Thursday, July 09, 2020

Greek Honey Has Antioxidant, Antiaging and Photoprotective Properties (Ageing, Aging, Seniors, Elderly, Skin Care, Health, Cosmetics)

Honey Extracts Exhibit Cytoprotective Properties Against UVB-Induced Photodamage in Human Experimental Skin Models

Antioxidants (Basel). 2020 Jun 30;9(7):E566

In the present study, we aimed to examine the antioxidant, antiaging and photoprotective properties of Greek honey samples of various botanical and geographical origin. Ethyl-acetate extracts were used and the and the total phenolic/flavonoid content and antioxidant capacity were evaluated. Honey extracts were then studied for their cytoprotective properties against UVB-induced photodamage using human immortalized keratinocytes (HaCaT) and/or reconstituted human skin tissue models. Specifically, the cytotoxicity, oxidative status, DNA damage and gene expression levels of specific matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) were examined.

Overall, the treatment of HaCaT cells with honey extracts resulted in lower levels of DNA strand breaks and attenuated the decrease in cell viability following UVB exposure. Additionally, honey extracts significantly decreased the total protein carbonyl content of the irradiated cells, however, they had no significant effect on their total antioxidant status. Finally, the extracts alleviated the UVB-induced up-regulation of MMPs-3, -7 and -9 in a model of reconstituted skin tissue. In conclusion, honey extracts exhibited significant photoprotective and antiaging properties under UVB exposure conditions and thus could be further exploited as promising agents for developing novel and naturally-based, antiaging cosmeceutical products.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Colorado Woman Treats Lyme Disease with Bee Venom Acupuncture

Woman with Lyme disease reveals she stings herself with BEES on her spine 30 times a week to treat her symptoms - after spending $1,000 a month on other options that didn't work

  • Brittany Elliott, 27, from Denver, Colorado, opened up about bee venom therapy (BVT), or apitherapy, earlier this week in a viral TikTok video 
  • The footage, which shows herself stinging herself with live bees that she orders online, has been viewed more than 1.1 million times
  • Brittany said she was bitten by a tick at the age of seven but didn't develop symptoms until she moved into a home with toxic black mold when she was 22 
  • Lyme disease can typically be treated by several weeks of oral antibiotics, though some patients still report symptoms, including fatigue and joint pain
  • It took her years to finally get diagnosed with Lyme disease, but the treatments she was paying nearly $1,000 a month for weren't helping 
  • Brittany, who now stings herself with 10 bees, three times a week, believes two to three years of the treatment will rid her of symptoms 

Monday, June 15, 2020

Black Seed (Nigella Sativa) Honey as Supplementation Medium

Use of Black Seed (Nigella Sativa) Honey Bee to Improve Sheep Oocyte Maturation Medium 

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2020 Jun 13

Sheep are important livestock and a source of milk, meat, and wool globally. The increasing demand for animal protein requires increased productivity in sheep. In vitro fertilization and maturation can improve sheep productivity.

The aims of this study were to evaluate the effects of honey bee addition as a supplementation medium on in vitro maturation improvement, gene expression of matured sheep oocytes, and determine the optimum concentration from honey bee for in vitro maturation of sheep oocytes. Cumulus oocyte complexes were obtained from the ovaries of slaughtered female sheep. Grade A and B oocytes were cultured for 24 h in medium without honey bee (control, G1) or medium supplemented with 5% (G2), 10% (G3), or 20% (G4) honey bee. Oocyte maturation rate, glutathione concentration, and the expression of candidate genes (GDF-9, BAX, Cyclin B, C-MOS, IGF1) were determined in the matured oocytes. The maturation rate of sheep oocyte was better in the presence of 5% and 10% honey bee; the mean number of oocytes in metaphase II stage was higher than that in G1 and G4 groups. Glutathione concentration was highest in G2 (10.93 ± 0.57).

In general, gene expression levels were similar in G2 and G3, which were greater that in G1 and G4.

In conclusion, the optimal concentration of black seeds honey bee that can be added to the maturation medium is 5% to obtain the highest mean MII and glutathione concentration values, and to improve gene expression in in vitro matured sheep oocytes.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Does bee venom apitherapy prevent coronavirus/COVID-19 infection?

The Sangai Express

...When the Global number of confirmed COVID-19 case exceeded 2 million on the 15th April, 2020, Physicians of Johns Hopkins Corona Virus Resource Centre participated in the prevention and control of Corona Virus in China. The report of the discovery reflected of the discovery of Cowpox and the eventual victory of humans over the disease follows as in Hubei province, the epicentre of COVID-19 in China.

