Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Mexican Propolis Active Against Pancreatic Cancer Cells

Study on the Constituents of Mexican Propolis and Their Cytotoxic Activity against PANC-1 Human Pancreatic Cancer Cells J. Nat. Prod, March 22, 2010

Three new flavonoids, (2R,3R)-3,5-dihydroxy-7-methoxyflavanone 3-(2-methyl)butyrate (1), (7′′R)-8-[1-(4′-hydroxy-3′-methoxyphenyl)prop-2-en-1-yl]chrysin (2), and (7′′R)-8-[1-(4′-hydroxy-3′-methoxyphenyl)prop-2-en-1-yl]galangin (3), together with 41 known compounds (4−44) were isolated from a methanolic extract of Mexican propolis.

Compounds 2 and 3 are unique natural flavones containing a 1-phenylallyl moiety. The in vitro preferential cytotoxicity of all the isolates was evaluated against a PANC-1 human pancreatic cell line.

Compound 3 displayed the most potent preferential cytotoxicity (PC50 4.6 μM) in the nutrient-deprived medium (NDM) and triggered apoptosis-like morphological changes in PANC-1 cells.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Pine Honey Alleviates Effect of Toxin

Beneficial Effect of Pine Honey on Trichlorfon Induced Some Biochemical Alterations in Mice
Ecotoxicol Environ Saf, 2010 Mar 17

Forty-eight male BALB/c mice, weighing 30-35g, were used in the study, and were divided into groups of 12 each. The four groups established in the study included one control group and three experimental groups. The first group served as the control group, while Groups 2, 3 and 4 were administered 1g/kgbw/day pine honey, 180mg/kgbw/day trichlorfon ( approximately 1/5LD(50)) and 1g/kgbw/day pine honey plus 180mg/kgbw/day trichlorfon, respectively, by the oral route using a catheter for 21 days.

At the end of 21 days post-administration, blood and tissue (liver, kidney, brain and heart) samples were collected. Serum levels/activities of total protein, albumin, glucose, cholesterol, triglyceride, BUN, creatine, uric acid, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chloride, total bilirubin, GGT, LDH, AST, ALT and ALP were determined. Furthermore, tissue MDA levels and CAT, SOD and GSH-Px activities were analyzed.

According to the data obtained, when administered at the indicated dose and for the indicated time period, trichlorfon was determined to lead to negative alterations in most of the biochemical parameters investigated. The administration of pine honey was determined to alleviate this effect.

Malaysian Official Urges Marketing of Medicinal Honey

Promote Sabah Honey as Indigenous, Health Product: Deputy CM

KOTA KINABALU, March 30 (Bernama) -- Sabah honey needs to be commercialised locally as an indigenous and healthy product, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Yahya Hussin said.

Yahya, who is also State Agriculture and Food Industry Minister, said there were obstacles in marketing the local honey abroad due to international quality standards and therefore, needed better marketing to be sold to consumers not only in Sabah, but to other places in Malaysia.

"The local honey is a valuable and important component of a healthy diet.

"It can be sold at supermarkets cheaply compare to the imported products," he said at the launch of a book 'Honey Bees of Borneo' here on Tuesday…

He said the indigenous people of Sabah had close links with honey bees for years having reared them in hollow logs.

"The people harvested the honey combs from tall forest trees and feasted on both honey and larvae as well as utilising the beeswax," he said.

He said prior to World War Two, forest products, including honey in Borneo, were much sought-after for trade.

"Even the medicinal honey from the stingless bees was in high demand," he said.

The book, published by Natural History Publication (Borneo), was written after 20 years of research by husband and wife team, Prof Nikolaus and Dr Gudrun Koeniger of the International Bee Research Institute, Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany…

Monday, March 29, 2010

Video: Bee Sting Therapy Used to Treat Bone and Joint Diseases

video

Reuters, 3/27/2010

An ancient therapy in which patients are stung by bees to cure ailments is becoming increasingly popular in China.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Solvents May Boost Allergic Response to Propolis

Contact Allergy to Propolis in Beekeepers
Allergologia et Immunopathologia, Volume 37, Issue 6, November-December 2009, Pages 298-301

Background: Allergy to propolis seems to be rare and little is known about it.

Objective: The aim of the study was to survey a subset of affected beekeepers to determine aspects such as time of onset of disease, comorbidity, and possible methods of prevention.

Methods: With the help of two German journals for beekeepers we contacted 41 beekeepers with propolis allergy. They were sent a questionnaire which assessed several aspects of the disease and was based on the current literature.

Results: 70.7% returned our questionnaire and had clear signs of propolis allergy with positive testing by their local allergologists. They reported that allergy had developed after an average of 9.5 years beekeeping. We also found a high prevalence of other allergies (72.4%). Interestingly, there were also systemic reactions to propolis in some beekeepers but not necessarily when using propolis as a medication against other diseases. Beekeepers believed that solvents used to clean the hands could play a role in the development of the disease.

Conclusion: This study provides new insights into allergy to propolis. The hypothesis that solvents used to clean the hands could play a role in the development of the disease should be addressed in future studies.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Honey Consumption Helps Decrease Cholesterol Level

Bile Secretion in Albino Rat Following Chronic Honey Intake
Nigerian Journal of Physiological Sciences, 2009 Dec;24(2):203-6

This study was carried out to evaluate the effect of honey intake on bile secretion, bile electrolytes, bilirubin and cholesterol levels including plasma cholesterol in albino rats...

The control was fed on normal rat feed and water while the test group was fed on normal rat feed with honey added to its drinking water (1ml of honey to every initial 10ml of water) for 22 weeks...

The results obtained showed a significant [P <0.05] decrease in the rate of bile flow in the test (0.30+/- 0.03ml/hr) compared with the control groups (0.45+/- 0.04ml/hr). There were no significant differences in the concentration of bile electrolytes and bilirubin in the two groups. However, there was a significant [P <0.05] increase in the bile cholesterol and decrease in plasma cholesterol levels in the test rats compared with the control. It is therefore concluded that chronic consumption of unprocessed Nigerian honey resulted in decrease bile flow, increase bile cholesterol and decrease plasma cholesterol in albino rats...

