Friday, August 28, 2015

Fluorescence Screening Can Determine the Monoflorality of Manuka and Kanuka Honeys

Fluorescence markers in some New Zealand honeys

Food Chem. 2016 Feb 1;192:1006-14

The fluorescence characteristics of various New Zealand honeys were investigated to establish if this technique might detect signatures unique to manuka (Leptospermum scoparium) and kanuka (Kunzea ericoides) honeys.

We found unique fluorescence profiles for these honeys which distinguished them from other New Zealand honey floral types. Two excitation-emission (ex-em) marker wavelengths each for manuka and kanuka honeys were identified; manuka honey at 270-365 (MM1) and 330-470 (MM2) nm and kanuka honey at 275-305 (KM1) and 445-525 (KM2) nm. Dilution of manuka and kanuka honeys with other honey types that did not possess these fluorescence profiles resulted in a proportional reduction in fluorescence signal of the honeys at the marker wavelengths.

By comparison, rewarewa (Knightia excelsa), kamahi (Weinmannia racemosa), and clover (Trifolium spp.) honeys did not exhibit unique fluorescence patterns.

These findings suggests that a fluorescence-based screening approach has potential utility for determining the monoflorality status of manuka and kanuka honeys.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Manuka Honey May Increase Level of Methylglyoxal Beyond Detoxification Capacity


HSA should review stance on health supplements

AsiaOne, 8/25/2015

According to the Health Sciences Authority (HSA), health supplements can be imported and sold without a licence.

These are also not subjected to pre-market approval by the HSA.

However, with the proliferation of these products, coupled with an insatiable consumer appetite for them, perhaps it may be worthwhile to reconsider this position.

As it is, some of these health supplements may potentially be harmful to individuals with certain health conditions.

Manuka honey is an example that comes to mind. It is commonly available at local pharmacies and supermarkets.

The active ingredient in this supplement is a chemical called methylglyoxal.

As a highly reactive dicarbonyl molecule, methylglyoxal readily reacts to certain amino acids as well as to nucleic acids.

Apart from Manuka honey, very little methylglyoxal is consumed in the diet.

Low amounts of it are produced in the body as a by-product of the normal cellular process of glycolysis, in which glucose is broken down to provide energy.

As it is a dangerous molecule, the human body rapidly detoxifies methylglyoxal using various enzymes.

However, for people with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, eating Manuka honey may increase the level of methylglyoxal beyond the detoxification capacity of the enzymes.

As a result, advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) are formed when methylglyoxal reacts and damages proteins and nucleic acids.

Indeed, a large volume of scientific literature has implicated AGEs as a major mechanism in the development of diabetic complications, particularly diabetic retinopathy, the leading cause of blindness in adults...

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Royal Jelly Protein Plays Role in Survival of Prokaryotic Cells


Characteristics of dr1790 disruptant and its functional analysis in Deinococcus radiodurans

Braz J Microbiol. 2015 Jun 1;46(2):601-11

Deinococcus radiodurans (DR) is an extremophile that is well known for its resistance to radiation, oxidants and desiccation. The gene dr1790 of D. radiodurans was predicted to encode a yellow-related protein.

The primary objective of the present study was to characterize the biological function of the DR1790 protein, which is a member of the ancient yellow/major royal jelly (MRJ) protein family, in prokaryotes. Fluorescence labeling demonstrated that the yellow-related protein encoded by dr1790 is a membrane protein. The deletion of the dr1790 gene decreased the cell growth rate and sensitivity to hydrogen peroxide and radiation and increased the membrane permeability of D. radiodurans. Transcript profiling by microarray and RT-PCR analyses of the dr1790 deletion mutant suggested that some genes that are involved in protein secretion and transport were strongly suppressed, while other genes that are involved in protein quality control, such as chaperones and proteases, were induced. In addition, the expression of genes with predicted functions that are involved in antioxidant systems, electron transport, and energy metabolism was significantly altered through the disruption of dr1790. Moreover, the results of proteomic analyses using 2-DE and MS also demonstrated that DR1790 contributed to D. radiodurans survival.

