wound surface each time it was dressed from week 0 until cicatrization or 8 weeks as a maximum. Two serum samples were taken (day 0 and end of the study) for cytokine and oxidative stress analyses. Also, macro- and microscopy were analyzed in the process of wound healing.

Results:

The study comprised 31 subjects with type 2 diabetes in treatment for diabetic foot wounds in the Diagnostic and Treatment Centre from the Regional Hospital of Talca. Propolis promotes a reduction of the wound's area by an average of 4 cm2, related to an increase in the connective tissue deposit compared to the control. Also, propolis increased the glutathione (GSH) and GSH/glutathione disulfide (GSSG) ratio (p < 0.02), depleted tumor necrosis factor- (TNF-) α, and increased interleukin- (IL-) 10 levels. Topical propolis did not modify the biochemical parameters in the serum of the studied subjects.

Conclusions:

The topical use of propolis turned out to be an interesting therapeutic strategy as an adjuvant in the care of diabetes foot wounds due to its ability to improve and promote healing based on its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant profile.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Bee Pollen Protects Nervous System

The therapeutic and protective effects of bee pollen against prenatal methylmercury induced neurotoxicity in rat pups

Metab Brain Dis. 2019 Oct 17

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The current study evaluated the protective and therapeutic potency of bee pollen in ameliorating the toxic effects of methylmercury (MeHg), by measuring certain biochemical parameters related to neurotransmission, neuroinflammation, apoptosis, and glutamate excitotoxicity in the male neonate brain.

Healthy, pregnant female rats (N = 40) were randomly divided into 5 groups, each comprising10 male neonates, as follows: (i) neonates delivered by control mothers; (ii) neonates delivered by MeHg-treated mothers who received 0.5 mg/kg BW/day MeHg via drinking water from gestational day 7 till postnatal day 7; (iii) neonates delivered by bee pollen treated mothers who received 200-mg/kg BW bee pollen from postnatal day 0 for 4 weeks; (iv) protective group of neonates delivered by MeHg and bee pollen-treated mothers, who continued to receive bee pollen until day 21 at the same dose, and (v) therapeutic group of neonates delivered by MeHg- treated mothers followed by bee pollen treatment, wherein they received 200-mg/kg BW bee pollen from postnatal day 0 for 4 weeks.

Selected biochemical parameters in brain homogenates from each group were measured. MeHg-treated groups exhibited various signs of brain toxicity, such as a marked reduction in neurotransmitters (serotonin (5-HT), nor-adrenalin (NA), dopamine (DA)) and gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) and elevated levels of interferon gamma (IFN-γ), caspase-3, and glutamate (Glu). Bee pollen effectively reduced the neurotoxic effects of MeHg. Minimal changes in all measured parameters were observed in MeHg-treated animals compared to the control group.

Therefore, bee pollen may safely improve neurotransmitter defects, inflammation, apoptosis, and glutamate excitotoxicity.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Iranian Propolis Inhibits Cancer Cell Growth


Iranian propolis efficiently inhibits growth of oral streptococci and cancer cell lines

BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 

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Background

Propolis is a natural bee product with a wide range of biological activities that are related to its chemical composition. The present study investigated the quantification of quercetin (Q) in Ardabil ethanol extract of propolis (AEEP), and then compared its anti-bacterial, anti- biofilm and cytotoxic effects on cancer and normal cell lines.

Method

In the present study, the chemical composition of AEEP was determined through the high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The AEEP and its main component, quercetin (Q), were evaluated in vitro against 57 oral streptococci by a broth micro-dilution method. The biofilm formation was assessed through the crystal violet staining and MTT assays. The impact of AEEP and Q anti-proliferative effect were evaluated on the fibroblast as normal and cancer cell lines (KB and A431).

Results

The Q concentration in the composition of AEEP was 6.9% of all its components. The findings indicated that the AEEP and Q were efficient against the cariogenic bacteria and were able to inhibit the S.mutans biofilm adherence at a sub-MIC concentration. Moreover, electron micrographs indicated the inhibition of biofilms compared to control biofilms. In addition, the AEEP and Q indicated a dose-dependent cytotoxic effect on A431 and KB cell lines. On the contrary, they had no cytotoxic effect on fibroblast cells.

Conclusion

The results indicated that the synergistic impact of main components of AEEP was related to the inhibition of the cancer cell proliferation, cariogenic bacteria and oral biofilm formation. It may play a promising role in the complementary medicine and, it is suggested to be used as food additives.