If the results obtained in rats are applicable to man, honey intake may be beneficial in preventing hypercholesterolemia which has been implicated in the etiology and pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction and stroke...

Friday, March 26, 2010

Bee Pollen Supplement for Children Developed in India

Now, Bee Pollen to Keep Your Children Healthy
Supriya Shelar, Sakaal Times, 3/15/2010

Now your child would have more nutritious, still delicious supplementary food, highly rich in protein. City-based Central Bee Research and Training Institute (CBRTI), is seeking commercial production of Bee Pollen - a valuable product collected by honey bees. The product, in the form of capsules, is awaiting green signal from Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The in-charge of Botany section of CBRTI Dr K Laxmi Rao, after thorough research on pollen grains, has prepared the capsules of bee pollens comprising the pollens of various plant species including coconut (50 per cent), sunflower (20 per cent), sesame (10 per cent) and mustard (20 per cent).

“The nutritious value of Indian Pollens is very high containing protein 65 per cent, 22 amino acids, lipids (fatty acida) 5 per cent and all ‘B’ group vitamins. We are promoting the capsules as nutritional substitute, particularly for children above three years of age and senior citizens. The dose is available as 250 mg and 500 mg colour-coated capsules, transparent capsules and tablets,” said Rao.

A Chyawanprash like product comprising 500 gm honey and 200 gm pollens has also been designed, especially for the children. Speaking on the results of the capsules, she said that already it had proven its health benefits among physically weak children.

“An eight-year-old girl suffering from diabetic problem, after consuming the capsules showed positive results and she, who earlier was looking pale and weak, started taking adequate diet…

Nutritional Properties

- Source of major minerals like potassium, sodium, iodine etc
- B-vitamins 2,3,6, 12 and riboflavin
- Prescribed for treatment of various prostate problems- Allows the body’s own healing and rejuvenation mechanism

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Video: Bee Venom Therapy Becoming Popular in China

ITN, 3/19/2010

An ancient therapy which involves bees stinging patients to cure their ailments is causing a buzz in China.

Doctors at a traditional Chinese medical clinic in northeast Beijing say the therapy has been proved effective in curing bone and joint diseases, as well as other problems.

The bee therapy dates back over 3,000 years in China, though it was only officially authorized as a legal medical service in 2007.

Doctors at the Kang Tai Bee Clinic keep the insects in regular beehives on the clinic grounds. When the patient is ready, the doctor uses tweezers to pick up bees one by one and places them on the acupoint of the suffering joint…

Bee Sting Therapy Causing a Buzz in China

By Maxim Duncan, 3/22/2010

BEIJING (Reuters Life!) - Being stung by a bee would have most people rushing to hospital, expect at one Beijing clinic where patients queue up to be pricked into good health.

Bee sting therapy, which involves placing live bees on a patient's body at certain pressure points, dates back over 3,000 years in China and was considered legal in 2007.

It is similar to acupuncture in that it uses bees stingers instead of needles and the same principles, but the bees' toxin, which doctors say is a natural medicine, is essential, making the treatment like an injection.

Doctors at the Kang Tai Bee Clinic, a traditional Chinese medical facility in northeast Beijing, say the therapy has proved effective in curing diseases such as rheumatism and arthritis, as well as a list of other ailments.

"The bee therapy has an obvious effect on patients with bone and joint diseases," said Wang Jing, a doctor at the clinic.

"This treatment relies mainly on the bees' poison, which can help blood circulation, reduce inflammation and ease pain."

The bees used for the treatment are a hybrid of species from Italy and the Gulf, and are kept on the clinic grounds. Their 0.3 mm-long stings, which contain about 0.3 mg of toxin, make them suitable for the therapy, doctors say...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Propolis Prevents Excess Growth of Blood Vessels

Angiostatic Effects of Brazilian Green Propolis and Its Chemical Constituents
Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, Early View

Propolis, a resinous substance collected by honeybees from various plant sources, has several pharmacological actions, such as anti-tumor and anti-inflammatory effects. The aim of this study was to evaluate the anti-angiogenic effects of a water extract of Brazilian green propolis (WEP) and its constituents, caffeoylquinic acid derivatives, against angiogenic processes in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) in vitro. We also examined the anti-angiogenic effects of WEP against retinal neovascularization in a murine oxygen-induced retinopathy model in vivo.

WEP and its constituents significantly suppressed vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-induced HUVEC proliferation, migration, and tube formation in vitro. WEP and its caffeoylquinic acid derivatives suppressed VEGF-stimulated phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinase in HUVECs (versus VEGF alone). Moreover, WEP (300 mg/kg/day, subcutaneously for 5 days) significantly suppressed retinal neovascularization in the murine oxygen-induced retinopathy model. These data indicate that (i) WEP has angiostatic effects against angiogenic processes in vitro and in an in vivo model of murine oxygen-induced retinopathy and (ii) the inhibitory effects of WEP against in vitro angiogenesis are chiefly derived from its caffeoylquinic acid derivatives.

Judging from these findings, WEP and its caffeoylquinic acid derivatives may represent candidates for preventive or therapeutic agents against diseases caused by angiogenesis.

Monday, March 22, 2010

New Honey Antibacterial Component Identified

How Honey Kills Bacteria
FASEB J, 2010 Mar 12

With the rise in prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, honey is increasingly valued for its antibacterial activity. To characterize all bactericidal factors in a medical-grade honey, we used a novel approach of successive neutralization of individual honey bactericidal factors.

All bacteria tested, including Bacillus subtilis, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, extended-spectrum beta-lactamase producing Escherichia coli, ciprofloxacin-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium, were killed by 10-20% (v/v) honey, whereas >/=40% (v/v) of a honey-equivalent sugar solution was required for similar activity.

