Sunday, January 31, 2010

Bees Can Be Trained to Recognize Face-Like Patterns

FRIDAY, Jan. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Bees can learn to recognize human faces, as long as they think the faces are odd-shaped flowers, a new study reports.

In a series of experiments, researchers from Australia and France determined that bees could be trained to recognize face-like patterns when they were rewarded with a sweet treat for doing so.

However, this doesn't mean that bees can learn to recognize individual human faces. Instead, the bees are able to learn the relative arrangements of features that create a face-like pattern, the study authors explained. Bees may use this same strategy to learn about and recognize different objects in their environment.

The study findings are published in the Jan. 29 issue of the Journal of Experimental Biology...

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Cinnamon-Honey Combo a Possible Cure-All?

By Kim Sherman, Shelter Island Reporter, 1/28/2010

In the past I have written about the healing properties of honey and all of its great uses. If you have come into the store, you may also have heard me talk about cinnamon. Cinnamon helps to regulate blood sugar in diabetics by slowing the emptying of the stomach, causing a slower rate of blood sugar absorption. This results in less of a blood sugar spike. New studies also suggest that cinnamon might actually have an insulin boosting property that helps the body use its sugars more easily.


Well, with that in mind, what might happen if we combine the two together? No, you can’t use it for the lava in your kid’s science project, but you can use it for a lot of other good things, such as:

Curing arthritis pain. Make a paste of one part honey with two parts lukewarm water, mix with a small teaspoon of cinnamon. Rub into aching area for 15 minutes, pain should resolve.


Hair loss/baldness. Make a paste of hot olive oil, 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Apply 15 minutes before showering. (No, we haven’t tried it yet.)


Reducing cholesterol. Mix 2 tablespoons of honey, 1 tablespoon of cinnamon in 16 ounces of tea. This mixture has been found to reduce cholesterol in the blood by 10 percent in two hours. (Do this before your life insurance physical.)


Heart disease. Apply honey and cinnamon powder on bread instead of butter or jelly. Eat it on a regular basis for breakfast.


Acne. Mix equal parts of honey and cinnamon into a paste. Rub it onto skin. Leave it on as long as possible. There will be a mild burning sensation. Wash with lukewarm water. Do this daily for two weeks. The results are pretty dramatic. I have seen this work. A maintenance mask every couple of days will help you to stay radiant.


Here’s the biggie — weight loss. Steep 1 teaspoon of cinnamon in 1 cup of boiling water, let cool for 30 minutes. Mix in 2 teaspoons of honey. Drink half on an empty stomach before bed and the other half as soon as you get out of bed. If taken regularly it reduces weight and does not allow fat to accumulate on the body. This sounds quite yummy doesn’t it? Well it’s not. I thought, “Great, let me dig out my bikini in time for summer.” I mixed up my first batch, waited my 30 minutes, only to find a cup of slime. The cinnamon turns into a blob when it is steeped. I went back online and found that it is okay to run the blob through a coffee filter. So I dug out my old coffee filters and started filtering. Thirty minutes later, my blob had stressed the filter so much that I now had a blob and wet paper in my cup...

Friday, January 29, 2010

Video: Honey, Royal Jelly Recommended for Skin Treatment

Three super-simple face masks you can do the night before any special occasion to look and feel your best.

Repair & Protect: Honey & Oats

Oats are rich in beta glucan, soluble fiber that stimulates the repair of skin cells, reduces wrinkles, and protects against sun damage. Raw honey soothes skin with amino acids and increases elasticity. The addition of royal jelly boosts cell regeneration.

Ingredients:

1 tbsp. ground oats or oat flour
1 tbsp. raw honey
½ tsp. royal jelly or Yogurt

Directions:

Stir ingredients until creamy, apply mixture to face and leave on for 20 minutes.

video

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Propolis Helps Preserve Viability of Knocked-Out Teeth

Propolis as Storage Media for Avulsed Teeth: Microscopic and Morphometric Analysis in Rats
Dent Traumatol, 2010 Feb;26(1):80-5

The maintenance of the avulsed teeth in appropriate media for preserving the cellular viability has been important for repairing the periodontal ligament and preventing the root resorption after tooth reimplantation.

Propolis is a substance capable of preserving cellular viability. This study aimed to analyze the propolis substance as a storage media for maintaining the avulsed teeth, besides to determine the ideal time period for keeping the tooth inside it.

Thus, 60 maxillary right central incisors of rats were extracted and divided into five groups. In groups I and II, teeth were kept in propolis for 60 min and 6 h, respectively; in group III, teeth were kept in milk for 6 h; in group IV, teeth were kept dry for 60 min; and in group V, they were immediately reimplanted. All teeth had their root canals filled with calcium hydroxide paste. Following, teeth were reimplanted in their sockets. After 15 and 60 days, animals were killed and the obtained samples were processed in laboratory for microscopic and morphometric analyzing.

The results showed that the occurrence of inflammatory resorption, dental ankylosis and the formation of the connective tissue parallel to the root surface were similar among groups. It could be verified a greater occurrence of replacement resorption in group IV when comparing to other groups.

In groups I and IV, the presence of periodontal ligament-like connective tissue was substantially smaller than the other groups. Regarding to the cementum amount over the root, it could be observed that this was present in smaller amount in groups I and IV. Group II was similar to groups III and IV.

Therefore, according to the results of this study, the use of propolis as a storage media for maintaining avulsed teeth could be highlighted, and the 6-h period was more appropriate than the 60-min period.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Video: Missing Bees Create a Buzz

Associated Press, 1/27/2010

Honey and Bee Pollen Mix Recommended for Health

Ambrosia Honey for Health
Teatro Naturale International, 1/26/2010

Ambrosia is a combination of wildflower honey and fresh bee pollen.

Would you like a complete raw food that will not spoil and that you can take with you wherever you go and that will provide you with 100% of the vitamins, minerals, protein and enzymes you need to give you energy and increase your stamina? Ambrosia is a combination of raw wildflower honey and fresh bee pollen whipped together.

Each 8 oz. jar contains almost 30 grams of bee pollen; each 16 oz. jar almost 60 grams. No bacteria grows in honey so it keeps the bee pollen fresh. No need for refrigeration. The enzymes in the honey break down the pollen to make it more readily digestible. It is absolutely delicious.

Apitherapy Day Feb. 20 in Pittsfield, Ohio



This event will be held at the Pittsfield, Ohio, Town Hall, located at the northwest corner of the intersection of Routes 303 and 58.

The Presenters will be Jim Higgins and Don Downs of Ohio, both AAS Board Members, and Jerry Catana and Kristine Jacobson of Michigan, two very active members of AAS. All four are experienced apitherapists. A pot luck lunch will be held mid-day.

All people interested in Apitherapy are welcome to attend. For more information call Don Downs at 404-647-2483.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

'Dead' Man Found Alive in Coffin After Bee Attack

By David Charter, Herald Sun, 1/26/2010

A Polish beekeeper who suffered a heart attack after being stung was found alive in his coffin, The Times of London reported today.

Josef Guzy, 76, collapsed unconscious after the insect attack earlier in the day and had been pronounced dead at the scene by a doctor, The Times of London reported.

It was only when the undertaker reached into the coffin for the last time, in order to retrieve a necklace requested by Guzy's grieving would-be widow, that he detected a faint pulse.

"Just before closing the coffin, the family asked us to remove a couple of precious things from the body," funeral director Darius Wysluchato said.

