Sunday, February 26, 2017

Longan Honey High in Volatile Organic Compounds

Volatile organic compounds of Thai honeys produced from several floral sources by different honey bee species 

PLoS One. 2017 Feb 13;12(2):e0172099

The volatile organic compounds (VOCs) of four monofloral and one multifloral of Thai honeys produced by Apis cerana, Apis dorsata and Apis mellifera were analyzed by headspace solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME) followed by gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The floral sources were longan, sunflower, coffee, wild flowers (wild) and lychee.

Honey originating from longan had more VOCs than all other floral sources. Sunflower honey had the least numbers of VOCs. cis-Linalool oxide, trans-linalool oxide, ho-trienol, and furan-2,5-dicarbaldehyde were present in all the honeys studied, independent of their floral origin. Interestingly, 2-phenylacetaldehyde was detected in all honey sample except longan honey produced by A. cerana. Thirty-two VOCs were identified as possible floral markers. After validating differences in honey volatiles from different floral sources and honeybee species, the results suggest that differences in quality and quantity of honey volatiles are influenced by both floral source and honeybee species. The group of honey volatiles detected from A. cerana was completely different from those of A. mellifera and A. dorsata. VOCs could therefore be applied as chemical markers of honeys and may reflect preferences of shared floral sources amongst different honeybee species.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Bee Venom May Help Treat Dermatitis

Bee Venom Phospholipase A2 Ameliorates House Dust Mite Extract Induced Atopic Dermatitis Like Skin Lesions in Mice

Toxins (Basel). 2017 Feb 18;9(2)

Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a biphasic inflammatory skin disease that is provoked by epidermal barrier defects, immune dysregulation, and increased skin infections. Previously, we have demonstrated that bvPLA2 evoked immune tolerance by inducing regulatory T cells (Treg), and thus alleviated Th2 dominant allergic asthma in mice. Here, we would like to determine whether treatment with bvPLA2 exacerbates the AD-like allergic inflammations induced by house dust mite extract (DFE) in a murine model. Epidermal thickness, immune cell infiltration, serum immunoglobulin, and cytokines were measured. Ear swelling, skin lesions, and the levels of total serum IgE and Th1/Th2 cytokines were elevated in DFE/DNCB-induced AD mice. Topical application of bvPLA2 elicited significant suppression of the increased AD symptoms, including ear thickness, serum IgE concentration, inflammatory cytokines, and histological changes. Furthermore, bvPLA2 treatment inhibited mast cell infiltration into the ear. On the other hand, Treg cell depletion abolished the anti-atopic effects of bvPLA2, suggesting that the effects of bvPLA2 depend on the existence of Tregs. Taken together, the results revealed that topical exposure to bvPLA2 aggravated atopic skin inflammation, suggesting that bvPLA2 might be a candidate for the treatment of AD.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Stingless Bee Honey May Help Protect Pancreas

Pancreatoprotective effects of Geniotrigona thoracica stingless bee honey in streptozotocin-nicotinamide-induced male diabetic rats

Biomed Pharmacother. 2017 Feb 17;89:135-145

Stingless bee honey (SLBH) has been claimed to possess multiple health benefits. Its anti-diabetic properties are however unknown. In this study, ability of SLBH from Geniotrigona thoracica stingless bee species in ameliorating pancreatic damage and in maintaining metabolic profiles were investigated in diabetic condition.

METHODS:

SLBH at 1 and 2g/kg/b.w. was given orally to streptozotocin (STZ)-nicotinamide-induced male diabetic rats for 28days. Metabolic parameters (fasting blood glucose-FBG and lipid profiles-LP and serum insulin) were measured by biochemical assays. Distribution and expression level of insulin, oxidative stress marker i.e. catalase, inflammatory markers i.e. IKK-β, TNF-α, IL-1β and apoptosis marker i.e. caspase-9 in the pancreatic islets were identified and quantified respectively by immunohistochemistry. Levels of NF-κβ in pancreas were determined by enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA).