Taken together, these results indicate that the DR1790 protein from the ancient yellow protein family plays a pleiotropic role in the survival of prokaryotic cells and contributes to the extraordinary resistance of D. radiodurans against oxidative and radiation stresses.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Thai Stingless Bee Wax, Propolis Mixture Shows Anti-Cancer Activity

In vitro and in vivo characterization of the anticancer activity of Thai stingless bee (Tetragonula laeviceps) cerumen

Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2015 Aug 19

Tetragonula laeviceps cerumen was sequentially extracted with 80% (v/v) methanol, dichloromethane, and hexane and also in the reverse order. By the MTT assay and the respective 50% inhibition concentration value, the most active fraction was further purified to apparent homogeneity by bioassay-guided silica gel column chromatography. α-Mangostin was identified by high-resolution electrospray ionization mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance analyses. It had a potent cytotoxicity against the BT474, Chago, Hep-G2, KATO-III, and SW620 cell lines (IC50 values of 1.22 ± 0.03, 2.25 ± 0.20, 0.94 ± 0.01, 0.88 ± 0.16, and 1.50 ± 0.39 µmol/L, respectively).

The in vitro cytotoxicity of α-mangostin against the five human cancer cell lines and primary fibroblasts was further characterized by real-time impedance-based analysis. Interestingly, α-mangostin was more cytotoxic against the cancer-derived cell lines than against the primary fibroblasts. Later, the migration assay was performed by continuously measuring the attachment of cells to the plate electrodes at the bottom of the transwell membrane. The combined caspase-3 and -7 activities were assayed by the Caspase-Glo® 3/7 kit. It showed that the cytotoxic mechanism involved caspase-independent apoptosis, while at low (non-toxic) concentrations α-mangostin did not significantly alter cell migration. Furthermore, the in vivo cytotoxicity and angiogenesis were determined by alkaline phosphatase staining in zebrafish embryos along with monitoring changes in the transcript expression level of two genes involved in angiogenesis (vegfaa and vegfr2) by quantitative real-time reverse transcriptase- polymerase chain reaction.

It was found that the in vivo cytotoxicity of α-mangostin against zebrafish embryos had a 50% lethal concentration of 9.4 µM, but no anti-angiogenic properties were observed in zebrafish embryos at 9 and 12 µM even though it downregulated the expression of vegfaa and vegfr2 transcripts. Thus, α-mangostin is a major active compound with a potential anticancer activity in T. laeviceps cerumen in Thailand.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Bee Venom in the Treatment of Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease, Epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis


Pharmacological Alternatives for the Treatment of Neurodegenerative Disorders: Wasp and Bee Venoms and Their Components as New Neuroactive Tools

Toxins (Basel). 2015 Aug 18;7(8):3179-3209

Neurodegenerative diseases are relentlessly progressive, severely impacting affected patients, families and society as a whole. Increased life expectancy has made these diseases more common worldwide. Unfortunately, available drugs have insufficient therapeutic effects on many subtypes of these intractable diseases, and adverse effects hamper continued treatment. Wasp and bee venoms and their components are potential means of managing or reducing these effects and provide new alternatives for the control of neurodegenerative diseases. These venoms and their components are well-known and irrefutable sources of neuroprotectors or neuromodulators.

In this respect, the present study reviews our current understanding of the mechanisms of action and future prospects regarding the use of new drugs derived from wasp and bee venom in the treatment of major neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease, Epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Manuka Honey Has Clear Antibacterial and Anti-Inflammatory Effects

The Anti-Inflammatory and Antibacterial Action of Nanocrystalline Silver and Manuka Honey on the Molecular Alternation of Diabetic Foot Ulcer: A Comprehensive Literature Review

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015;2015:218283

Honey and silver have been used since ancient times for treating wounds. Their widespread clinical application has attracted attention in light of the increasing prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. While there have been a number of studies exploring the anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects of manuka honey and nanocrystalline silver, their advantages and limitations with regard to the treatment of chronic wounds remain a subject of debate. The aim of this paper is to examine the evidence on the use of nanocrystalline silver and manuka honey for treating diabetic foot ulcers through a critical and comprehensive review of in vitro studies, animal studies, and in vivo studies. The findings from the in vitro and animal studies suggest that both agents have effective antibacterial actions. Their anti-inflammatory action and related impact on wound healing are unclear. Besides, there is no evidence to suggest that any topical agent is more effective for use in treating diabetic foot ulcer. Overall, high-quality, clinical human studies supported by findings from the molecular science on the use of manuka honey or nanocrystalline silver are lacking. There is a need for rigorously designed human clinical studies on the subject to fill this knowledge gap and guide clinical practice.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Honey May Help Boost Fertility

