Monday, May 31, 2010

Turkish Propolis Antioxidants Examined

Polyphenol Contents and Antioxidant Activity of Lyophilized Aqueous Extract of Propolis from Erzurum, Turkey
Food and Chemical Toxicology, Article in Press

Propolis, an extremely complex resinous material, exhibits valuable pharmacological and biological properties attributed to the presence of polyphenols.

In this study, we determined the antioxidant properties of lyophilized aqueous extract of propolis (LAEP) from Erzurum province of Turkey and correlated the values with total levels of polyphenolic compounds…

Quantitative amounts of caffeic acid, ferulic acid, syringic acid, ellagic acid, quercetin, α-tocopherol, pyrogallol, p-hydroxybenzoic acid, vanillin, p-coumaric acid, gallic acid and ascorbic acid were detected by high performance liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS).

This study will bring an innovation for further studies with regard to the antioxidant properties of LAEP.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Use of Honey as Burn Dressing Reviewed

Honey Use in Burn Management: Potentials and Limitations
Forsch Komplementmed, 2010;17:74-80

Management of the burn wound still remains a matter of debate, and an ideal dressing for burn wounds has not yet been discovered. Naturally occurring substances such as honey have been found to be useful as a wound cover for burns.

Unlike most conventional local chemotherapeutics, honey does not lead to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and it may be used continuously. Among the challenging problems of using honey for medical purposes are dosage, safety, and formulation. Many approaches have been suggested to overcome such problems.

With the increased availability of licensed medical products containing honey, clinical use is expected to increase and further evidence will become available. Honey seems to have the potential to clear infection as well as to be an effective prophylactic agent that may contribute to reducing the risks of cross-infection.

A better understanding of the therapeutic and chemical properties of honey is needed to optimise the use of this product in the clinical management of burns. Its use in professional care centres should be limited to those with certified healing activities. The potentials and limitations of using honey as burn dressing are discussed in this review.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Argentinean Propolis Shows Radical-Scavenging Activity

Radical-Scavenging Activity and Phenolic Constituents of Propolis from Different Regions of Argentina
Nat Prod Res, 2010 May;24(9):804-12

Propolis is a resinous substance collected by honeybees from various plant sources. The composition of propolis depends on the type of vegetation and the area of collection.

We examined the radical-scavenging activity of propolis from the following regions of Argentina: Mendoza, Rio Negro, La Pampa, and Entre Rios. Ethanol extracts of propolis (EEP) were prepared and their 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical-scavenging activities were evaluated. Furthermore, the major constituents in EEP were identified by HPLC with photodiode array (PDA) detection, and each component was quantitatively analysed.

Almost all of the propolis samples, except La Pampa, had radical-scavenging activity. Propolis with strong radical-scavenging activity contained large amounts of antioxidative compounds, such as caffeic acid, ferulic acid and caffeic acid phenethyl ester.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Honey Bees Use Propolis for Social Immunity

Propolis and Bee Health: The Natural History and Significance of Resin Use by Honey Bees *
Propolis santé et de l'abeille: l'histoire naturelle et la signification de l'utilization de résine Chez les abeilles végétale
Propolis and bee health: the natural history and the importance of using plant resins by bees
Apidologie, Published online 12 May 2010

Social immunity, which describes how individual behaviors of group members to effectively reduce disease and parasite transmission at the colony level, is emerging field in social insect biology. An under studied, but significant behavioral disease resistance mechanism in honey bees is their collection and use of plant resins. Honey bees harvest resins with antimicrobial properties from various plant species and kill them back to the colony Where they are then mixed with varying amounts of wax and utilized as propolis. Propolis is an apicultural term for the resins when used by bees within a hive. While numerous studies have investigated the chemical components of propolis that could be used to treat human diseases, there is a lack of information on the importance of bee propolis in regards to health. This review serves to provide a compilation of recent research concerning the behavior of bees in relation to resins and propolis, focusing more on the bees themselves and the potential evolutionary benefits of resin collection. Future research goals are also established in order to create a new focus within the literature on the natural history of resin use among the social insects and that propolis plays role in disease resistance.