Honey accumulated up to 5.62 +/- 0.54 mM H2O2 and contained 0.25 +/- 0.01 mM methylglyoxal (MGO). After enzymatic neutralization of these two compounds, honey retained substantial activity.

Using B. subtilis for activity-guided isolation of the additional antimicrobial factors, we discovered bee defensin-1 in honey. After combined neutralization of H2O2, MGO, and bee defensin-1, 20% honey had only minimal activity left, and subsequent adjustment of the pH of this honey from 3.3 to 7.0 reduced the activity to that of sugar alone. Activity against all other bacteria tested depended on sugar, H2O2, MGO, and bee defensin-1.

Thus, we fully characterized the antibacterial activity of medical-grade honey.

Video: Can Honey Help Fight Allergies?

video

WTVR-TV, 3/19/2010

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Cuban Yellow Propolis Analyzed

Studies on the Constituents of Yellow Cuban Propolis: GC-MS Determination of Triterpenoids and Flavonoids
J Agric Food Chem, 2010 Mar 15

In this study, on the basis of the information supplied by NMR and HPLC-PDA data, we reported a quali-quantitative GC-MS study of 19 yellow Cuban propolis (YCP) samples collected in different regions of Cuba.

The profiles of YCP samples allowed us to define two main types of YCP directly related to their secondary metabolite classes: type A, rich in triterpenic alcohols and with the presence of polymethoxylated flavonoids as minor constituents, and type B, containing acetyl triterpenes as the main constituents.

For the first time, triterpenoids belonging to oleanane, lupane, ursane, and lanostane skeletons were reported as major compounds in propolis. Also, the presence of polymethoxylated flavones or flavanones was found for the first time in propolis.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Lotus Bee Pollen Oil Analysed

Supercritical CO2 Extraction of Oil, Carotenoids, Squalene and Sterols from Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn) Bee Pollen
Food and Bioproducts Processing, Article in Press

The high-quality oil, abundant in carotenoids, squalene and sterols (mainly consisting of campesterol, stigmasterol, β-sitosterol and β-amyrin), was extracted by supercritical CO2 from lotus bee pollen for its potential nutraceutical use.

The effects of extraction pressure and temperature on the yields and the compositions of the extracts were investigated by using a two-factor central composite rotatable design experiment. ANOVA for response surface model demonstrated that the data were adequately fitted into four polynomial models. The yields of the oil, carotenoids, squalene and sterols were significantly influenced by the experimental variables. It was predicted that maximum oil yield obtained at the extraction pressure of 38.2 MPa and temperature of 49.7 °C contained the maximum amount of carotenoids, squalene and sterols.

GC–FID analysis of the fatty acid composition of lotus bee pollen oil showed that polyunsaturated fatty acids accounted for approximately 22% of the total fatty acids.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Propolis May Help Treat Allergic Disorders

Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester Inhibits Nuclear Factor-κB and Protein Kinase B Signalling Pathways and Induces Caspase-3 Expression in Primary Human CD4+ T Cells
Clinical & Experimental Immunology, Published Online: 6 Jan 2010

Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), an active component in propolis, is known to have anti-tumour, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.

In this study, the effects of CAPE on the functions of primary human CD4+ T cells were evaluated in vitro.

CAPE significantly suppressed interferon (IFN)-γ and interleukin (IL)-5 production and proliferation of CD4+ T cells stimulated by soluble anti-CD3 and anti-CD28 monoclonal antibodies in both healthy subjects and asthmatic patients.

CAPE inhibited nuclear factor (NF)-κB activation and protein kinase B (Akt) phosphorylation, but not p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) phosphorylation in T cells. CAPE also induced active caspase-3 expression in CD4+ T cells; CCR4+CD4+ T cells were more sensitive to CAPE induction than CXCR3+CD4+ T cells.

Together, these results indicate that CAPE inhibits cytokine production and proliferation of T cells, which might be related to the NF-κB and Akt signalling pathways, and that CCR4+CD4+ T cells are more sensitive to CAPE inhibition.

This study provides a new insight into the mechanisms of CAPE for immune regulation and a rationale for the use of propolis for the treatment of allergic disorders.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Propolis a Potential Treatment for Leukemia

Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester Triggers Apoptosis Through Induction of Loss of Mitochondrial Membrane Potential in CCRF-CEM Cells
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol, 2010 Mar 10

PURPOSE: CAPE (caffeic acid phenethyl ester) is one of the most valuable and investigated component of propolis which is composed by honeybees. In the current study, we aimed at examining apoptotic effects of CAPE on CCRF-CEM leukemic cells and at determining the roles of mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) in cell death.

METHODS: Trypan blue and XTT methods were used to evaluate the cytotoxicity. Apoptosis was examined by ELISA-based oligonucleotide and acridine orange/ethidium bromide dye techniques. Loss of mitochondrial membrane potential was evaluated using JC-1 dye by flow cytometric analysis and under fluorescent microscope.

RESULTS: We detected the time- and dose-dependent increases in cytotoxic effect of CAPE on CCRF-CEM cells. ELISA and acridine orange/ethidium bromide results showed that apoptotic cell population increased significantly in CCRF-CEM cells exposed to increasing concentrations of CAPE. On the other hand, there was significant loss of MMP determined in response to CAPE in CCRF-CEM cells.

CONCLUSION: This in vitro data by being supported with clinical data may open the way of the potential use of CAPE for the treatment of leukemia.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Propolis Inhibits Proliferation of Cancer Cells

Propolis Inhibits the Proliferation of Human Leukaemia HL-60 Cells by Inducing Apoptosis Through the Mitochondrial Pathway
Natural Product Research, Volume 24, Issue 4 March 2010 , pages 375-386

Propolis, a natural product derived from plant resins collected by honeybees, has been reported to exert a wide spectrum of biological functions. This research aimed at investigating the effect of propolis on the proliferation of human leukaemia HL-60 cells and whether propolis might induce apoptosis in HL-60 cells.