"I happened to touch the artery in the neck and was totally shocked. I checked it again and shouted, 'There is a pulse.' My assistant checked as well. I leaned in close and I could tell that he was still breathing. My God, it was a miracle."…

Propolis Helps Prevent, Cure Ulcers

Antiulcerogenic and Ulcer Healing Effects of Indian Propolis in Experimental Rat Ulcer Models

Propolis is a resinous hive product collected by worker bees from various parts of the plants. It is widely used in Indian folk medicine for the treatment of stomach ulcers.

The preventive and curative effects of Indian propolis for ulcers were evaluated using models of acute gastric lesions induced by ethanol and indomethacin in rats. Moreover, the effects of ethanolic extract of propolis on gastric content volume, total acidity and pH, using the pylorus ligated model were also evaluated.

Animals pretreated with propolis extract showed a significant reduction in lesion index in both ethanol and indomethacin induced ulcer models in a dose dependent manner when compared to the control group. Similarly, post-treatment with propolis (300 mg/kg body weight) for a period of 15 days revealed a statistically significant improvement in the ulcer healing process p <0.05.

In the pylorus ligated model, it was observed that the Indian propolis extract displayed an antisecretory activity, which led to a significant reduction in the gastric juice volume, total acidity and pH.

These findings indicate that Indian propolis displays both ulcer preventive and ulcer curative properties and provides a scientific rationale for the use of propolis in the traditional medicinal system.

Propolis & Essential Oils Combine Synergistically in New Products

Response Source, 1/25/2010
A new approach in combining propolis and essential oils with Vitamin C could bring relief from the ‘common cold’, sinusitis, bronchitis, pneumonia and other viral and bacterial infections of the ear, nose and throat.

The basis of the idea is to combine Apitherapy (products from bees) with Aromatherapy resulting in very effective products with a great synergy and enhanced effect.

Propolis is a natural resin collected by bees from plants that has been recognised for decades for its antiviral and antibacterial properties. Due to its biochemical complexity, it has multiple properties and has shown to be antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-viral and anti-bacterial. Its effects appear to be both preventive and therapeutic and particularly well adapted for the treatment of upper respiratory tract infections.

Free your nose with a combination of concentrated antiviral red propolis, rosemary and eucalyptus essential oils. They act together as an antiviral, anti-inflammatory, decongestant and expectorant thus helps to free up the nose, relieve the throat and boost resistance. A clinical study conducted on 430 patients appears to show the effect of concentrated propolis on ENT disorders is increased when accompanied with vitamin C. The authors also suggest that the decrease in viral and bacterial concentrations in the nose and throat may be attributed to the anti-inflammatory and decongestant properties of the product in which concentrated propolis is combined with vitamin C…

Monday, January 25, 2010

Propolis Boosts Cancer Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy



A Review of Propolis Antitumour Action In Vivo and In Vitro Journal of ApiProduct & ApiMedical Science, Vol. 2 (1) pp. 01-20

Epidemiologic findings strongly suggest that cancer rates are influenced by environmental factors that can be mitigated to a great extent, for example by a diet rich in polyphenolic/flavonoid compounds.

Among natural products, honeybee propolis has been applied for centuries in traditional medicine as well as in diets and supplementary nutrition. Honeybee propolis and its polyphenolic/flavonoid compounds have been known to exhibit biological activity including immunopotentiation, chemopreventive and antitumour effects.

In this review we consider the inhibition of tumour growth by honeybee propolis and their polyphenolic/flavonoid compounds as well as the mechanisms involved based on in vivo and in vitro studies. Results have shown that propolis and its polyphenolic compounds exerted an anti-metastatic and antitumour effect in mice and rats and considerable cytotoxicity without cross-resistance in both wild-type and chemoresistant human tumour cell lines.

These findings suggest that propolis and their polyphenolic/flavonoid components may serve as a potent adjunct to chemotherapy and radiotherapy in the treatment of cancers. However, further in-depth studies including clinical trials are needed to fully evaluate the value of flavonoids in combination with chemotherapeutic agents for the treatment of human cancers.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Abstracts from the 2nd International Conference on the Medicinal Use of Honey

Journal of ApiProduct & ApiMedical Science, Vol. 2 (1) pp. 31 - 60
A total of 59 abstracts from the oral and poster presentations at the conference.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Honey Recommended for Sore Throats, Weight Loss



The Honey Heal Factor
Himadree, Hindustan Times, 1/23/2010

The many wonders of honey are not just restricted to adding sweetness to your taste buds. It is also a natural energy booster. Here are a few health facts about honey…

Honey stimulates the body’s immune system and helps improve digestion.

A teaspoon of honey combined with some garlic juice cures a sore throat. Its anti-microbial property not only heal the throat, but also kills any harmful bacterial infection.

Honey helps in gastric problems and cures infection in the bladder.

One of the sure shot benefits of honey is weight loss. A glass of lukewarm lemon water and honey combo is a natural way to deal with excessive body fat.

Bee Venom May Help Treat Liver Disease



Effect of Bee Venom on Transforming Growth Factor–β1-Treated Hepatocytes
International Journal of Toxicology, Vol. 29, No. 1, 49-56 (2010)

Bee venom (BV) has been used as treatment against a wide variety of ailments, including inflammatory diseases. Various studies have demonstrated anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects of BV.

Transforming growth factor (TGF)–β1 induces hepatocyte apoptosis via the mitochondrial permeability transition. However, there is no evidence or information regarding the antiapoptotic effect of BV on hepatocytes.

The authors investigated the antiapoptotic effect of BV on TGF-β1-treated hepatocytes. The results showed significant protection from DNA damage by BV treatment compared to corresponding TGF-β1-treated hepatocytes without BV.

BV suppressed TGF-β1-induced activation of the bcl-2 family and caspase family of proteins, which resulted in inhibition of poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) cleavage. Furthermore, BV is not cytotoxic in the low concentrations used in this study.

Low concentrations of BV potently suppress the apoptotic response in TGF-β1-treated hepatocytes; therefore, BV may have therapeutic potential for the treatment of liver diseases.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Honey Injection May Help Treat Infertility

Post-Cauterization Application of Egyptian Bee Honey for Resistant Cervicitis as Sole Reason for Infertility
2nd International Conference on the Medicinal Use of Honey
Kota Bharu, Malaysia, 13th - 16th January, 2010
Ahmed Tageldin Abdelhafiz, J. Abdelmonaem
Department of Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, Sohag University
Asyut Gynecology and Infertility Clinic

Background: In many cases of chronic endocervicitis, there are the unsolved problems of resistance, poor post-cauterization healing, recurrence and poor fertility outcome.

Objective: We tried to elucidate the therapeutic value of Egyptian bee honey as post-cauterization intracervical application for infertility due to resistant cervicitis.

Methodology: Sixty patients of resistant, recurrent and unhealed chronic cervicitis as sole reason for infertility have been randomly assigned, into two groups for either cauterization followed by immediate and late intracervical bee honey application under ultrasonographic guidance (Group I), or cauterization alone (Group II). The tested parameters were:1) clinical cure of cervicitis, 2) recurrence rate, 3) healing within 4 weeks, and, 4) occurrence of pregnancy within one year for sub-fertile cases with resistant cervicitis as the sole reason.

Results: Group I patients have got significantly: a) superior rates of clinical cure including: improvement of the discharge complaint 23/30 (77%) versus 7/30 (23%) for group II; P <0.01; pain reduction 13/30 (43%) versus 3/30 (10%); P<0.01; better healing rate within 4 weeks, 29/30 (97%), versus 13/30 (43%)' P < 0.05; less recurrence 4/30 (13%) versus 17/30 (57%); P<0.1, and; b) better fertility outcome with a pregnancy rate of 59% versus 24%; P<0.05.