RESULTS:

SLBH administration to diabetic male rats prevented increase in FBG, total cholesterols (TC), triglyceride (TG) and low density lipoprotein (LDL) levels. However, high density lipoprotein (HDL) and serum insulin levels in diabetic rats receiving SLBH increased. Additionally, histopathological changes and expression level of oxidative stress, inflammation and apoptosis markers in pancreatic islets of diabetic rats decreased with increased expression level of insulin in the islets. LC-MS analysis revealed the presence of several compounds in SLBH that might be responsible for these effects.

CONCLUSIONS:

SLBH has great potential to be used as agent to protect the pancreas against damage and dysfunction where these could account for its anti-diabetic properties.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Health Benefits of Manuka Honey


Manuka honey: What is it, what are the health benefits and how do I tell if it’s the real deal?

BT, 2/18/2017

Used as a sweetener, made into supplements, sore throat lozenges and beauty products, find out why, when it comes to superfoods, manuka honey is the Queen Bee.

One of nature’s most versatile ingredients, manuka honey is just as useful as a sweetener in a hot drink or smoothie as it is in a supplement or the latest must-have beauty product.

Opera singer Katherine Jenkins has said that she adds the ancient ingredient to a homemade drink to relieve a sore throat and help her voice recover after a performance, while Scarlett Johansson uses it as a makeup base.

With so many varied uses, it’s easy to think it sounds too good to be true. Alexander Thompson, nutritionist at Holland and Barrett, told us exactly what it is and what the health benefits are...

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Honey, Propolis Component May Help Treat Prostate Cancer

Chrysin Induces Death of Prostate Cancer Cells by Inducing ROS and ER Stress

J Cell Physiol. 2017 Feb 18

Chrysin is a natural flavone found in numerous plant extracts, honey and propolis that has multiple biological activities including anti-cancer effects. Understanding of biological mechanisms mediated in response to chrysin in cancerous cells may provide novel insight into chemotherapeutic approaches with reduced side effects in cancers. In the present study, we investigated functional roles of chrysin in progression of prostate cancer cells using DU145 and PC-3 cell lines.

The results showed that chrysin induced apoptosis of cells evidenced by DNA fragmentation and increasing the population of both DU145 and PC-3 cells in the sub-G1 phase of the cell cycle. In addition, chrysin reduced expression of proliferating cell nuclear antigen in the prostate cancer cell lines compared to untreated prostate cancer cells. Moreover, chrysin induced loss of mitochondria membrane potential (MMP), while increasing production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and lipid peroxidation in a dose-dependent manner. Also, it induced endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress through activation of unfolded protein response (UPR) proteins including PRKR-like ER kinase (PERK), eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2α (eIF2α), and 78 kDa glucose-regulated protein (GRP78) in DU145 and PC-3 cells. The chrysin-mediated intracellular signaling pathways suppressed phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) and the abundance of AKT, P70S6K, S6 and P90RSK proteins, but stimulated mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) and activation of ERK1/2 and P38 proteins in the prostate cancer cells.

Collectively, these results indicate that chrysin initiates cell death through induction of mitochondrial-mediated apoptosis and ER stress, and regulation of signaling pathways responsible for proliferation of prostate cancer cells.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Pectin-Honey Hydrogel Prevents Postoperative Complication

A pectin-honey hydrogel prevents postoperative intraperitoneal adhesions in a rat model

BMC Vet Res. 2017 Feb 17;13(1):55

BACKGROUND:

Adhesions are a common postoperative surgical complication. Liquid honey has been used intraperitoneally to reduce the incidence of these adhesions. However, solid barriers are considered more effective than liquids in decreasing postoperative intra-abdominal adhesion formation; therefore, a new pectin-honey hydrogel (PHH) was produced and its effectiveness was evaluated in a rat cecal abrasion model. Standardized cecal/peritoneal abrasion was performed through laparotomy in 48 adult Sprague-Dawley rats to induce peritoneal adhesion formation. Rats were randomly assigned to a control (C) and treatment (T) group. In group T, PHHs were placed between the injured peritoneum and cecum. Animals were euthanized on day 15 after surgery. Adhesions were evaluated macroscopically and adhesion scores were recorded and compared between the two groups. Inflammation, fibrosis, and neovascularization were histologically graded and compared between the groups.