Effect of honey on the reproductive system of male rat offspring exposed to prenatal restraint stress

Andrologia. 2015 Aug 20

Exposure to prenatal stress is associated with impaired reproductive function in male rat offspring. Honey is traditionally used by the Malays for enhancement of fertility. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of honey on reproductive system of male rat offspring exposed to prenatal restraint stress. Dams were divided into four groups (n = 10/group): control, honey, stress and honey + stress groups. Dams from honey and honey + stress groups received oral honey (1.2 g kg-1 body weight) daily from day 1 of pregnancy, meanwhile dams from stress and honey + stress groups were subjected to restraint stress (three times per day) from day 11 of pregnancy until delivery. At 10 weeks old, each male rat offspring was mated with a regular oestrus cycle female. Male sexual behaviour and reproductive performance were evaluated. Then, male rats were euthanised for assessment on reproductive parameters.

Honey supplementation during prenatal restraint stress significantly increased testis and epididymis weights as well as improved the percentages of abnormal spermatozoa and sperm motility in male rat offspring.

In conclusion, this study might suggest that supplementation of honey during pregnancy seems to reduce the adverse effects of restraint stress on reproductive organs weight and sperm parameters in male rat offspring.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Microbiological Quality of Dehydrated Bee-Pollen Produced in Brazil

Lett Appl Microbiol. 2015 Aug 17. doi: 10.1111/lam.12480. [Epub ahead of print]

Bee-pollen is an apicultural product with potential for medical and nutritional applications; therefore, its microbiology quality should be monitored. In this context, the objective of this study was to diagnose the microbiological quality of 45 dehydrated bee-pollen samples collected from November 2011 to December 2013 in nine Brazilian States.

All the samples were negative for sulphite-reducing Clostridium spores, Salmonella, coagulase-positive Staphylococcus and Escherichia coli, which are microorganisms of public health concern...

Thursday, August 20, 2015

South African Propolis Shows Good Antimicrobial Activity

Antimicrobial activity and chemometric modelling of South African propolis

J Appl Microbiol. 2015 Jul 17

This study reports on the inhibitory and bactericidal properties of 39 South African (SA) propolis samples and three propolis samples from Brazil.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

Ethanolic extracts of propolis (EEP) were prepared and their antimicrobial activities tested using the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) assays. Some samples displayed substantial antimicrobial activity with MIC and MBC values as low as 6 μg ml-1 against Staphylococcus aureus. The correlation between liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) chemical data and the antimicrobial activity of propolis extracts was investigated using multivariate data analysis tools. Orthogonal projections to latent structures (OPLS) models were created for the two Gram-positive bacteria (Enterococcus faecalis and S. aureus) and Candida albicans. Using the S-plot function, it was possible to identify the bioactive constituents in propolis as chrysin, pinocembrin, galangin and pinobanksin-3-O-acetate.

CONCLUSION:

The SA propolis samples tested displayed noteworthy antimicrobial activity, favourably comparable to that of the Brazilian comparator and "gold standard". The observed antimicrobial activity of SA propolis can possibly be attributed to its flavonoid content.

SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY:

Based on the good antimicrobial activity observed for SA propolis, this natural resource shows promise and should be considered for development which may contribute to growing the bio-economy in the region. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Royal Jelly Improves Insulin Resistance in Type 2 Diabetic Patients


Does Supplementation with Royal Jelly Improve Oxidative Stress and Insulin Resistance in Type 2 Diabetic Patients?

Iran J Public Health. 2015 Jun;44(6):797-803

BACKGROUND:

Animal studies have shown antioxidant effects of Royal Jelly (RJ) and its effect on insulin resistance as the most common complication of Type 2 diabetes. This study was conducted to determine the effect of RJ intake on serum total antioxidant capacity, Malondialdehyde and insulin resistance in T2DM.