Conclusion: Intracervical Egyptian bee honey injection is of positive therapeutic value for cases of chronic endocervitis, both in terms of clinical cure and fertility enhancement.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Bee Venom Shows Anti-Tumor Properties

Melittin Suppresses PMA-Induced Tumor Cell Invasion by Inhibiting NF-kappaB and AP-1-Dependent MMP-9 Expression Mol Cells, 2010 Jan 12

Matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) plays an important role in the invasion and metastasis of cancer cells.

In this study, we examined the inhibitory effect of bee venom (BV) and its major peptides, melittin and apamin, on PMA-induced invasion induced by MMP-9 expression in Caki-1 renal cancer cells.

BV and melittin, but not apamin, significantly suppressed PMA-induced invasion by inhibiting MMP-9 expression in Caki-1 cells. Furthermore, as evidenced by MMP-9 promoter assays, melittin inhibited MMP-9 gene expression by blocking the PMA-stimulated activations of activator protein-1 (AP-1) and nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kappaB).

In addition, melittin suppressed the PMA-induced phosphorylations of ERK and JNK mitogenactivated protein kinases, upstream factors involved in Ap-1 and NF-kappaB.

These results suggest that the suppression of MMP-9 expression contributes to the anti-tumor properties of melittin.

Writer Praises Bee Pollen’s Immune Boosting Power



I'm a Bee-liever: Nature Bee Gave Boost to My Immune System Palm Beach Post, 1/20/2010

…Around three years ago, after doing a little more research, I decided to give Nature Bee a shot (it comes with a full money-back guarantee). The product looks like a vitamin capsule but, says company founder Jeff Cook, is actually a "potentiated" plant food: organically collected, chemical- and additive-free bee pollen.

"It's really a super food," says Cook. "The human body is made up of 22 essential elements, and pollen is the only food that has each and every one of them. Pollen contains 27 vitamins and amino acids; 28 minerals; and a range of antioxidants, micronutrients, enzymes, hormones, RNA and DNA."

All of that is well and good. But here's what matters to me: Since I began taking my daily dose of Nature Bee three years ago, my immune system has never been stronger. In fact, I can't remember the last time I got sick.

While friends and co-workers regularly succumb to colds and flu, I breeze along with nary a sniffle.

Whether my increased resistance is wholly attributable to Nature Bee, I can't say. I just know that, pre-2007, I used to come down with bugs all the time — but now I never do…

Honey Has Anti-Corrosive Properties

Anti-Corrosive Properties of Natural Honey on Al–Mg–Si Alloy in Seawater
Current Applied Physics, Volume 10, Issue 3, May 2010, Pages 923-929

Anti-corrosive properties of natural honey on Al–Mg–Si alloy in seawater were evaluated by potentiodynamic polarization (PP), linear polarization resistance (LPR) and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) measurements.

All the studied parameters showed good anti-corrosive properties against the corrosion of Al–Mg–Si alloy in the tested solution and their performance increases with corrosion resistant concentration.

Polarization data indicated that natural honey is a mixed-type corrosion resistant. LPR and EIS studies showed that there were significant increases in the overall resistance after the addition of natural honey. The adsorption of natural honey on the metal surface obeys Langmuir adsorption isotherm.

The analysis of morphology studies confirmed the formation of precipitates of natural honey on the metal surface, which reduced the overall corrosion reaction.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Apitherapy Diet Recommended to Protect Liver

Research on the Influence of Api-Diet on Seric Proteins Profile in Acetaminofen Experimental Induced Hepatopathy in Wistar Rats
Analele Societatii Nationale de Biologie Celulara; 2009, Vol. 14 Issue 1, p117-123

The aim of this experiment was to study the api-diet influence on seric proteins profile (evaluated by electrophoresis) in rats with acetaminophen experimentally-induced hepatopathy.

In order to reduce factors that precipitate the progression of hepatic lesions, we have administered api-therapy products. Substances: apitherapic products - Apiregya, ApiImunomod, ApiImunostim got from “Stupina SRL” (office and laboratories in the Balanesti parish, Gorj county, Romania, phone 0253.270.221).

Animals were manipulated under general anesthesia with thiopental. The levels of investigated parameters were measured using an automatic analyzer (Aeroset, Abbott) and commercial kits (Abbott, USA). 60 white Wistar rats was used, equally divided into six groups: the control group - standard nourishment (group I); api-diet control group (group II); api-diet and royal jelly (RJ) control lot (group III); acetaminophen group (group IV); api-diet and acetaminophen group (group V); acetaminophen, api-diet , and RJ lot (group VI).

After that, a number of 30 subjects were kept for study and research. Animals were kept in normal light and temperature conditions, water and food being provided ad libidum. Toxic hepatopathy was experimentally induced by acetaminophen administered by intra-gastric gavage (hydrous solution, 1g/kg/day, for 2 weeks). Animals were manipulated under general anesthesia with Thiopental.

In group V, api-diet and acetaminophen co-administration determined a statistically significant increase of serum albimine level compared to: i) group I (standard nourishment control group) (30.42±1.27g/L versus 39.51±2.91g/L, p<0.0001); ii) api-diet control group (group II) (4.49±0.9g/L versus 39.51±2.91g/L, p<0.0001). In group VI, acetaminophen, api-diet, and RJ co-administration determined a statistically significant decrease of total globulins compared to: i) group I (standard nourishment control group) (69.57±1.27g/L versus 61.7±5.07g/L, p<0.0001); ii) group IV (acetaminophen) (95.51±0.9g/L versus 61.7±5.07g/L, p<0.0001). In group VI, acetaminophen, api-diet , and RJ co-administration determined a statistically significant decrease of γ-globulins compared to acetaminophen group (group IV) (9.83±1.2g/L versus 9.7±0.43g/L). Authors recommend apitherapy with Apiregya, ApiImunostim, and ApiImunomod in hepatic affections, but only taken into consideration the serum proteins electrophoresis profile. Also, treatment should be modulated according to the evolution of the above-mentioned parameters.

Bees Provide Income for Ethiopian Village



Beekeeping in Koraro By New York Times, 1/19/2010

…Traditionally, the people of Koraro have depended upon their crops and animals for survival, toiling year-round to scrape enough food from the rocky, unforgiving land. One objective of the MVP is to identify new ways for farmers to generate cash, allowing villagers to invest in costly items like water pumps or farming tools during good harvests, while providing a financial buffer for the leaner years.

Beekeeping appears to fit the bill, and although the program is still in its pilot stage, initial results are promising. With minimal time commitment (chores include keeping rodents and ants away from the hives), Debalkew Weres was able to produce 35 kilograms of honey in each of his four hives. The viscous white honey fetches 25 Ethiopian Birr (approximately $2) per kilogram at the local market, and the accompanying wax can be molded into candles...

France Plants Flowers to Aid Honey Bees

Making a Buzz: French Roads to Help Honey Bees AFP, 1/19/2010

PARIS — France is to sow nectar-bearing flowers on the sides of roads in an experiment aimed at helping the honey bee, hit by an alarming worldwide decline, the ministry of sustainable development said on Tuesday.