The local beekeepers were surveyed from February 23 to March 8, including 723 in Wuhan, the outbreak epicentre of Hubei. None of these beekeepers developed symptoms associated with COVID-19 and their health was totally normal. After that they interviewed patients in five apitherapy clinics. These patients had received apitherapy from October 2019 to December 2019 and all the five bee apitherapists have the habit of self-apitherapy for their health care (Apitherapy means making use of bee Venom from the honeybee’s sting to treat or prevent certain disease). Without any protective measures, two of the five apitherapists were exposed to suspected COVID-19 cases and others were exposed to confirmed COVID-19 case, but none of them were infected eventually...

Monday, June 08, 2020

Royal Jelly May Help Treat Depression

Chronic Royal Jelly Administration Induced Antidepressant-Like Effects Through Increased Protein Expression of sirtuin1 and OXPHOS in the Amygdala of Mice

Curr Mol Pharmacol. 2020 Apr 24

Background: Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a common psychological disorder worldwide. However, one-third of patients with MDD are resistant to the present antidepressant medicine which regulates monoamine contents in the brain. Thus, another drug target is strongly required. Much evidence strongly suggests that sirtuin1, which is the key factor to regulate mitochondrial activity, may be implicated in MDD.

Objective: Since it is suggested that royal jelly (RJ) ameliorated depressive-like behavior and affected mitochondrial activity in mice, we hypothesized RJ could be an alternative medicine against MDD which acts via sirtuin1 signaling to improve mitochondrial activity.

Methods: In the present study, we applied a mouse model of MDD to investigate the effect of RJ on the depressive-like behavior and the sirtuin1 signaling on mitochondrial activity.

Results: Our results indicated that either the oral administration of RJ for 12 days or single intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) injection decreased the duration of immobility in the tail suspension test, which suggested that RJ had an antidepressant-like effect. Moreover, sirtuin1 protein expression increased in mice following RJ treatment in the amygdala region, but not in the other brain regions. Similarly, the expressions of oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) related proteins increased in the amygdala regions, but not in the hippocampal regions.

Conclusion: The increase of sirtuin1 and OXPHOS protein expression may at least in part contribute to the antidepressant-like effect of the RJ pathway, and RJ may have the potential to be a novel antidepressant drug.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Propolis Component May Help Block COVID-19/Coronavirus

Ashwagandha takes the lead to be the mother nature’s COVID-19 warrior: Study

They discovered that Withanone (Wi-N), a natural compound derived from Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) and Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester (CAPE), an active ingredient of New Zealand propolis, have the potential to interact with and block the activity of Mpro. The team described that they have also searched for the capability to these bioactives to modulate the protein on the surface of human cells, to which the SARS-CoV-2 binds and allows its entry into our cell - the transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2), and selected Withanone. The study is currently under review and expected to be published in a near future.

The team said that their findings may not only connect to save time and cost required for screening for anti-COVID-19 drugs, but may also offer some preventive and therapeutic value for the management of fatal COVID-19 pandemic, and hence warrant prioritized validation in the laboratory and clinical tests. They added that the drug development may take a while and in the current scenario, these natural resources (Ashwagandha and Propolis) may offer some preventive or even therapeutic value. However, although they are easily available and affordable, one has to be cautious about the content of bioactive ingredients. CAPE, while is a major component of propolis, its amount and stability are critical factors that could be managed by generating its complex with cyclodextrins. This has been earlier described by the DAILAB team. Withanone, on the other hand, varies with geography/parts/size of the Ashwagandha plant. So, in order to acquire or appreciate particular effects, we must use the right and quality-controlled resource/extracts.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Happy World Bee Day

Tualang Honey Supplementation as Cognitive Enhancer in Patients With Schizophrenia

Heliyon. 2020 May 12;6(5):e03948

Introduction: Schizophrenia is a chronic mental illness with clusters of symptoms, including cognitive impairment. This study aimed to explore the effect of Tualang Honey (TH) on cognitive domains, especially as it pertained to the verbal memory of schizophrenia patients.

Method: This was a cross-sectional study involved 80 individuals, diagnosed with schizophrenia. The Malay Version Auditory Verbal Learning Test (MVAVLT) was used. Data were analysed using SPSS 20.0 software. Intention to treat analysis was applied.

Result: A comparison of the total learning score at eight weeks between the two groups based on time effect and time-treatment interaction favoured TH group.