The results showed dose- and time-dependent decreases in the proliferation of HL-60 cells treated with propolis (above 3 µg mL-1 of propolis). Further studies revealed that the anti-proliferative effects of propolis were caused by inducing apoptosis. Agarose electrophoresis of genomic DNA of HL-60 cells treated with propolis showed the ladder pattern typical for apoptotic cells. Propolis induced the activation of caspase-3 and cleavage of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase in HL-60 cells. Propolis also induced the release of cytochrome c from mitochondria to cytosol.

Taken together, these findings demonstrate that the inhibitory effect of propolis on HL-60 cell proliferation is caused by inducing apoptosis through the mitochondrial pathway.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Video: Dr. Oz Explains the Healing Benefits of Honey

video

Healing Honey

Honey. It’s what Dr. Oz calls “liquid gold.” Find out how honey can take you down the path of better health and beauty. To learn more about the healing benefits of honey, visit www.apitherapy.org.

Longevity Attributed to Royal Jelly

'Royal Jelly and Cod Liver Oil' - A Recipe for Longevity
By Hannah Williams, Buckinghamshire Advertiser, 3/15/2010

A woman who was born during the reign of King Edward VII is set to celebrate her 100th birthday.

Olive Armstrong, of Giles Gate, Prestwood, will mark a century since her birth on March 19.

Retired teacher Mrs Armstrong, who has no one else in her family who has lived for 100 years, attributes her longevity to taking royal jelly and cod liver oil supplements and by keeping active…

Monday, March 15, 2010

Bee Venom Therapy Used in India to Treat Pain

A Sweetened Sweat Story
S.S. Kavitha, The Hindu, 3/12/2010

The farm at Kondayampatti foothills is one of the archetypes of rural life, a treat both aural and visual. The vibe of the rustic setting is brought into life with the buzzing of the bees. My inquisitiveness to peep into the box is interrupted by an ‘ouch' sound and the shying away is but natural to save the skin from a sting...

Her diary is filled with dates for schools and colleges where she waxes eloquent on honeybees, honey cultivation and other products including the royal jelly, bee venom, wax, pollen and propolis. She also sells more than a dozen varieties of honey such as - Thulasi honey, rose honey, naaval honey, neem, amla, pepper, lichi, crunch (punnai), coorg - under the brand name VIBIS. The taste, colour and medicinal values differ as it is based on the nectar and nature of flower, she notes. She is exports to Sri Lanka and Singapore...

“One need not be afraid of the sting. It actually helps in curing nerve problems. Worldwide bee venom therapy is very famous and people go to the centres just to get the sting,” she adds.

Apparently, nearly a dozen people from Madurai and neighbouring districts have visited her farm to specifically get a ‘bee sting” as they believe it relieves them of the Chikungunya pain...

Honey: A Key Tool for Topical Wound Care

By Matthew Regulski, DPM, CWS, FAPWCA, Inside Cosmeceuticals, 3/15/2010

Honey has been used as a wound dressing for centuries. Evidence for its medicinal use has been found in ancient writings, including a papyrus dating to the 17th century B.C. In modern times, it was in common use during World War I and II, but it began to wane in popularity with the rise of antibiotics around 1940. Only in the last decade have microbiologists begun to understand its precise medical benefits and the special properties of one particular variety: active Leptospermum (manuka) honey (Leptospermum scoparium) derived from the pollen and nectar of specific tea tree plants.

Researchers have found the Leptospermum species, which is native to New Zealand, has unique plant-derived components that make it ideal for the management of hard-to-heal wounds and burns, and large-scale, randomized control studies have proven its efficacy.

Active Leptospermum honey can help manage lightly to heavily exuding wounds, such as diabetic foot ulcers, venous stasis leg ulcers, arterial leg ulcers, leg ulcers of mixed etiology, pressure ulcers (I-IV), first- and second-degree burns, donor sites, and traumatic and surgical wounds. The honey cleans a wound and rapidly lifts dead tissue, a process facilitated by the high-sugar content in the honey, which has an osmotic effect. In addition, the honey helps to reduce edema and wound pH, and provides a moist healing environment. What is also notable is all these benefits exist without any toxicity to healthy tissue. The dressings are sterilized by Gamma irradiation. This ensures any contaminants, including clostridium botulinum spores that may be present in unsterilized honey, are eradicated.

Leptospermum honey also has a broad spectrum of bactericidal activities. Recent research revealed medical-grade Leptospermum honey is as effective as a strong combatant against antibiotic-resistant pathogens such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant enterococcus (VRE). S. aureus is one of the most commonly acquired pathogens in both the community and the hospital settings, and it is particularly problematic in skin and wound infections. The emergence of MRSA and VRE has seriously compromised treatment options. The current issues surrounding antibiotic resistance, and a growing body of evidence supporting the use of honey as a dressing for a wide range of wounds, have increased interest in its clinical use.

Let us examine in greater detail some of the positive therapeutic effects of active Leptospermum honey dressings…

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Honey Dip Extends Shelf Life of Fruit

Extending Shelf Life of Fresh-Cut Persimmon by Honey Solution Dips
Journal of Food Processing and Preservation, Volume 34 Issue 1, Pages 2 - 14

Ripe persimmon fruit (Diospyros kaki L) cv. "Hachiya" were diced, then treated with 10–20% w/v diluted honey solution or water as the control, followed by cold storage at 4C until loss of acceptable quality. The persimmon cubes were subject to assessments during the storage of organoleptic and visual quality, softness and exuding juice, soluble solids content (SSC), and absorbance at 436, 440, 675 and 760 nm, respectively.

Honey treatments prevented off-aroma development and delayed jelling. Softness and exuding juice of the fresh-cut persimmon cubes increased with time, with the increase in both parameters being significantly suppressed by honey solution dips. Changes in SSC, pH and the absorbance at 436, 440, 675 and 760 nm, respectively, during storage were minor and there was little effect of the honey treatments on these parameters.

Overall, the shelf life of fresh-cut persimmon cubes was extended by honey solution dips, which delayed off-aroma development, firmness loss and jelling.

PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS

New products and changing trends make today's food marketplace alive, and fresh-cut fruits and vegetables seem to be on top of list of these products. Although fresh-cut produce has been on the market for a long time, preserving their quality attributes has not been completely successful especially in the case of fruit. This study focuses on a new alternative fresh-cut produce, fresh-cut persimmon, with adapting a potentially safe organic method, use of honey dips.

The present study demonstrated that honey solution dip treatments could preserve the fresh-like quality of typical flavor or aroma of persimmon fruit by causing no changes in aroma and taste attributes and extending shelf life. Therefore, honey dip treatment may be used, depending on commodity, to preserve and extend shelf life of fresh-cut produce in fresh-cut processing industry.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Use of Propolis Found Comparable to Traditional Dental Treatment

A Comparative Histological Analysis of Human Pulp Following Direct Pulp Capping with Propolis, Mineral Trioxide Aggregate and Dycal
Australian Dental Journal, Volume 55 Issue 1, Pages 59 - 64

Background: Permanent teeth pulp exposures have traditionally been treated with calcium hydroxide pulp capping. The aim of this study was to investigate the response of human pulp tissue which were mechanically exposed to a new material, Propolis and compare it with two existing and commonly used pulp capping agents (mineral trioxide aggregate and Dycal).

Methods: Thirty-six intact human premolars were mechanically exposed. Teeth were divided into six groups of 6 teeth each and were capped with Propolis, mineral trioxide aggregate and Dycal. Final restoration was done with posterior composite resin using light cured glass ionomer cement as a liner. The teeth were then extracted on the 15th or the 45th day and processed for histological evaluation.

Results: Differences in inflammatory response and dentine bridge formation of the exposed pulp to the three different materials were statistically calculated using chi-square test and were found to be non-significant. There was more pulp inflammation in teeth treated with Dycal than with Propolis and MTA on the 15th as well as on the 45th day. Propolis and MTA showed bridge formation in more teeth, and the bridges were in closer proximity to pulp capping material than teeth treated with Dycal on the 45th day.

Conclusions: The response of pulps to Propolis as a pulp capping agent was comparable to MTA and Dycal.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Bee Venom Could Reduce Liver Damage Caused by Alcohol Consumption

The Protective Effect of Bee Venom against Ethanol-Induced Hepatic Injury via Regulation of the Mitochondria-Related Apoptotic Pathway
Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol, 2010 Mar 4

Alcohol consumption increases apoptosis of hepatocytes. Death of hepatocytes is a characteristic feature of chronic liver disease for various causes.

Bee venom (Apis mellifera) has been traditionally used for the treatment of various chronic diseases, such as chronic inflammatory arthritis and chronic liver disease. However, the precise mechanism for bee venom in chronic liver disease is not still cleared.

To assess the effects of bee venom in chronic liver disease, we investigated the potential role of the bee venom in the ethanol-induced hepatocyte apoptosis. Bee venom treatment inhibited the apoptotic cell morphology and increased the cell viability in ethanol-induced hepatocyte apoptosis.

With ethanol treatment, bee venom-treated hepatocytes increased activity of Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL, reduced activity of Bax, Caspase and PARP.

In conclusion, bee venom treatment in ethanol-induced hepatocyte apoptosis occurred through the regulation of Bcl family with subsequent inactivation of the Caspase and PARP.

These results suggest that bee venom could be an effective agent to reduce ethanol-induced hepatocyte apoptosis.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

New Method to Assess Royal Jelly Freshness

Research on Overall Assessment of Royal Jelly Freshness by FTIR Spectroscopy
Guang Pu Xue Yu Guang Pu Fen Xi, 2009 Dec;29(12):3236-40
Institute of Apicultural Research, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100081, China. apiswu@126.com

Fourier transform infrared spectra (FTIR) of royal jelly (RJ) stored at different temperature and after different storage periods were measured, a series of correlation analysis among the spectra were carried out by using the spectra of new-harvested RJ as a standard.

The results showed that the correlation coefficient of amide band I and the relative intensity ratios of I 1 647 /I1 541, I1 647/I1 409, I1 647/I1 247 and I1 647/I1 054 of RJ samples' spectra decreased with extension of storage time and temperature, and existed good linear correlations with the storage time, with the order of their change extent being 28 degrees C > 16 degrees C > 4 degrees C > -18 degrees C.

According to the spectra change laws and practical experiences of RJ storage, the correlation coefficient of amide band I and four relative intensity ratios I1 647/I1 541, I1 647/I1 409, I1 647/I1 247 and I1 647/I1 054 were selected as assessment indexes of RJ freshness.

The threshold value of correlation coefficient was set to be 0.910 0, and the threshold values of the four relative intensity ratios were set to be 1.744, 2.430, 3.345 and 1.412 respectively. Once one or more indexes are lower than the corresponding threshold values, the RJ sample can be considered as a stale sample.

So, FTIR spectroscopy combined with several data-processing methods would be an effective method for overall assessing the freshness of IRJ.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Honey and Cinnamon Recommended for Arthritis

Readers' Home Remedies
By the AOL Health Editors, 3/7/2010

If you're suffering from arthritis you know how hard it can be to manage the pain. First we researched the best natural pain remedies, and then we asked what worked for you. We polled our Twitter followers, Facebook fans and the readers at Caring.com to bring you the best reader home remedies for arthritis pain.

Homemade Elixir

George Nielsen, 75, first noticed his arthritis about 10 years ago. It started in his right knee and then moved into his thumb and back.

“I have a very high resistance to pain, but this darn thing takes its toll regardless,” Nielsen said. “I had trouble walking great distances, and it makes my knee buckle making me vulnerable for a fall.”

Not wanting to give up golf, though he now uses a cart to navigate the greens, Nielsen turned to the Internet and found a pain-relieving drink recipe: one-half teaspoon of organic cinnamon mixed with one tablespoon organic honey and four ounces of warm water taken twice a day. He also takes an over-the-counter pain medication.

He has taken it every day for a year.