More than 250 kilometres (155 miles) of roadside will be sown in the coming months, launching a three-year test that could be extended to the country's 12,000-kilometer (7,500-mile) network of non-toll roads, it said…

Bee Decline Linked to Falling Biodiversity

By Richard Black, BBC News, 1/20/2010

The decline of honeybees seen in many countries may be caused by reduced plant diversity, research suggests.

Bees fed pollen from a range of plants showed signs of having a healthier immune system than those eating pollen from a single type, scientists found.

Writing in the journal Biology Letters, the French team says that bees need a fully functional immune system in order to sterilise food for the colony…

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

New Zealand Medicinal Honey Shipment Being Checked

Million Dollar Manuka Honey Batch Under Examination
Scoop, 1/19/2010


One of New Zealand’s top honey exporters has identified a potential problem with several batches of high value Manuka honey.

Timaru-based Honey Valley is one of New Zealand’s major Manuka honey exporters. In November last year the company purchased a quantity of Manuka honey from a beekeeping supplier.

“The honey comes from hives with very high unique manuka antibacterial activity. All honey processed by Honey Valley undergoes “very strict pre-processing checking and testing”, says company Managing Director, Steve Lyttle.

“These batches of honey displayed slightly abnormal C4 sugar levels (cane sugar) when pre-processing testing was carried out. My production team set honey aside and we took core samples from the various batches and sent them to the world’s top honey quality testing laboratory: Intertek in Germany. The results came back suggesting slightly unnatural levels of cane sugar and I advised the NZ Food Safety Authority. They looked at the analyses and placed a hold on the honey subject to the results of their own investigation,” says Lyttle.
“It’s important to note that the manuka honey had also been tested for its UMF activity rating by NZ laboratories in Hamilton. The honey has very good UMF activity. So the issue isn’t about the honey’s UMF Manuka antibacterial activity but about the abnormal presence of cane sugar,” says Lyttle…

Honey Beats Traditional Dressings for Skin Grafts

A Pilot Study on the Usage of Honey Hydrogel and Safecare Hydrogel Dressing in the Treatment of Split Skin Graft Donor Sites
2nd International Conference on the Medicinal Use of Honey
Kota Bharu, Malaysia, 13th - 16th January, 2010
F H Imran-Kelly, A A Dorai, W S Azman, A S Halim
Reconstructive Sciences Unit, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 16150, Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia

BACKGROUND: A pilot study was performed to investigate two dressing materials with regards to their healing of split skin graft donor sites.

METHODS: Patients who undergo split skin grafting were screened for this study. They were required to meet the inclusion & exclusion criteria. Using simple randomisation, 50 patients were assigned into 2 groups, 25 patients received commercially available Safecare Hydrogel dressing and 25 received Honey Hydrogel dressing applied to their split skin graft donor sites. All donor sites are inspected on the 5th, 10th and 15th post-operative day. The parameters assessed are wound healing, pain assessment and complication rates.

RESULTS: There was a difference observed in both the healing rates and pain assessment between both groups. There with 99.8% wound healing rate in the Honey Hydrogel group versus 96% in the Safecare hydrogel group. The discomfort level was less with the Honey Hydrogel group, requiring less analgesia than the Safecare Hydrogel group.

CONCLUSION: The results prove the initial study hypothesis that Honey Hydrogel is better than Safecare Hydrogel in optimizing the healing of split skin graft donor sites. This is an ongoing study so the effectiveness of Honey Hydrogel is continually being investigated.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Solomon Islands Propolis Shows Anti-MRSA Activity

Antimethicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Activity of Pacific Propolis and Isolated Prenylflavanones
Phytotherapy Research, Early View

The need to discover and develop alternative therapies to treat methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections is timely.

This study was undertaken to purify and identify some anti-MRSA constituents from propolis, a natural product from the beehive traditionally used in folk medicine for its antimicrobial properties.

A crude extract of propolis originating from the Solomon Islands (Pacific propolis) was screened, using an agar dilution assay, in vitro against 15 MRSA clinical isolates.

Results revealed activity worthy of further investigation, and subsequent purification work on this crude extract afforded 23 fractions. Further purification of active fractions led to the isolation of compounds 1-4, characterized upon analysis of their spectroscopic data (1D- and 2D-NMR, MS) and by comparison with the literature, as the prenylflavanones propolin H (1), propolin G (2), propolin D (3), and propolin C (4).

This study is the first to report the anti-MRSA activity of Pacific propolis and the presence of prenylflavanones in the propolis sample selected. The anti-MRSA activity of propolin D (3) (MIC 8-16 mg/L) and propolin C (4) (MIC 8-32 mg/L) is reported for the first time

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Bee Stings as Medicine?

Bee Venom Advocate Says Apitherapy Can Cure What Ails You
By Fernando Quintero, Orlando Sentinel, 1/15/2010

Reyah Carlson has been stung by bees more than 25,000 times. On purpose.

Carlson is a practitioner of apitherapy, a controversial form of alternative medicine that uses bee venom to treat everything from arthritis to multiple sclerosis. She will be a featured speaker at the 2010 North American Beekeepers Conference being held in Orlando today.

Carlson, who lives in Vermont, has traveled the world to spread the word about bee venom therapy. She has also appeared in National Geographic and on the Discovery Channel.

"Apitherapy is not a new form of alternative therapy. It has been used in other countries for centuries," said Carlson, a.k.a "The Bee Lady."

Carlson, who had been fascinated by bees since early childhood, said she first began using bee stings for her Lyme Disease after being introduced to the treatment by a man she met when she was working as a nursing assistant in Vermont.

"When you break down the chemical components of bee venom, you'll find 40-something identifiable components," said Carlson, 51.

They include mellitin, which some studies suggest blocks inflammation and has been shown to have anti-arthritic effects in mice, according to a 2009 report published by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.

Carlson said bee venom can also bolster immunity and speed up the healing process.

"I don't claim cures," said Carlson. "In some cases, it's ongoing treatment for life. For many diseases including (multiple sclerosis) and lupus, it's a great way to keep things in check and under control. Drugs for these conditions have bad side effects for the liver and other parts of the body, that's why I and many other people have turned to apitherapy as an alternative."…

Egyptian Honey, Propolis Help Treat Candidal Vulvovaginitis

Egyptian Bee Honey and Propolis for Recurrent Intractable Childhood Candidal Vulvovaginitis
2nd International Conference on the Medicinal Use of Honey
Kota Bharu, Malaysia, 13th - 16th January, 2010
Eman Abdelhafiz A. Abdelal1, Ahmed T. Abdelhafez
Department of Pediatrics, KSA Airline Medical Center, Jeddah, KSA
Asiut woman and maternity clinic, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Suhaje University, Egypt

BACKGROUND: Recurrent childhood candidal vulvovaginitis is a difficult clinical problem. Egyptian propolis has strong in-vitro antifungal activity, including candida species. Egyptian bee honey is known of its powerful anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial actions. The work targeted to evaluate the in vivo effect of local application of Egyptian bee honey (ebh) and Egyptian propolis (ep) in cases of resistant recurrent childhood candidal vulvovaginitis.

METHODS: Sixty two female children ranging between 4 and 9 years age, with recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis were treated using the ebh/ep mix. The mix was composed of ethanol extract of ep and egyptian trifolium-cotton honey. It was diluted in 200 ml of pre-boiled water and was used as twice daily external vulvovaginal lavage for 7 days. Besides, children were also let to set in ebh/ep filed basin twice daily for 10 minutes. This group was compared to another group of 70 children who received conventional antimycotic therapy (fluconazole, clotrimazole, itraconazole). The two groups were compared for symptomatic improvement, mycological cure, and rate of recurrence.