Conclusion: This study concludes that by supplementing schizophrenia patients with 8-week of TH did improve total learning performance across domains in the immediate memory among patients with schizophrenia.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Propolis Effective Against Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 (HSV-1, Cold Sore)

[Comparison of Antiviral Effect of Olive Leaf Extract and Propolis with Acyclovir on Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1].

Mikrobiyol Bul. 2020 Jan;54(1):79-94

While acyclovir, a nucleoside analogue, is widely used for herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), emergence of drug-resistant viruses due to frequent usage of this class of medicines, and their toxic side effects require exploring novel active molecules. Despite the studies on developing synthetic molecules in medical sciences and pharmacology, herbs as a natural source of biologically-active compounds remain popular.

In this in vitro study, olive leaf extract (OLE) and propolis alone or in combination with acyclovir were investigated for their antiviral efficacy in HSV-1.Toxic doses of OLE, propolis, and dimethyl sulfoxide, propolis diluent, for Hep-2 (ATCC, CCL-23) cells were determined by conventional cell culture. Using "endpoint" method, the viral dose infecting half of the cell culture (TCID50) was calculated, and viral quantity was determined with Spearman-Karber method. Antiviral effects of OLE and propolis on HSV-1 were investigated by conventional cell culture and real-time cell analysis (RTCA). Combinations of the two extracts with one another and with acyclovir were evaluated by RTCA. Active substances prepared at three different dilutions were added to tubes with HSV-1 of logTCID50: 11.5 in descending order starting from the highest non-toxic concentration, and they were left at room temperature for two different durations (one hour and three hours).

The aliquots taken from the tubes were cultured in plates containing Hep-2 cells and evaluated after 72 hours. Combinations of extracts and acyclovir at concentrations at least four times lower than the lowest concentration showing antiviral efficacy against HSV-1 were cultured with Hep-2 cells in the e-plates of the xCELLigence RTCA device, measurements were obtained at 30 minute intervals, and data were recorded in real time. In the test with two different durations and at different concentrations of OLE and propolis, antiviral efficacy was observed both with one-hour and three-hour incubation at a concentration of 10 μg/ ml for propolis and 1.2 mg/ml for OLE with RTCA.

The duration and concentration of the greatest decrease in viral quantity were in the first one hour and 10 μg/ml for propolis, and in the first one hour and 1.2 mg/ ml for OLE. Combination of propolis and OLE with acyclovir caused no cytopathic effects, and the combination of extracts led to delayed cytopathic effect.

According to these results, propolis and OLE, alone and in combinations with acyclovir, have antiviral efficacy against HSV-1. These agents may reduce the dose and side effects of acyclovir in case of co-administration since they exert their effects through a different mechanism than acyclovir,possibly through direct virucidal activity, inhibition of virus internalization or viral inhibition in early stages of replication (inhibition of adsorption/binding of viral particles to the cell).

These extracts that do not require conversion to active form have the potential to reduce infectivity in oral lesions, prevent spread, and be used in the topical treatment of acyclovir-resistant HSV infections, particularly in immunocompromised patients. However, in vivo studies should be conducted to determine their medicinal properties and potential toxicities. These results should be supported by further comprehensive studies and the efficacy against other viruses should also be investigated.

Wednesday, May 06, 2020

Does Bee Venom Apitherapy Prevent COVID-19/Coronavirus Infection?

Bee venom and SARS-CoV-2


According to data from Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, the global number of confirmed COVID-19 case exceeded 2.0 million on the 15th of April. I am a physician, and I participated the prevention and control of coronavirus in China.

There is one discovery we would like to report here. It reminds us the story of the discovery of cowpox and the eventual victory of humans over this disease (Bennett and Baxby, 1996). In Hubei province, the epicentre of COVID-19 in China, the local beekeepers association conducted a survey of beekeepers (Fig. 1). A total of 5115 beekeepers were surveyed from February 23 to March 8, including 723 in Wuhan, the outbreak epicentre of Hubei. None of these beekeepers developed symptoms associated with COVID-19, and their health was totally normal. After that, we interviewed five apitherapists in Wuhan and followed 121 patients of their apitherapy clinic. These patients had received apitherapy from October 2019 to December 2019, and all the five bee apitherapists have the habit of self-apitherapy for their own health care (apitherapy means making use of bee venom from the honeybee's sting to treat or prevent certain diseases). Without any protective measures, two of the five apitherapists were exposed to suspected COVID-19 cases and others were exposed to confirmed COVID-19 cases, but none of them were infected eventually. None of the 121 patients were infected by SARS-CoV-2, and three of them had close contact with immediate family members who were confirmed SARS-CoV-2 Infection cases. It might be supposed that beekeepers are less likely to be exposed to SARS-CoV-2 because they live in less densely populated rural areas. But the five apitherapists and their patients are from densely populated areas in Wuhan. These people have one thing in common: they develop a tolerance to bee sting.