Summary

The "social immunity" as a new field of research in social insects describes how the individual behavior of members of a group can effectively prevent the spread of diseases and parasites on the level of the welfare state. Although a previously little studied but important behavioral trait of disease resistance in honey bees is the use of plant resins. Honey bees collect resins with antimicrobial properties of various plants, then mix in this colony of bees with different amounts of wax and use it as propolis (Fig. 1-4). Propolis is therefore the bienenkundliche term for resins used in the hive. While many studies on the use of certain components of propolis to fight disease in humans is little information about the importance of propolis for the bee health are available.

This review is a compilation of recent research on the behavior of bees in terms of resins and propolis with emphasis on the possible evolutionary advantages of Harzsammelns for honey bees. The use of resins by bees (Apis mellifera) is widespread. While there are significant differences between individual nations based on the amount of collected resins and propolis, all seem - and in particular to use the wild - bee propolis to the lining of the entire Stockinneren. It is believed that propolis helps to maintain the homeostasis within the hive up. Specifically, the propolis could thereby reduce the microbial growth on the walls of prey, preventing uncontrolled air flow into and form Beuteninnere additional mechanical barriers against intruders. Some research projects clearly demonstrate that propolis in the hive directly to pathogens (such as American foulbrood) and parasites (eg, small hive beetle, Varroa destructor) acts. There seems also a more subtle effect on the support of the individual immune system to give. Subsequent research should focus on better understanding of the use of resins by honey bees and other social insects. There are a variety of research fields, from the pharmaceutical potential of propolis on human health through the mechanisms of collective strategy of propolis on the levels of individual bees and the colony to a possible application of propolis as a control of bee diseases. Finally, information enables the use of resins and inclusion in the hive exciting approaches to research on the influence of social environment on disease resistance and immunity.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Bee Venom’s Anti-Arthritic Properties Explained

Anti-Inflammatory Effect of Bee Venom on Antigen-Induced Arthritis in Rabbits: Influence of Endogenous Glucocorticoids
J Ethnopharmacol, 2010 May 7

Aim of the study: This study assessed the involvement of endogenous glucocorticoids (GCs) in the anti-arthritic properties of bee venom (BV) on antigen-induced arthritis (AIA) in rabbits.

Methods: BV (1.5-6mug/Kg/day) was injected for 7 days before AIA induction, whereas the control group received sterile saline. The total and differential leukocyte count, PGE(2) levels in synovial fluid and synovial membrane cell infiltrate were evaluated. The contribution of GCs to BV action was assessed in rabbits treated with BV plus metyrapone, an inhibitor of GC synthesis, or RU-38 486, a steroid antagonist.

Results: Treatment with BV (1.5mug/Kg/day) reduced the leukocyte count and PGE(2) level (18571+/-1909 cells/mm(3) and 0.49+/-0.05ng/mL, respectively) as well as the cellular infiltrate compared with the control group (40968+/-5248 cells/mm(3) and 2.92+/-0.68ng/mL). The addition of metyrapone to BV treatment completely reversed the inhibition of AIA, whereas RU-38 486 was ineffective.

Conclusion: Our data show that bee venom treatment prevents the development of antigen-induced arthritis in rabbits through the action of GCs

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Bee Pollen Boosts Reproductive Performance

Effect of Different Levels of Bee Pollen on Performance and Blood Profile of New Zealand White Bucks and Growth Performance of Their Offspring During Summer and Winter Months
J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr (Berl), 2010 Apr 23

The effect of bee pollen on productive and reproductive performances of adult buck rabbits and their offspring was studied during winter and summer seasons.

Forty New Zealand White bucks were equally divided among four groups feeding the same commercial diet and receiving a water solution containing, respectively, 0 (control), 100, 200 and 300 mg bee pollen/kg body weight, twice per week along two experimental periods. The experimental periods were listed for ten weeks both during winter (30-40 weeks of age) and summer seasons (56-66 weeks of age). During the trials body weight, body weight gain, total feed intake, semen quality, fertility and blood constituents were determined. Fertility was determined after natural mating with no treated females.