RESULTS: Ebh/ep use was associated with: 1) better symptom control (83%; 50.2%), 2) better mycological cure (74%; 35%), and, 3) much less rate of recurrent acute episodes (13%; 49%). No side effects were noted.

CONCLUSION: Ebh/ep is an effective treatment to for children with recurrent intractable candidal vulvovaginitis. This might be encouraging for further trials, and for formulating systemic ebh/ep preparations for this purpose.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Honey, Royal Jelly May Prevent Rupture of Fetal Membranes

An In-Vitro Model for the Use of Egyptian Bee Honey and Royal Jelly in Cases of Premature Rupture of the Fetal Membranes (PROM)
2nd International Conference on the Medicinal Use of Honey
Kota Bharu, Malaysia, 13th - 16th January, 2010
A Tageldin Abdelhafiz, J Abdelmonaem, M Abdlerahman, A Omar, D Aly
Department of Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, Suhaj University
Asyut Gynecology Clinic
Department of Histopathology, Asyut University Hospital
Department of Internal Medicine, Suhaj General Hospital

BACKGROUND: Cases of premature rupture of the fetal membranes (PROM) are very critical with high incidence of fetal mortality. Until now, there is no definitive prophylaxis for these cases. We present an in-vitro model objectively testing the effect of Egyptian bee honey (H) and royal jelly (RJ) on the mechanical properties of the fetal membranes.

METHODS: Amnion (A) and amnion/chorion complexes (B) of fetal membranes were collected from 138 delivered women following normal labor and PL/PROM. Membrane pieces were treated with either H, RJ, H/RJ mixture (cases), or physiologic saline (controls). The membranes were subsequently evaluated by: a) a manometric device for their mechanical properties, and, b) histological examination for the collagen content.

RESULTS: The tearing pressure and the elastic extension yield were significantly improved for both A (pressure of 105.7 with H and 146.5 for RJ versus 50.3 mm Hg for the controls; and elastic extension yield of 1.73 with H and 1.93 for RJ versus 1.46 cm for the controls); and B membranes (pressure of 190.7 mm Hg with H and 246.5 for RJ versus 121.2 mm Hg for the controls; elastic extension yield of 2.01 with H, 2.05 with RJ, versus 1.83 cm for the controls). Histological examination and image-analysis quantification revealed significantly increased collagen staining pattern, too.

CONCLUSION: H, H/RJ has positive effect on the mechanical properties of the fetal membranes. This may be through “collagen promoting action.”

Friday, January 15, 2010

Bee, Cobra Venom Help Treat Arthritis

Cobra Venom Erases Arthritis Symptoms
By Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News, 1/12/2010

In 2002, arthritis sufferer Joe de Casa was working in his Northamptonshire garden in England when a venomous snake bit him. After surviving the bite, de Casa, who struggles with arthritis, claimed that the following months provided his only pain-free days in years.

Such anecdotal claims, including teachings in India's centuries' old Ayurveda traditional medicine system, may hold some truth. Venom from cobras may not only treat arthritis, but also prevent further damage from the condition…

Venom from other animals and insects, such as bees, may also fight arthritis.

Jin Tae Hong of South Korea's Chungbuk National University and his team determined that bee venom also treats rats with induced inflammatory arthritis.

"Our data show that the anti-arthritic effects of bee venom are related to the anti-inflammatory effects of bee venom," Tae Hong said…

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Australian Beekeeper Supplies Medicinal Honey

Honey...Much More than Sweet Treat on Toast
By Vanessa Lahey, Nambucca Guardian (Australia), 1/14/2010

A local honey producer is helping contribute to good health by supplying part of his collection for use in medical applications.

Ross Cooper from Eungai Creek has been farming honey for 33 years and says it is definitely good for you.

Studies funded by the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) support this, uncovering some interesting facts about the sticky amber liquid.

In two reports it was found that a number of Australian honeys exhibit therapeutically beneficial levels of antibacterial activity, with potential medical applications for use on wounds and skin infections.

They also found that some Australian honeys have the potential to improve gastrointestinal health which in turn may assist the body’s immune system.

Mr Cooper said the honey used in medical applications came from specific species of trees.

“The species of tree blossom where the honey is used in medicine is Leptospermum, or Manuka as it’s commonly known in native homeland New Zealand.”…

New Japanese Energy Product Includes Royal Jelly

Eisai Introduces New Chocola BB Series Pharmaceutical Product “Chocola BB® Royal T”

Eisai Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Tokyo, President and CEO: Haruo Naito) today announced that the Company will launch “Chocola BB® Royal T”, new pharmaceutical tablets of the Chocola BB series, the Company's leading consumer healthcare brand. The new product will be available from February 8.

According to the survey conducted by Eisai in 2009, many women in their thirties and forties today suffer from chronic fatigue. The survey also found that women who are busy with work or housework are frequently concerned not only about lack of physical exhaustion but also nutritional imbalance and their irregular dietary habits. Working everyday in a busy and stressful environment can become burden to the body unconsciously. Under such condition, nutrients from diet cannot be converted into energy smoothly, causing various symptoms such as fatigue and tiredness.

“Chocola BB® Royal T”, the latest product of the Chocola BB series, is characterized by its unique “Royal T formula” that effectively combines ingredients to facilitate the smooth energy production such as activated vitamin B2, which concerns the metabolism of fat and converts it into energy, royal jelly rich in amino acids and minerals, and taurine, which enhances the metabolism of fatigue-inducing substances…

Lysozyme Boosts Antimycotic, Antibacterial Effect of Propolis

Analysis of the Antimicrobial Activity of Propolis and Lysozyme in Semisolid Emulsion Systems
Acta Pol Pharm, 2009 Nov-Dec;66(6):681-8

Propolis as an active natural substance is attractive due to its antimicrobial and antimycotic properties. Lysozyme was added to semisolid dermatological preparations as a complementary substance capable of potentiating their antimicrobial and antimycotic effect; this substance has been used for several decades as a preservative in food industry.

The aim of this study was to model a semisolid emulsion system (o/w) for cutaneous use with moisturizing and antimicrobial properties, where the active substances would be propolis and/or lysozyme.

The microbiological examination was performed under aseptic conditions. The microbiological examination was aimed at determining the antimicrobial efficacy of the studied preparation in the solid growth media using the wells technique.

The results of the antimicrobial assay showed that the effectiveness of propolis against the growth of S. aureus was intensified by the lysozyme introduced into the emulsion systems.

In addition to that, the results of examinations showed that the active substance propolis in emulsion systems more efficiently inhibited spore bacteria (Bacillus cereus) than lysozyme did, yet lysozyme had a more pronounced antimycotic (against Candida albicans) effect, compared to propolis.

All studied cream samples inhibited the growth of Gram-negative microorganisms (Escherichia coli).

The results of this study suggest that the application of propolis and lysozyme as the active substances may increase the antimycotic and antibacterial effect of the studied preparations.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Audio: Bees Used to Battle Crows in Japan

By Louisa Lim, National Public Radio, 1/12/2010

Video: Artist Creates Honey Jars for Michelle Obama

video

Bee Venom Mask Used as Alternative to Botox

A Beauty Invention by a Staffordshire Therapist Proves the Bees Knees for X-Factor Judge Danni Minogue
By Justine Halifax, Birmingham Mail, 1/8/2010

A Midland beauty therapist has put the smile back on the face of X Factor judge Danni Minogue.