“I ask myself, is it the pain medication and not the drink that works? I'm not sure,” Nielsen said. “When I didn't take the drink for a short time, though, my knee, thumbs and back were worse. Who knows?” -- George Nielsen

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Propolis Better than Traditional Treatment at Inhibiting Vaginal Yeasts Strains

Antifungal Activity of Propolis Extract Against Yeasts Isolated from Vaginal Exudates
J Altern Complement Med, 2010 Mar;16(3):285-90

Abstract Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate the in vitro antifungal activity of propolis extract against yeasts Candida albicans and Candida non-albicans isolated from vaginal exudates, in comparison with nystatin.

Design: Ninety-seven (97) vaginal yeasts strains were evaluated. These strains were obtained from different clinical conditions, isolated and stored at the Sector of Medical Mycology of the State University of Maringá (Paraná, Brazil). The assays of susceptibility to nystatin and propolis extracts (PE) were conducted through microdilution in broth (National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards-NCCLS, M-27A Document of 1997).

Results: All the yeasts tested were inhibited by low concentrations of PE (maximum of 393.19 mug/mL of the total flavonoid content), including an isolate resistant to nystatin, regardless of the clinical conditions of the women and the species of yeast isolated.

Conclusions: The PE showed an outstanding performance against the tested vaginal yeast strains, and could be included among the novel therapeutic options for the treatment of vulvovaginal candidiasis.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Bee Venom May Help Treat Liver Disease

Bee Venom Protects Hepatocytes from Tumor Necrosis Factor-Alpha and Actinomycin D
Park JH, Kim KH, Kim SJ, Lee WR, Lee KG, Park KK.
Arch Pharm Res, 2010 Feb;33(2):215-23

Honeybee (Apis mellifera) venom (BV) has a broad array of therapeutic applications in traditional medicine to treat variety of diseases. It is also known that BV possesses anti-inflammatory and anticancer effect and that it can inhibit proliferation and induces apoptosis in cancer cells, but there is no evidence of information regarding anti-apoptosis of BV on hepatocytes.

In the present study, we investigated the anti-apoptotic effect of BV on tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha with actinomycin (Act) D induces apoptosis in hepatocytes. TNF-alpha/Act D-treated hepatocytes were exposed to different low concentration (1, 10 and 100 ng/mL) of BV.

Our results showed statistically significant inhibition in DNA damage caused by BV treatment compared to corresponding TNF-alpha/Act D-treated hepatocytes. BV suppressed TNF-alpha/Act Dtreated activation of bcl-2 family and caspase family, which resulted in inhibition of cytochrome c release and PARP cleavage.

These results demonstrate that low concentration BV possess a potent suppressive effect on anti-apoptotic responses of TNF-alpha/Act D-treated hepatocytes and suggest that these compounds may contribute substantial therapeutic potential for the treatment of liver diseases.

Apitherapy Business Workshop to be Offered in North Carolina

Natural Products Business: Apitherapy, Healing from the Hive

Hive products such as honey, propolis, royal jelly, and bee pollen are valuable medicines. Learn how people have used these gifts from the honeybees for centuries as well as recent scientific validation of their efficacy. Valuable information will be gained regarding family care, first aid, and marketing honey. (3 hrs)

Total Registration Fee: Free
Mon, Mar 22, 6:00PM - 9:00PM

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Indian Propolis Water Extract Shows Higher Antioxidant Activity Than Ethanol Extract

Antioxidant Activity of Indian Propolis and Its Chemical Constituents
Food Chemistry, Article in Press

We report for the first time the antioxidant activity of the aqueous and ethanol extracts of Indian propolis (AEP and EEP respectively).

The antioxidant activity was measured by chemical and electrochemical assays. Reducing power and 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging activity were the chemical assays, whereas, cyclic voltammetry was used as the electrochemical assay.

In all these assays, AEP showed significantly greater activity over EEP; which is in contradiction with the previous reports of propolis from other countries. This may be due to its higher polyphenol content. Hence aqueous extract may well be a substitute of organic solvent extracts of propolis. Moreover, two flavonoids, pinocembrin (1) and galangin (2) were isolated from EEP; among which (2) showed high DPPH radical scavenging activity.

Thus Indian propolis, being a rich source of natural antioxidants, may be used in the prevention of various free radicals related diseases.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Propolis Contaminants Analyzed

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) Levels in Propolis and Propolis-Based Dietary Supplements from the Italian Market
Food Chemistry, Article in Press

Propolis and propolis-based extracts, attained from beekeepers and the local market, were analysed for the presence of 13 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), including 8 high molecular weight PAHs (PAH8), recently indicated by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) as suitable indicators of the presence of carcinogenic and genotoxic PAH in foods.

An analytical procedure based on microwave assisted saponification/extraction, high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and spectrofluorometric detection, has been developed. About half of the samples analysed presented benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) concentrations exceeding 2 μg/kg, which is proposed as a regulatory limit for dietary supplements. A product-by product approach (based on maximum recommended dosage) was used to calculate PAH exposure.

Even thought the majority of the samples gave low exposure levels when compared to exposure levels from other diet constituents, PAH intakes deriving from a daily consumption of some of the investigated products provided an important contribution to the total dietary intake and lead to margin of exposure (MOE) values which are of concern for human health.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Compound Extracted from Egyptian Propolis has Antimicrobial Activity

A New Prenylated Flavanoid with Antibacterial Activity from Propolis Collected in Egypt
Nat Prod Commun, 2010 Jan;5(1):43-5

A novel prenylated flavanoid, isonymphaeol-D (1), together with two known compounds, isonymphaeol-B (2) and nymphaeol-B (3), were isolated from Egyptian propolis. The structures of the isolated compounds were determined by various spectroscopic methods. 1 exhibited antibacterial activity against Gram-positive (Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus) and Gram-negative strains (Serratia sp., Pseudomonos sp., Escherichia coli)...