RESULTS:

In group C, 17 of 24 (70.8%) animals developed adhesions between the cecum and peritoneum, while in group T only 5 of 24 (20.8%) did (p = 0.0012). In group C, one rat had an adhesion score of 3, sixteen had scores of 2, and seven rats had scores of 0. In group T, four rats had adhesion scores of 2, one rat had an adhesion score of 1 and nineteen have score 0 (p = 0.0003). Significantly lower grades of inflammation, fibrosis, and neovascularization were seen in group T (p = 0.006, p = 0.001, p = 0.002, respectively).

CONCLUSION:

PHH is a novel absorbable barrier that is effective in preventing intra-abdominal adhesions in a cecal abrasion model in rats.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Patch Test Recommended Before Using Product Containing Bee Venom

Bee venom in some wrinkle creams may be dangerous

KEYE

Most people do what they can to not be stung by bees. But a beauty trend has some people using that venom in creams and cleansers to help stop wrinkles.

Doctor Elizabeth Geddes-Bruce from Westlake Dermatology thinks some patients may be using products containing bee venom, but not reading the warnings or realizing the potential dangers.

The creams will list bee venom as an ingredient and experts say higher concentrations could cause stronger reactions, especially if your skin isn't perfectly smooth.

"If you have a serious reaction, it can be the kind where your throat closes and you have trouble breathing. It can be life threatening," explained Dr. Geddes-Bruce. "You might have little micro-breaks or tears or an acne bump that causes a break in the skin and then you are potentially getting exposed to it and it getting into the bloodstream."

Dermatologists recommend doing a patch test before you slather a product containing bee venom all over your face.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Bee Venom May Help Treat Dermatitis

Bee Venom Phospholipase A2 Ameliorates House Dust Mite Extract Induced Atopic Dermatitis Like Skin Lesions in Mice

Toxins 2017, 9(2), 68

Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a biphasic inflammatory skin disease that is provoked by epidermal barrier defects, immune dysregulation, and increased skin infections. Previously, we have demonstrated that bvPLA2 evoked immune tolerance by inducing regulatory T cells (Treg), and thus alleviated Th2 dominant allergic asthma in mice. Here, we would like to determine whether treatment with bvPLA2 exacerbates the AD-like allergic inflammations induced by house dust mite extract (DFE) in a murine model. Epidermal thickness, immune cell infiltration, serum immunoglobulin, and cytokines were measured. Ear swelling, skin lesions, and the levels of total serum IgE and Th1/Th2 cytokines were elevated in DFE/DNCB-induced AD mice. Topical application of bvPLA2 elicited significant suppression of the increased AD symptoms, including ear thickness, serum IgE concentration, inflammatory cytokines, and histological changes. Furthermore, bvPLA2 treatment inhibited mast cell infiltration into the ear. On the other hand, Treg cell depletion abolished the anti-atopic effects of bvPLA2, suggesting that the effects of bvPLA2 depend on the existence of Tregs. Taken together, the results revealed that topical exposure to bvPLA2 aggravated atopic skin inflammation, suggesting that bvPLA2 might be a candidate for the treatment of AD.

Friday, February 17, 2017

VIDEO: Is bee venom the secret ingredient to fighting wrinkles?


CBS, 2/15/2017

Bees are becoming buzz-worthy when it comes to smoothing out wrinkles. Bee venom in creams and lotions promises to fool the skin into thinking it’s been stung. The jury is still out on whether bee venom works, but using it could be dangerous for the two million Americans allergic to insect stings.

Tanya Phillips takes great pains not to feel the pain of getting stung by her honey bees.

"Bees don't like smoke, so this keeps them away from us," said Phillips as she squeezed a handheld smoker.

Deep in southern Travis County the master beekeeper knows if she stays calm the bees might too.
"I haven't done any quick fast movements that make them feel like they're under attack," said Phillips, the owner of Bee Friendly Austin.

Phillips works so hard to avoid bee venom she doesn't understand why the toxin is creating so much buzz.

"When it's injected into the skin there's a definite plumping that occurs, but it's not something that looks good," said Phillips.

She isn't sold on using bee venom, but it's becoming a trendy new ingredient for creams and cleansers. In a small study in South Korea 22 women applied bee venom twice a day for 12 weeks...