Deborah Mitchell has convinced the Aussie star to ditch face-freezing botox – and instead use her new anti-ageing treatment made from bees’ venom.

But the mum-of-two, who grew up in Rugeley, says her face mask is anything but poison.

Using a host of natural, organic ingredients, including manuka honey, shea butter and essential oils she says it helps to control facial muscles without freezing them.

And Danni isn’t her only celebrity customer.

Deborah, who owns Heaven beauty salon in Shifnal, Shropshire, also treats Victoria Beckham and Michelle Pfeiffer.

She said actress Joanna Lumley has requested to go on the waiting list.

And she added that even the not so glamous likes of June Brown, who played Dot from Eastenders, bought samples of the mask – to give to her friends, including Jerry Hall.

Danni, age 38, was so impressed with Deborah’s product, part of her Heaven skin care range, she has blogged about it claiming that it really is “an alternative to botox”…

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Presentation: Mainstreaming Honey in Burn and Wound Care

This presentation will be offered at the 2nd International Conference on the Medicinal Use of Honey, January 13-15 in Malaysia

Honey in Wound and Burn Care
Ahmad Sukari Halim
Reconstructive Sciences Department, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 16150 Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia.

Honey has been used since the ancient times in wound care. However with the development of highly commercialized modern dressing material and antibiotic therapy, honey has fallen back into the background.

The ever increasing antibiotic-resistant microbial species in recent years has led to interest in rediscovering and re-evaluation the therapeutic use of honey.

Furthermore, clinical observation showed that infection is rapidly cleared. Inflammation, swelling and pain are also quickly reduced. Odor is reduced, while granulation and epithelialization are hastened.

Other observations around the world suggest that honey helps in the healing of wounds and ulcers with growth of new tissue. Therapeutic effects of honey have also been found to enhance healing with less scarring.

Beside the wound healing aspect, factors such as minimal adherence, ease of removal, reduction of fluid accumulation and dryness of surrounding skin and exudates are important positive features of honey in wound care.

Although this evidence has been documented - along with other evidence from animal studies - there are still significant skeptics in clinical practice. This is mainly due to insufficient validated scientific evidence to determine the effect of honey compared with other treatments for burns or in other acute and chronic wound types.

This presentation will highlight the background, the present status of work and future challenges in getting honey back into the mainstream treatment of wound and burn care.

E-mail: ashalim@kb.usm.my

Honey and Vinegar Used to Treat Arthritis

Vinegar and Honey Cured My Crippling Arthritis, Says Delighted Organist
By Daily Mail (UK), 1/8/2010

When Sarah Gall was crippled by arthritis, the powerful painkilling drugs prescribed by her doctor brought no relief.

Yet the 55-year-old church organist now claims to be completely pain-free thanks to a simple but startlingly effective cure she found in her kitchen cupboard - vinegar.

After being left in constant agony and having to give up her beloved music, Mrs Gall began taking a mixture of cider vinegar and honey four times a day…

Mrs Gall said: 'It suggested drinking cider vinegar mixed with honey and hot water. After only a week I started to feel much better. I didn't need to see the specialist any more. Eventually the arthritis had disappeared. My doctor was flabbergasted.'

Mrs Gall has written a booklet to help other sufferers.

But medics last night were cautious. Dr Binoj Nair, of the samedaydoctor clinic in Manchester, said: 'If it works for you then great. It won't work for most people. The important thing is to see your doctor.'

Monday, January 11, 2010

Malaysian Honey Potential Supplement to Cancer Therapy

Tualang Honey has Potential to be Used in Breast Cancer Therapy - USM Study

KOTA BAHARU, Jan 11 (Bernama) -- Tualang honey, mostly found in lowland rain forests of Peninsular Malaysia, has the potential to become a supplement for cancer therapy, especially breast cancer, said Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) Prof Madya Dr Nik Soriani Yaacob.

Dr Nik Soriani, USM Kubang Kerian Pathology Department's Head of Department, said initial research found honey from the Tualang trees had a very high potential to be used for proliferation of cancer cells and destroy 'bad' cells to prevent them from spreading.

"However, the research is still in the early stages and need a more in-depth study to determine honey can kill active cancer cells," said Dr Nik Soriani who presented a paper on the activities of Tualang Honey as an Anti-cancer supplement, at the 2nd International Conference on the Medicinal Use of Honey.

About 300 delegates attended the two-day seminar organised by the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (FAMA), to discuss the qualities and nutritional values of honey in the medicinal field and explore various ways of popularizing the product.

Dr Nik Soriani said the next step would be to study whether Tualang honey can kill active cancer cells or would be able to reduce the dosage of drugs and radiation used to kill cancer cells.

"The study is to identify whether honey can reduce or prevent cancer because earlier studies have shown honey had components like anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer," said Dr Nik Soriani.

She added that studies had also shown that Tualang honey had anti-cancer qualities and significant cytotoxic effect on cancer cells cultured in the lab.

"Cancer cells treated with Tualang honey went through a apoptosis process where cancer cells die, a process that normally does not happen, and Tualang honey can also expedite the effect of tamoxifen that is used to kill cancer cells," she said…

Tualang honey is extracted from honeycombs found atop Malaysia's tallest tree - Tualang tree - which grows to an astonishing height of more than 250m (about 30 storeys) and found in East Asian rainforests and is mostly found in Peninsular Malaysia, southern Thailand, northeastern Sumatra, Borneo and Palawan…

Australian Doctor Uses Honey, Rose Water to Treat Wounds

Latest Buzz Word for Good Health
By Rosie Lockhart, Northern Daily Leader (Australia), 1/10/2010

Silky, sweet honey is delicious on your morning toast or dolloped in your lemon tea and new government reports have uncovered honey may also be good for your health.

The Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation has discovered people could use hospital-grade honey to treat skin and wound infections and promote good bacteria inside the body.

Warialda doctor Clem Gordon has been using honey for medicinal purposes in his practice since 1989 after he worked in the UK with a doctor from the Middle East.

“They’ve used honey for thousands of years – long before creams and ointments from the pharmacist were available,” Dr Gordon said.

“I often use a honey and rose water solution soaked in gauze for wounds and cuts. Bacteria can’t grow in honey so there is no chance of infection.”

Nemingha-based Australian Bush Honey owners Tony and Kerry Eden said they had been harvesting honey appropriate for medical purposes for more than 30 years…

Apitherapy Expert to Speak in Maine

Maine Apitherapist to Tout Benefits of Honey in Cape Elizabeth
By Tess Nacelewicz, Current, 1/6/2010

Most people use honey to sweeten a cup of tea or as a treat on a buttered biscuit. They may not be aware that honey also is used for health reasons - such as being spread on burns or wounds to facilitate healing.

However, anyone who wants to learn about the health benefits of honey and other products from honeybees will be able to do so this month in Cape Elizabeth. On Jan. 14, an internationally known apitherapist will give a talk about how honey, pollen and even bee stings can be used for health care.

Dr. Theodore Cherbuliez, vice president of the American Apitherapy Society and a Freeport resident, will speak at 7 p.m. at the Cape Elizabeth Community Services building.

The event is sponsored by the Cape Farm Alliance, a group dedicated to preserving agriculture in Cape Elizabeth.

Liz Hunter, the farm alliance member who invited Cherbuliez, said getting him to speak in Cape Elizabeth "is a big coup."

Cherbuliez travels and lectures worldwide on apitherapy so he is often not available, said Hunter, who knows him because her son is married to one of his daughters.