Conclusions: In this work, new compound was extracted from Egyptian propolis, this compound possess antimicrobial activities for Gram- positive strain and Gram-negative strain using Ampicillin and amoxicillin as refe-rences.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Bee Venom Therapy a Possible Treatment for Lung Cancer

Bee Venom Inhibits Tumor Angiogenesis and Metastasis by Inhibiting Tyrosine Phosphorylation of VEGFR-2 in LLC-Tumor-Bearing Mice
Cancer Letters, Article in Press

Bee venom (BV) treatment is the therapeutic application of honeybee venom (HBV) for treating various diseases in Oriental medicine.

In the present work, the authors investigated the functional specificity of BV as an angiogenesis inhibitor using in vitro models and in vivo mouse angiogenesis and lung metastasis models.

BV significantly inhibited the viability of Lewis lung carcinoma (LLC) cells but did not affect peripheral blood mononuclear lymphocytes (PBML) cells. BV also inhibited vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-induced proliferation, migration and capillary-like tube formation of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs).

Western blotting analysis showed that BV inhibited AKT and MAPK phosphorylation in LLC cells and HUVECs and down regulated expression of VEGF and VEGFR-2 of LLC cells and HUVECs. Also, BV effectively disrupted VEGF-induced neovascularization in Matrigel plugs in our in vivo angiogenesis assay.

When given subcutaneously, BV also significantly suppressed tumor angiogenesis through inhibition of VEGF and VEGFR-2 in LLC model. Mice bearing subcutaneous LLC tumors were treated with 1 μg/ml or 10 μg/ml of BV. They showed reductions ranging between 49% and 62% in primary tumor volume and reduction of spontaneous pulmonary metastasis occurrences.

Furthermore, BV treatment in the spontaneous lung metastases model after primary tumor excision prolonged their median survival time from 27 to 58 days.

These results suggest that the tumor-specific anti-angiogenic activity of BV takes effect during different stages of tumor progression by blocking the tyrosine phosphorylation of VEGFR-2, and validate the application of BV in lung cancer treatment.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Apitherapy and Migratory Beekeeping in China

Follow the Honey -- Bee Farmer's Life
China Daily, 3/1/2010

Although armed with incense, hats and masks they are still stung every day, as the bees are naturally protective of their hive.

Since bees only forage when their comb is empty they are constantly extracting the honey so the worker bees are always busy.

Royal jelly, the most valuable bee product, can only be collected manually from the numerous man-made queen cells.

When the cole flowers have finished blooming, Jiang and his wife travel to Dengzhou, Henan province, so they can keep farming honey.

Royal Jelly Energy Drink Comes to U.S.

D’Angelo’s Cheetah Power Surge Makes its First Foray into the U.S.

(Vocus) March 2, 2010 -- It’s been a great year at D’Angelo Brands and it’s looking as though 2010 will prove even greater. D’Angelo Brands announced they have just finished signing a landmark distribution deal with the Arizona Beverage Company to distribute Cheetah Power Surge – Caffeine Free Energy Drink in the United States.

“Distribution will start in January with an initial push into five states (California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan and New York) and then expand from there,” said Frank D’Angelo, President and CEO of D’Angelo Brands (http://www.dangelobrands.ca/).

Currently available only in Canada, this will be Cheetah’s first distribution deal south of the border, with select distribution deals with other countries in development.
“We’re excited about the prospects of Cheetah Power Surge (http://www.cheetahpowersurge.com/) in the United States because it’s a caffeine-free, all-natural energy drink made with Ginkgo Biloba, Royal Jelly and Ginseng. So it complements our portfolio of Iced Tea beverages quite nicely,” says Arizona Beverage’s management...

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Can Propolis Prevent Tooth Decay?

The Irish Times, 3/2/2010

Propolis is a resin made by bees to seal openings in the bee hive and prevent microbial growth. It consists mostly of wax, bee saliva and extracts from plants and trees visited by the bees. The precise composition of propolis varies depending on where and when it is made by the bees.

Propolis is harvested by placing a perforated grid with small openings in a bee hive. The bees fill the perforations with propolis as if they were sealing their hive. The grid is then removed and the propolis collected.

Hippocrates, the ancient Greek physician, wrote about the medicinal value of propolis. It has been used for many different ailments, but primarily as an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory agent, especially for treating wounds and burns. More recent interest has focused on its use in dental care.

Dental caries, or tooth decay, arises after bacteria build up on tooth surfaces leading to dental plaque. If untreated, the bacteria can break down tooth enamel, leading to cavities, pain, tooth loss or, sometimes, more serious infections.

Proper oral hygiene, fluoride products and dental visits can prevent or control dental caries.

Pharmaceutical antimicrobial agents are available for dental caries, but resistance and side effects can develop. This has led to a search for non-toxic, inexpensive ways of treating and preventing dental caries and other types of mouth infections.

EVIDENCE FROM STUDIES

More than 160 different compounds have been isolated from propolis. Over half of these are classed as phenolic compounds or flavonoids, which often have antimicrobial activity. Laboratory tests have confirmed that many compounds in propolis are antibacterial, antifungal or antiviral. A study with rats was the first to notice significantly reduced dental caries after a propolis extract was added to the animals’ drinking water.

Studies in humans have shown that mouthwash containing propolis extract significantly reduced the concentration of bacteria in people’s saliva. Such beneficial effects were found in three small studies, while another study found no benefits.

The researchers believed this was due to the different propolis harvesting in different regions. Most of the research to date has been conducted in Brazil as dental caries is particularly problematic in that region.

Propolis has also been tested against Candida albicans mouth infections. Most people carry this yeast without harmful effects, but under certain conditions it causes opportunistic infections. This can happen under dentures if the person’s immune system is compromised or if the dentures aren’t cleaned adequately.

Two small studies were conducted in Brazil with people wearing dentures who had developed Candida mouth infections. They cleaned their dentures four times daily and applied a propolis gel. Most people’s infections were resolved and their gums healed after seven days. The results were similar to other patients using pharmaceutical gels for such infections…

New Book Has Chapter on Apitherapy

Honeybee: Lessons from an Accidental Beekeeper
By Cate Hennessey, Chester County Dwell, 3/1/2010

Honeybee: Lessons from an Accidental Beekeeper, by C. Marina Marchese. Black Dog and Leventhal: 2009. 256 pages.