Bee sting can cause allergic reactions (Park and Lee, 2016), and it can even lead to death due to the excessive stress response of the immune system (Vazquez-Revuelta and Madrigal-Burgaleta, 2018). Bee venom can affect the body's immune system (Cherniack and Govorushko, 2018) and enhance the differentiation of human regulatory T cells (Caramalho et al., 2015), which play an important role in control of SARS-CoV infection (Chen et al., 2010). Does the stimulation of the immune system caused by bee venom reduce susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2? To test this, animal experiments would be needed. Monkeys might be suitable for this study. Monkeys could be divided into two experimental groups with the same breed and age. One group could be made tolerant to bee venom after a period of daily bee stings, while the other group receives no intervention. They could then be raised in the same environment contaminated by SARS-CoV-2, and multiple tests performed to see if they were infected by SARS-CoV-2.

Our purpose in writing this letter is to ask scholars with appropriate research conditions to test this assumption. In the absence of vaccine of SARS-CoV-2, if this method works, then it could offer one hope towards victory over COVID-19.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Electrospun Manuka Honey Nanofibrous Wound Dressings

Manuka honey incorporated cellulose acetate nanofibrous mats: Fabrication and in vitro evaluation as a potential wound dressing

Wound dressings are the primary barrier between the wound surface and the outer environment. Here we report the fabrication of cellulose acetate (CA)–Manuka honey (MH) composite nanofibrous mats as a biocompatible and antimicrobial wound dressing. CA mats with different quantities of MH were developed by electrospinning. The ATR-FTIR spectra confirm the inclusion of MH in the composite CA-MH nanofibrous mats. The fibers were continuous and bead-free with acceptable mechanical properties. The fiber diameter increased with an increase in MH content. Inclusion of MH in the electrospun composite CA-MH nanofibrous mats shows high efficacy to prevent bacterial growth on the wound surface.

The MH loaded CA nanofiber mats showed good antioxidant abilities, while the ability to free radicalize the DPPH was dependent upon the factors of MH content in the fiber and the time of immersion in the DPPH solution. Besides, the nanofibrous mat's high porosity (85–90%) and WVTR values of 2600 to 1950 g/m2/day, suitable for wound breathability and the mats show high cytocompatibility to NIH 3T3 cell line in in vitro testing, proving to be effective for promoting wound healing...

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Propolis Used to Treat Colds, Rheumatism, Diabetes, Stomach Pain

Searching for bioactive compounds from Vietnamese propolis

Propolis is biologically a mixture of sap with secretions from the bee's salivary glands, which is used to seal the hive, help preserve honey, protect the development of larvae, eggs and itself from the attack of pathogens.

Among bees, Italian bees (Apis melifera, Apini tones) and Du wasps (also known as stingless bees) (Meliponini tones) give much propolis and have drawn interest from researchers. Unlike Italian bee Apis melifera, the Du is rich in number of species, with more than 500 species in the world, distributed in many different geographical areas. In Vietnam, according to previous studies, there are more than 10 different species of the Du.

Propolis has long been used in the treatment of colds, rheumatism, diabetes, stomach pain, and has many biological activities that have been discovered such as antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-cancer and anti-HIV. Due to many practical applications such as medicine products and functional foods, propolis has attracted a lot of research on chemical composition and biological activity.

Currently, scientists have isolated more than 500 compounds in honey propolis as well as Du propolis in the world. The chemical composition of propolis includes phenolic acid compounds, phenolic esters, flavonoids, triterpenes, stilbenes and prenyl flavanoids. However, there has not been much research on the chemical and biological activity of propolis in Vietnam...

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Manuka Honey in High Demand Due to the Coronavirus - COVID-19

Since the start of the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus (Also known as the Corona Virus), Manuka Honey has seen sales increase at around 100%. This rather significant spike in its demand has undoubtedly due to its “Superfood” status as seen by its many users globally. It is easy to see why this is the case when we delve deeper into its renowned properties.

Manuka Honey is not only famous for its taste, but also for its varied health benefits and importantly its bacteria killing properties. This particular honey is very unique in that it contains a compound called Methlyglyoxal (MGO). This is part of the chemical make up of three different elements that can determine the quality and potency of the product...