Cherbuliez, who has a medical degree and is a practicing psychiatrist as well as an apitherapist, said he plans to talk about the main bee products used in apitherapy "for the maintenance of health and when illness and accidents interrupt health."

He said the products include honey, pollen, propolis, and bee venom, and can be used to treat conditions ranging from allergies to arthritis to various types of cancer…

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Rare Severe Complications to Bee Stings

Eosinophilic Cellulitis After Honeybee Sting
J Formos Med Assoc, 2009 Dec;108(12):964-6

Stings by honeybees are not uncommon and most cases cause pain but no significant medical problems. Some patients, however, have lethal complications such as acute anaphylactic shock.

Cellulitis caused by honeybee sting is very rare and can be a late complication in some patients.

We report a 45-year-old female patient who was stung by a honeybee, and whose right forearm showed progressive swelling with bullous formation after the sting. She was sent to our emergency department with the diagnosis of right hand cellulitis. After treatment with antibiotics for 5 days, the lesions showed no response. Then, systemic steroid was used and the lesion gradually resolved.

Diagnosis of Wells syndrome was made according to clinical appearance, course and characteristic histopathological findings.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Fructose, Glucose are Main Honey Sugars

Sugar Profiles of Spanish Unifloral Honeys
Food Chemistry, Article in Press, Accepted Manuscript

Sugar profiles of fifty honey samples from different regions of Algeria are analyzed by HPLC with pulsed amperometric detection. These samples consisted of 25 multifloral and 25 unifloral honeys.

Eleven sugars (two monosaccharides, nine oligosaccharides) are quantified. The mean values of fructose and glucose are in the range 35.99-42.57% and 24.63-35.06%, respectively. These monosaccharides are the main sugars of all honey samples. The sucrose, maltose, isomaltose, turanose and erlose are present nearly in all the samples, while raffinose and melezitose are detected in few samples.

Furthermore, trehalose is present only in two samples and none of the samples contain melibiose. Low amounts of melezitose, raffinose and erlose are present in the range of 0.03-2.14, 0.03-0.35% and 0.01-2.35%, respectively. PCA (Principal Component Analysis) showed that the cumulative variance was approwimately 40% and Apiaceae honeys are correctly classified using FDA (Factorial Discriminant Analysis).

Friday, January 08, 2010

Video: Medicinal Honey Product Brought to U.S.

video

Couple Brings New Zealand Honey Products to the Mid-State

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN.com, 1/5/2009) - A Nashville couple is bringing a product from New Zealand to the United States, and they believe it could mean big business for them.

The Manuka Naturals Cream is an all natural skin cream that is supposed to relieve several skin ailments.

"Including eczema, acne, burns, poison oak, poison ivy, things like that," said Michael Hart, co-owner of Manuka Naturals.

People around the world have long known about the benefits of Manuka honey, and now Michael and Valerie Hart, along with a partner, have the rights to bring the Manuka Naturals skin care line to the U.S.

Michael said, "The products are very popular in New Zealand and Australia and in Europe, but people are just now becoming aware of Manuka Honey and its benefits in the U.S."…

Propolis Tested in Antimicrobial Packaging

Diffusivity of Propolis Compounds in Polylactic Acid Polymer for the Development of Antimicrobial Packaging Films
Journal of Food Engineering, Article in Press, Accepted Manuscript

A major research gap is the lack of packaging materials that can provide the release of active compounds at rates suitable for a wide range of food packaging applications.

For this reason an antimicrobial/antioxidant release system for food packaging applications was realized by incorporation of propolis into Polylactic acid (PLA) film.

The composition of the films was modified by adding polyethylene glycol (PEG) and calcium bentonite (CB) to the initial PLA casting solution; dispersed structures in fact open the molecular network and increase migration rates.

The presence of the antimicrobial compound is required essentially at the food surface where the microorganisms are numerous and where they are intended to grow. The diffusivity of four polyphenols was measured in water and ethanol as food simulating liquids (FSL) and the concentration of additives at the interface PLA/Food Simulant was calculated using Fickian models…

The concentration at interface at equilibrium was different for each substance and depended of the thermodynamical parameter K. Such a delivery system for direct contact with liquid aqueous medium would be a very efficient delivery system because some active agents (polyphenols acids) would be released in relevant quantity in the food whereas others (flavonoids) would remain in the polymer to act at the polymer/food interface.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Apitherapy Workshop to be Offered in Oregon

Oregonian, 1/7/2009

Jan. 9 - INTRODUCTION TO APITHERAPY: 2 p.m. Learn about the medicinal uses of bee products. Registration required. Ruhl Bee Supply, 17845 S.E. 82nd Drive, Gladstone; $35; www.bee-outside.com or 657-5399

Honey Inhibits Growth of Cancer Cells

Cytotoxic and Genotoxic Evaluation of Honey in Normal Human Fibroblast and 3 Human Tumorogenic Cell Lines
New Biotechnology, Volume 25, Supplement 1, September 2009, Page S284

Bee honey has been known to have therapeutic applications in traditional medicine to treat variety of diseases. Its anti-inflammatory and antitumor effects against bladder cancer were examined in vitro and in vivo.

We sought to evaluate the cytotoxicity of honey obtained from Astragallus spp. from Feraydonshahr, Isfahan province, Iran against normal human lung tissue fibroblast-like (MRC-5), a human bone tumor (G-292) and two epithelial-like cell lines, one from human cervix carcinoma (Hela) and one from colon tumor (HT-29).

In an in vitro study, the cytotoxic activity of honey and sugars were evaluated by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. Comet assay was used to evaluate the genotoxicity of honey solutions against normal and tumorogenic cells. Different concentrations of honey (3.12, 6.25, 12.5, 25 and 50 %) in phosphate buffered solution (PBS) were exposed to 50,000 cells/ml of each cell lines.

In vitro studies revealed significant inhibition of the proliferation of all cell lines by 50% honey whereas the proliferation inhibition of Hela and G-292 were obtained by a honey concentration of higher that 6.25%. HT-29 was much more resistant to the cytotoxic effect of honey solutions.

The IC50 of MRC-5 as a normal cell line was not obtained by any concentrations lower than 50%. A mixture of 4 sugars with similar concentration to honey were tested as controls and just 50% solution was reduced the cell survival percent to less than 50. Weak genotoxicity were seen with honey solution (12.5%) in normal cells, but moderate in tumor cell lines.

Honey obtained from Austragallus is an effective agent for inhibiting the growth of Hela, G-292 and to lesser extent HT-29 cell lines in vitro. It is not a cytotoxic agent in normal cell line (MRC-5) at concentrations <50%. Since honey selectively inhibited the proliferation of tumor cells in lower concentrations and not effective in normal cells, our results will be promising and further researches are needed to clarify the mechanisms of the antitumor activity of honey.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Royal Jelly Has Antioxidant Effect

Royal Jelly (Honey Bee) is a Potential Antioxidant Against Cadmium-Induced Genotoxicity and Oxidative Stress in Albino Mice
J Med Food, 2009 Dec;12(6):1286-92

Cadmium (Cd) is a highly toxic heavy metal that induces genotoxic damage in the body. Besides, Cd induces oxidative damage in various tissues by altering antioxidant defence enzymes system.
In this study, we investigated the protective role of royal jelly (RJ) on Cd-induced genotoxicity and oxidative stress in mice…

Oral administration of RJ at two doses (100 and 250 mg/kg of body weight) showed significant suppression of mutagenic effects of Cd. Moreover, Cd-induced oxidative damage caused a significant decrease in GSH level and a significant increase in MDA level in the liver and kidneys.