METHODS:

In this randomized controlled trial, forty-six type 2 diabetic patients, aged 25-65 years, with BMI of 20-30 kg/m(2), and HbA1c of 6-8% were included. The patients were randomly assigned to receive 1000 mg of RJ supplement or placebo, 3 times daily for 8 weeks. HOMA-IR, anthropometric measurements, fasting blood glucose, serum insulin, total antioxidant capacity and malondialdehyde level were measured.

RESULTS:

In comparison with placebo, HOMA-IR decreased (P=0.015) while serum total antioxidant capacity increased significantly in RJ group (P=0.016). No significant difference was detected for serum insulin and MDA in two groups.

CONCLUSIONS:

RJ intake may have favorable effects on serum TAC and HOMA-IR in diabetic patients.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Mixture of Honey, Royal Jelly and Bee Pollen Protects Against Toxicity of Anti-Cancer Drug

A mixture of honey bee products ameliorates the genotoxic side effects of cyclophosphamide 

Volume 5, Issue 8, August 2015, Pages 638–644

To evaluate the protective role of a mixture of honey bee products (honey, royal jelly and pollen grains) against the genotoxicity induced by the anticancer drug cyclophosphamide (CP).

Methods

The study included chromosomal aberration analysis in mice bone marrow cells, induction of morphological sperm abnormalities, DNA fragmentation and histopathological changes induced in liver cells of mice. CP was injected intraperitoneally at the dose of 20 mg/kg body weight. The mixture of honey bee products was administrated orally for different periods of time 5, 10 and 15 days with a dose exactly equivalent to the daily intake of human beings.

Results

The results revealed that honey mixture ameliorated the genotoxic side effects of CP. For chromosomal aberrations the percentage reached 25.20 ± 1.30 for CP treated group, while it reached half of that value 12.30 ± 0.54 in CP-group pretreated with honey mixture for 15 days. Breaks, fragments and multiple aberrations were the most pronounced types of aberrations induced after CP treatment and honey mixture reduced these types of abnormalities. CP induced significant percentage of sperm abnormalities 8.52 ± 0.17 compared to control 3.10 ± 0.10. The percentage of sperm abnormalities reached nearly to the control value in CP- mice treated with honey mixture for 15 days. Honey also reduced the incidence of liver DNA damage induced by CP. The results also indicated that CP had a marked damaging effect on liver tissue including severe dilatation, congestion of main blood vessels and massive infiltration of inflammatory cells with irregular general pattern of the tissue. These effects were greatly ameliorated by using oral administration of honey mixture for different periods of time.

Conclusions

The results concluded that honey bee mixture can be used as chemopreventive agent for minimizing the genotoxic side effects of the anticancer drug CP and open the field for its use in many applications.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Rhododendron 'Mad' Honey a Source of Enzymatic Symptoms

Effects of Mad Honey on Some Biochemical Parameters in Rats

J Evid Based Complementary Altern Med. 2015 Aug 2

The aims of this study were to determine grayanotoxin (GTX-III) toxin level in mad honey using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry and examine the dynamic changes of certain biochemical parameters in blood serum of rats that consumed mad honey.

For the experimental animal study, 20 Sprague-Dawley female rats were divided into 5 groups of 4 rats each, with one group being the control group (Group 1) and the others being the experimental groups (Groups 2-5). Groups 2, 3, 4, and 5 were, respectively, given mad honey extract at doses of 0.3, 0.6, 1.2, and 2.4 mg/g body weight/day via oral gavage for 8 days.

According to results, the quantity of GTX-III found in the honey sample as 39.949 ± 0.020 μg GTX-III/g honey, and the biochemical analysis of the tested parameters (aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, lactate dehydrogenase, alkaline phosphatase, creatine kinase, and creatine kinase muscle and brain) showed a significant elevation with increasing concentration of honey.