...And if economics, culture, and history don’t convince readers to revere the honeybee, add medicine to the list. Marchese dedicates a full chapter to apitherapy, the use of bees and bee products to promote health and healing. Sustainable and all natural, apitherapy provides an environmentally responsible way to “maintain health and harmony within the body.” This had led Marchese to develop a line of all-natural personal care products, and she even includes in the book a recipe for homemade lip balm using beeswax, olive oil, and essential oils.

Apitherapy Presentations, Posters at Apimondia 2009 in France

Apitherapy - Oral presentations

• Introduction - CHERBULIEZ Theodore
• My clinical experiences on use of propolis to cancer patients - MIZUKAMI Osamu
• Involvement of non-protein thiols, mitochondrial dysfunction, and reactive oxygen species in the honey-induced apoptosis - JAGANATHAN S. K.
• Complex treatment for psoriasis by api-reflexotherapy and beekeeping products - KHISMATULLINA Nailya
• Basic clinical concepts in green medicine - DOMEREGO Roch
• Royal jelly and propolis prevent development of insulin resistance in type 2 diabetic animal models - KAWASAKI Hiromu
• Applications of Bee Products in modern medicine - MUNSTEDT Karsten
• Hive Products: from folklore to pharmacopoeia - JONES Richard
• Bee products in human health and in Science: linking empirism of apitherapy with modern molecular medecine - BENGSCH Eberhardt
• Lyme Borreliose and Apitherapy - BENGSCH Eberhardt
• Prevention and Treatment of Bee Products Allergies including Anaphylactic Shock with Apitherapy - STANGACIU Stefan
• Role of honey in wound healing. Honey, a new medical solution for wound healing? - DESCOTTES Bernard
• Probiotic effect of Lactic Acid Bacteria from fresh bee pollen - PERCIE DU SERT Patrice
• Effect of chrysin detected in honey on melanoma cells - PICHICHERO Elena
• Analysis of flavonoid from bee propolis which sources in Indonesia as anti-plasmodium medicine - HUTAGALUNG James S
• Novel Bioactive Prenylated Phenolics from Kangaroo Island Propolis - DUKE Colin C Comparative efficacy of apiphytotherapy towards chemotherapy in chicken eimeriosis - SICEANU Adrian
• Plant origin and anti-bacterial activity of Taiwanese green propolis - CHEN Yue-Wen
• Propolis increases the total antioxidant activity (TAA) of human saliva in vitro and in vivo - MIRANDA Sonia
• Novel Lactic acid bacteria from the honey stomach of honey bees - VASQUEZ Alejandra
• Somatic Cell Count in Milk of Bee Venom Treated Dairy Cows with Mastitis - HAN SangMi
• Functional and Biological Properties of Bee Products - BOGDANOV Stefan (PDF file 0.8 Mb)
• The Efficacy of Honey Dressing on Wound Healing : A Clinical Observation Study - MOHD. YUSOFF Kamaruddin
• Api-Phyto-Therapy in demyelization condition - results analisys on a sample of 33 patients - AOSAN Cristina
• Treatment of multiple sclerosis - DORIN Mindrescu
• Pre-clinical and clinical research of a thermoreversible gel formulation to reduce healing time of lesions in burn victims - BERETTA-SILVA Andresa A.
• Synergistic effectiveness of the consumption of bee products infused with medicinal herbs - ADZHIGIREY Galina

Apitherapy - Posters

• New insights into the composition of bee, wasp and ant venoms and how it can contribute to a better therapy of patients suffering sting allergy - DE GRAAF Dirk C
• Antioxidant properties of dried bee pollen samples from selected plant species - FATRCOVA-SRAMKOVA Katarina
• Antibacterial activity of bee pollen - GRIGORYAN Karina
• Carcass characteristics of feedlot cattle fed with 50%:50% forage to concentrate ratios with addition of propolis based products - PERES DE MOURA PONTARA Lucimar
• Digestibility and ruminal parameters of diet based in roughage with the addition of propolis and monensin sodium for steers - PERES DE MOURA PONTARA Lucimar
• Isolation and expeditiously characterization morphology, biochemistry and kinetics of rumen bacteria tolerant to propolis - PERES DE MOURA PONTARA Lucimar
• Influence of use of the product containing propolis sl49 * base for the diet of rabbits: characteristics of resistance of leather - PERES DE MOURA PONTARA Lucimar
• Powder pollen on the rabbit semen characteristics - PERES DE MOURA PONTARA Lucimar
• Crude protein effective degradability of some protein sources on bovines with daily dosages of monensin or propolis - PERES DE MOURA PONTARA Lucimar
• Occurrence of ectoparasites of tilapia-do-nilo (Oreochromis niloticus) food with different levels of sl 492* (product-based propolis) - PERES DE MOURA PONTARA Lucimar
• Propolis (llos)® in replacement the sodica monensin in the performance of finished young bulls Nellore in feedlot - PERES DE MOURA PONTARA Lucimar
• Performance of nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) fed with different levels of sl491* based on propolis rations - PERES DE MOURA PONTARA Lucimar
• Propolis protects against oxidative stress in human saliva - SANCHEZ Nuvia
• Antibiotic activity of Colombian propolis and its correlation with the origin ecoregions -TALERO URREGO Cesar Augusto
• Antioxidant activity and constituents of ethanolic propolis extracts from Romanian market - MATEESCU Cristina

Monday, March 01, 2010

Video: Bee Sting Therapy Used to Treat Arthritis, Lupus, Fibromyalgia

video

By Joy Robertson's 'Personal Portraits'

Arthritis? Lupus? Fibromyalgia? For some Ozarkers a bee sting will cure what ails ya. Check out what people are buzzing about in Reyah Carlson's basement.