Treatment with two doses of RJ caused a significant recovery in antioxidant status of GSH and a significant inhibition of MDA production.

It could be concluded that RJ has a protective role against Cd-induced genotoxicity and oxidative stress in mice, due to its antioxidant effects.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Propolis Has High Free Radical Scavenging Activity

Effect of Seasonal Variations and Collection Form on Antioxidant Activity of Propolis from San Juan, Argentina
J Med Food, 2009 Dec;12(6):1334-42

Propolis was included in the Argentine Food Code as a functional food. The chemical parameters and antioxidant properties of propolis samples from the same colonies of Apis mellifera in San Juan (Cuyo region, Western Argentine) were compared every month for 1 year using two collection methods…

The results showed that propolis had a higher free radical scavenging and lipid peroxidation inhibitory capacity than butylated hydroxytoluene and quercetin, antioxidants used in the pharmaceutical and food industries.

The concentration required to scavenge 50% of free radicals (SC(50)) values differed depending on the sample collection month. Samples collected in November had the highest antioxidant capacity.

In all cases, SC(50) values of propolis samples obtained by scraping were similar to those collected from a wire mesh (5 microg/mL for ABTS and 20-30 microg/mL for DPPH radicals).

A significant positive correlation was found between the antioxidant capacity and flavonoid content of each analyzed extract. The chemical profiles were very similar. Galangin (3,5,7-trihydroxyflavone), an antioxidant compound, was detected in all samples as a major compound. The chromatographic profile suggests that of Baccharis sp., which would be one of the botanical sources of propolis from western Argentina, and the content of galangin can be used as a parameter for evaluating propolis quality.

Our results suggest that Argentine propolis from Cuyo is a promising source of bioactive compounds as ingredients for developing functional foods with a beneficial impact on oxidative stress.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Honey Linked to Memory Retention

By Sarah Muirhead, Stock & Land (Australia), 1/3/2009

Americans are losing their minds at an accelerating rate, according to Mike McInnes of Isoactive in Edinburgh, U.K. Likewise, more Americans are living to very old ages; centenarians are the fastest-growing demographic.

Dementia and cognitive decline are conditions usually associated with old age. However, McInnes said neural loss actually may begin in childhood from the time the human brain is fully formed. Of course, new brain cells may be formed throughout life, but this neurogenesis is increasingly compromised in modern life.

Why? It is due to poor-quality and foreshortened sleep combined with a lack of quality darkness and lack of energy provision for the brain, according to McInnes. The consumption of honey just prior to bed can help, he noted.

The dark phase of the light/dark cycle is as critical for optimal health in people now as it was for the early hunter-gatherers. They would hunt and gather during the daylight hours, return to camp to consume the food and sleep when the sun set. They slept not so much with their bellies full but with their livers replenished, having a stable reserve of energy supply for the brain over the hours of the nocturnal fast…

Here's the point

The history of honey use and production is long and varied. In many cultures, honey has had uses beyond as a food. In fact, for years, some cultures believed honey had many practical health uses. It was used as an ointment for rashes and burns and to help soothe sore throats when no other medicinal treatments were available.

Current research out of the UK indicates honey may also play a role in preserving human memory by serving as a fuel source for the brain during times of rest, or nocturnal fasting, when other food sources are unavailable.

The relationship between the energy or fuel status of the liver and the quality and duration of restorative sleep is thought to be one of the most neglected areas of study in human physiology. Chronic nocturnal metabolic stress is now thought to be easily prevented by simply providing adequate fuel for the liver and, hence, the brain during the nocturnal fast. After an early evening meal, the liver may be selectively replenished prior to sleep by taking an ounce or two of quality honey.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Propolis Activates Initial Steps of Immune Response

Propolis Immunomodulatory Action In Vivo on Toll-Like Receptors 2 and 4 Expression and on Pro-Inflammatory Cytokines Production in Mice
Phytother Res, 2009 Dec 29

Propolis is a bee product and its immunomodulatory action has been the subject of intense investigation lately. The recent discovery and characterization of the family of Toll-like receptors (TLR) have triggered a great deal of interest in the field of innate immunity due to their crucial role in microbial recognition and development of the adaptive immune response.

This work aimed to evaluate propolis's effect on TLR-2 and TLR-4 expression and on the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1beta and IL-6).

Male BALB/c mice were treated with propolis (200 mg/kg) for three consecutive days, and TLR-2 and TLR-4 expression as well as IL-1beta and IL-6 production were assessed in peritoneal macrophages and spleen cells. Basal IL-1beta production and TLR-2 and TLR-4 expression were increased in peritoneal macrophages of propolis-treated mice. TLR-2 and TLR-4 expression and IL-1beta and IL-6 production were also upregulated in the spleen cells of propolis-treated mice.

One may conclude that propolis activated the initial steps of the immune response by upregulating TLRs expression and the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines in mice, modulating the mechanisms of the innate immunity.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Honey Syrup Recommended for Coughs

5 of the Best...Cough Busters
Daily Mail (UK), 12/26/2009

A study from the American College of Chest Physicians says there is no evidence that over-the-counter cough syrups work. But herbal alternatives have been used for generations. Here are five options to soothe nasty coughs…

Manuka Honey Syrup with Marshmallow, 100ml – £7.82

Contains UMF (which stands for Unique Manuka Factor) 10+Active Manuka Honey, a natural antibiotic, combined with marshmallow root and Rewa Rewa honey to ease sore throats and ward off infection. http://www.comvita.co.uk/

Friday, January 01, 2010

Honey is an Effective Anti-Browning Agent

Evaluation of Floral Honey for Inhibition of Polyphenol Oxidase-Mediated Browning, Antioxidant AND Antimicrobial Activities
Journal of Food Biochemistry, Volume 33, Number 5, October 2009 , pp. 693-706(14)

Inhibition of polyphenol oxidase (PPO)-mediated browning in apple juice using different concentrations of floral honey was evaluated by performing the kinetics of PPO inhibition, effect of honey concentrations on activity of PPO and rate of quinone formation (browning) in apple juice.

The antioxidant status of honey was demonstrated by 2, 2-diphenyl-1-picryl hydrazine (DPPH) radical-scavenging assay. Agar diffusion assay was carried out to demonstrate the antimicrobial activity of honey. Kinetic experiment suggests that honey is a noncompetitive inhibitor of PPO having Km = 3.33 mM. There exist a negative correlation (γ = −0.65) between different concentrations (50-100%, v/v) of honey and PPO activity with significant retardation in rate of browning reaction in apple juice.

The DPPH radical-scavenging activity showed that the antioxidant potential of honey strongly depends on its concentration with a positive correlation (γ = +0.96). Assessment of the antimicrobial activity of honey using agar diffusion assay demonstrated the significant inhibition of Candida albicans (Microbial Technology & Culture Collection [MTCC-3018]), Escherichia coli (MTCC-1588), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (MTCC-2488) and Staphylococcus aureus (MTCC-96) as compared to standard antibiotics.

Practical Applications

Consumer demands for “freshness” in the minimally processed fruits and vegetables is a priority by the food processing industries. Alternate strategies for prevention of enzymatic browning in fruits and vegetables are necessary to maintain the quality and value of these produces.

This study demonstrates that honey is an effective inhibitor of enzymatic browning in apple juice. Honey studied in this research also has antimicrobial and antioxidative properties; thus, its use as a browning inhibitor may have additional health and therapeutic properties.