In conclusion, the use of increasing concentrations of Rhododendron honey was seen as a source of enzymatic symptoms.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Propolis Dry Extract with Antibacterial Activity

Development and characterization of a novel standardized propolis dry extract obtained by factorial design with high artepillin C content

Journal of Pharmaceutical Technology & 
Drug Research

Background: Besides the known propolis biological activities, widely reported in many scientific studies, new findings in animal models have opened new fields for propolis application. Recently, there has been an increased interest in dried extracts based on natural products including propolis, as the product in the dry presentation shows several advantages. Therefore, standardizing a more soluble dry extract and allowing the production of human dosage forms are of great interest. In this context, this work aimed to develop a propolis dry extract with high propolis and artepillin C contents.

Methods: The experiments followed a Box-Behnken design to study the effects of the process on the physicochemical properties of the powder using a spray drying equipment. The following drying excipients were used: silicon dioxide with arabic gum (encapsulating system A) and modified starch (encapsulating system B). Furthermore, physicochemical characterization, particle morphology by scanning electron microscopy and antibacterial assay of the samples were carried out.

Results: The results revealed that all variables of the process did not influence significantly propolis and flavonoid content, moisture and angle of repose in the encapsulating system A (arabic gum and silicon dioxide). For the encapsulating system B (modified starch and silicon dioxide), it was observed that the propolis content, flavonoid content, density, moisture and angle of repose were influenced significantly by the variables of the drying process parameters. Finally, p-coumaric acid, cinnamic acid and artepillin C were affected by the process conditions of system A, while, these biomarkers were not affected by the encapsulating system B. Both propolis dry extracts obtained were active against Staphylococcus aureus.

Conclusions: This study evidenced different encapsulating systems lead to different effects, depending on the drying process parameters. Both encapsulating systems allowed to obtain a standardized propolis extract with high flavonoid content and the expected amounts of artepillin C. Also, they maintained the antibacterial activity of propolis.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

New Apitherapy Supplements for Dogs


HEDERA LLC of Croatia Launches Unique Line of 5 Bee Supplements for Dogs
Posted by admin on August 10, 2015

Bee Pollen and Propolis have been called the perfect food, complete with antioxidants, bioflavonoids, and over 300 health giving all-natural compounds. New dog supplement line aims at providing the same benefits for dogs.

Split, Croatia – August 10, 2015 – People have benefitted from using bee products (honey, propolis, pollen, royal jelly) for centuries, but for dogs this was not the case. After many years of research, a company called Hedera LLC, from Croatia, developed a unique product line for dogs called Apipet. The Apipet line of dog supplements are 100% natural based on bee products; propolis and bee pollen. The company reports that Apipet pet supplements are the only bee products in the world produced on completely natural and holistic principles. Their products are the result of years of research on the impact of bee products on health. Apipet products are unique in that every product is made completely without any chemical processes, like extraction, synthesis, dissolving in alcohol, etc., and free of any additives such as flavoring, colors, binders, excipients, bulking or anti caking agents, which are commonly used in the production of supplements.

This principle allows the preservation of propolis and bee pollen in its original form which provides the maximum therapeutic value in a dog’s body. It is important to mention that propolis is an extremely valuable source of health, and in nature (in the beehives) is in a solid form. It is a complex resin which contains more than 300 different compounds. Many of them, alone or in combination have positive impact on different health issues. In dissolving propolis using chemical methods, more than 30% of its beneficial substances are inevitably lost. The bees use propolis as a natural antiseptic and antibiotic which secures health for every bee in the beehive, especially young and old ones. It is said that a Beehive is more sanitary than a hospital. Different tests have shown that propolis produced by Hedera’s methodology has a superior degree of beneficial effects...

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

「蜂療」是否違規 30天內分曉 - Acupuncturist's 'Bee Sting Therapy' Investigated

August 7, 2015

因採用活蜜蜂對人體穴位直接螫剌的阿罕布拉市中醫師周新勝(Xinsheng Tom Zhou)被加州針灸局(Acupuncture Board)告上法院,為期四天的庭審6日下午結束。法官將在未來30天內做出裁決,針灸局將在120天內根據法院裁決做出最終決定。

周新勝表示,除了對抗過敏的應急包「EpiPens」外,他還花了五年時間,自行研製了預防過敏的中草藥。不過副總檢察長(Deputy attorney general)Wendy Widlus質疑他的中草藥從未經過聯邦食品暨藥物管理局(FDA)認證過,沒有醫師或藥商採購過,相關論文也沒有在學術期刊上發表過