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Propolis is Nature's First Aid

Nature’s First Aid From Comvita

Comvita, 2/15/2017

Now that summer is truly here, we are all spending more time outside, and children in particular love to be outside during the warmer weather, playing, exercising and enjoying New Zealand’s outdoor activities. Comvita has some great ways to assist with those cuts, burns and grazes which are bound to occur during this time and they have some great tips for ‘nature’s first aid’.

Propolis is known as ‘nature’s best defence’ as it is a substance made from plant resin and collected by bees to prevent the hive from infection – using it to fill breaches in the hive wall and on foreign invaders in the hive itself. Propolis has been used for health and healing purposes since the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. Today it is available in capsule, tablet, spray form and many more from Comvita. In tincture form, Propolis can be applied directly to the skin to cleanse small open wounds when kids get into scrapes...

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Antibacterial Activity Of Several Western Australian Honeys

Antibacterial activity and chemical characteristics of several Western Australian honeys compared to manuka honey and pasture honey

Archives of Microbiology

March 2017, Volume 199, Issue 2,  pp 347–355

The physicochemical parameters and antibacterial activity of 10 Western Australian (WA) and two comparator honeys were determined. Honeys showed a pH range of 4.0–4.7, colour range of 41.3–470.7 mAU, methylglyoxal levels ranging from 82.2 to 325.9 mg kg−1 and hydrogen peroxide levels after 2 h of 22.7–295.5 µM.

Antibacterial activity was assessed by the disc diffusion assay, phenol equivalence assay, determination of minimum inhibitory and bactericidal concentrations and a time-kill assay. Activity was shown for all honeys by one or more method, however, activity varied according to which assay was used. Minimum inhibitory concentrations for WA honeys against 10 organisms ranged from 4.0 to > 32.0% (w/v). Removal of hydrogen peroxide activity by catalase resulted in decreased activity for several honeys.

Overall, the data showed that honeys in addition to those derived from Leptospermum spp. have antimicrobial activity and should not be overlooked as potential sources of clinically useful honey.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Thai Longan Honey Has More Volatile Organic Compounds

Volatile organic compounds of Thai honeys produced from several floral sources by different honey bee species

PLoS One. 2017 Feb 13;12(2):e0172099

The volatile organic compounds (VOCs) of four monofloral and one multifloral of Thai honeys produced by Apis cerana, Apis dorsata and Apis mellifera were analyzed by headspace solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME) followed by gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (GC-MS).

The floral sources were longan, sunflower, coffee, wild flowers (wild) and lychee. Honey originating from longan had more VOCs than all other floral sources. Sunflower honey had the least numbers of VOCs. cis-Linalool oxide, trans-linalool oxide, ho-trienol, and furan-2,5-dicarbaldehyde were present in all the honeys studied, independent of their floral origin. Interestingly, 2-phenylacetaldehyde was detected in all honey sample except longan honey produced by A. cerana.

Thirty-two VOCs were identified as possible floral markers. After validating differences in honey volatiles from different floral sources and honeybee species, the results suggest that differences in quality and quantity of honey volatiles are influenced by both floral source and honeybee species. The group of honey volatiles detected from A. cerana was completely different from those of A. mellifera and A. dorsata.

VOCs could therefore be applied as chemical markers of honeys and may reflect preferences of shared floral sources amongst different honeybee species.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Analyzing Nitrofuran in Bee Pollen

Development of an analytical method for detecting nitrofurans in bee pollen by liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry

J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2017 Jan 9;1046:172-176

Bee pollen collected by honeybees, which is in powdered form, is a good nutritional supplement. Nitrofuran antibiotics are assumed not to be present in bee pollen, which is important as the level of antibiotics in bee pollen is strongly regulated in many countries.

A liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method to detect nitrofurans in honey has been developed, but this method is not suitable for bee pollen because of it being in powdered form.

During preparation of bee pollen samples, the dispersal of powder particles in an aqueous solution often makes them susceptible to forming an emulsion with solvent components such as hexane and ethyl acetate. This may reduce the reproducibility and sensitivity of analyses of nitrofuran levels in bee pollen. Therefore, we attempted to optimize the sample preparation conditions to detect nitrofurans in bee pollen by determining three nitrofuran residues, namely, 3-amino-2-oxazolidinone (AOZ), 3-amino-5-methyl-morpholino-2-oxazolidinone (AMOZ), and 1-aminohydantoin (AHD), using LC-MS/MS.

The optimized method prevented the formation of powder-induced emulsion. To verify the reproducibility and sensitivity of this method, it was validated using nitrofuran-free bee pollen spiked with analytes with different side chains at 1.0, 2.0, and 5.0μgkg-1. The accuracy levels were 94.1%-104.0% and the coefficients of variation were less than 12%. The limits of detection for AOZ, AMOZ, and AHD were 0.18, 0.25, and 0.30μgkg-1, respectively, while their limits of quantitation were 0.59, 0.83, and 1.00μgkg-1.

The LC-MS/MS method developed to analyze nitrofuran in bee pollen should contribute to the quality control of bee pollen and food safety.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Propolis Gel May Help Treat Gum Disease

Design, formulation, and physicochemical evaluation of periodontal propolis mucoadhesive gel

Dent Res J (Isfahan). 2016 Nov-Dec;13(6):484-493

BACKGROUND:

Periodontitis is a disease of tooth supporting tissues, and Gram-negative Bacteria are the main cause of this. Propolis has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant effects due to its high polyphenol and flavonoids content. The aim of this study is the formulation of a mucoadhesive gel containing concentrated extract of propolis for treatment of periodontitis.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Formulations containing carbopol 940, sodium carboxymethylcellulose (NaCMC), hydroxypropyl methylcellulose K4M, and propolis extract were prepared. Among ten prepared formulations, five formulations had acceptable and proper physical appearance and uniformity; thus, they were selected for physicochemical tests (centrifugal, thermal change, cooling and heating, freeze and thaw, thermal stress, and pH evaluation), quantification of flavonoids, viscosity, mucoadhesion, drug release, and syringeability tests. We investigated the antibacterial activity of F10 (carbopol 940 1%, NaCMC 3%) against Porphyromonas gingivalis using the disk diffusion method.

RESULTS:

Phenolic content was measured 39.02 ± 3.24 mg/g of concentrated extract as gallic acid and flavonoid content was determined 743.28 ± 12.1 mg/g of concentrated extract as quercetin. Highest viscosity (3700 cps) and mucoadhesion (21 MPa) were seen in F10. Study of release profile in F10 also revealed that propolis could release from this system in more than 7 days. All of the five selected formulations had ease of syringeability in 21-gauge needle for drug delivery into periodontal pocket. In the disk diffusion method, F10 produced significant growth inhibition zones against P. gingivalis.

CONCLUSION:

Controlled release of drug into periodontal pocket helps effective treatment and recovery, higher persistence and reduces drug use frequency. Increase of carbopol 940 leads to viscosity and mucoadhesion elevation and accordingly decreases of release rate. F10 was the best formulation because of highest viscosity and mucoadhesion and lowest release rate. It had efficient function in treatment of periodontitis, so we recommend it for clinical evaluation.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Manuka and Honeydew Honey Membranes Show Activity Against Multidrug-Resistant Bacteria

Antibacterial activities of Manuka and Honeydew honey-based membranes against bacteria that cause wound infections in animals

Schweiz Arch Tierheilkd. 2017 Feb;159(2):117-121

In this study, membranes composed of honey (Manuka or Honeydew) and pectin were developed, and the ISO 22196 method was used to evaluate their antibacterial activities against (i.e., Staphylococcus pseudointermedius, Escherichia coli, Proteus mirabilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa) that cause wound infection in animals.

The results demonstrated that both Manuka and Honeydew honey-based membranes had strong antibacterial activities against the strain of methicillin-resistant S. pseudointermedius tested. Specifically, membranes composed of Manuka honey were effective in inhibiting the growth of Gram-negative bacteria within 3 h, whereas those composed of Honeydew honey needed 24 h to neutralise bacterial growth.

The antimicrobial activities of both membranes developed in this study suggest that they can be effectively used as wound dressing in veterinary clinical medicine.