For each season, 80 weaned rabbits obtained from the bucks of the control group were equally divided (20 per group) among 4 levels (0, 100, 200 and 300 mg/kg BW) of bee pollen, given as a water solution twice per week. The offspring sired by bucks given 100, 200 and 300 mg (20 for each group and season) were not administrated bee pollen.

The effect of bee pollen on growth performance of rabbits was studied from 4 to 12 weeks of age. Bee pollen at 200 mg/kg BW significantly improved semen quality, increased fertility percentage, improved biochemical profiles of blood and helps outstanding of bucks during both seasons.

The same concentration of bee pollen increased body weight gain and survival rate and reduced feed intake and feed conversion ratio of offspring up to 12 weeks of age.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Honey is Efficient Treatment for Chronic Wounds

Honey: From Noah to Wound Care (French)
Rev Med Suisse, 2010 Apr 28; 6(246):871-4

Honey with its high concentration of sugar constitute a hyperosmotic medium with antimicrobial properties. It contains different enzymes, including glucose-oxidase that generates hydrogen peroxide and gluconic acid in the presence of glucose and water. The viscosity and the hygroscopic qualities of honey permits its even spread on the wound bed, creating a favourable environment for wound healing.

With these properties, honey when adequately prepared, is an efficient treatment of chronic wounds of the lower leg and also of abdominal wounds.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Argentinean Propolis Shows Radical-Scavenging Activity

Radical-Scavenging Activity and Phenolic Constituents of Propolis from Different Regions of Argentina
Natural Product Research, Volume 24, Issue 9 May 2010 , pages 804 - 812

Propolis is a resinous substance collected by honeybees from various plant sources. The composition of propolis depends on the type of vegetation and the area of collection.

We examined the radical-scavenging activity of propolis from the following regions of Argentina: Mendoza, Rio Negro, La Pampa, and Entre Rios. Ethanol extracts of propolis (EEP) were prepared and their 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical-scavenging activities were evaluated. Furthermore, the major constituents in EEP were identified by HPLC with photodiode array (PDA) detection, and each component was quantitatively analysed.

Almost all of the propolis samples, except La Pampa, had radical-scavenging activity. Propolis with strong radical-scavenging activity contained large amounts of antioxidative compounds, such as caffeic acid, ferulic acid and caffeic acid phenethyl ester.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Audio: Radio Report on Use of Honey to Treat Allergies

What if the medicine itself were sweet?
KALWNews.org, 5/12/2010

A spoonful of sugar may help the medicine go down. But what if the medicine itself were sweet? People with allergies are especially anxious to find assistance this year, because heavy rains have produced more pollen than in the recent past.

Through the centuries, people have taken honey as a treatment for a variety of ailments - including as an allergy suppressant. But can something that tastes that good really be a medicine? KALW's Steven Short has been buzzing about the area, attempting to find an answer. Here's his report…

Friday, May 21, 2010

Bee Stings Curing Cancer?

TUNIS, TUNISIA (NBC NEWS, 5/11/2010) - It may not sound too pleasant, but the popularity of "bee sting therapy" is on the rise in Tunisia.

Bee sting therapy involves placing live bees on a patient's body at certain pressure points.

It dates back thousands of years and is thought to have originated in Egypt, Greece and China.

This ancient remedy is believed by some to ease pain, curb diabetes and even cure cancer...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Honey-Based Ointment Heals Both Humans And Turtles

PRINCETON, N.J. (Wireless Flash - FlashNews) – One honey-based miracle ointment is healing every wound it touches – even those on sea turtles.

Medihoney is a unique topical care product made from Leptospermum honey ideal for the treatment of chronic wounds.

Once applied, it cleans the wound, lifts dead tissue, and provides a moist environment for the stubborn injury to finally heal.

Barry Wolfenson of Derma Sciences, Inc., manufacturers of Medihoney, says it not only works on humans, it works on animals too.

A sea turtle rescue organization in Georgia has been using the product to treat severe wounds in turtles who’ve been struck by boats. They’ve had gashes for ages, but Medihoney is finally healing them...

Bee Bread - The Secret Treasure of the Bees (German)

What is bee bread?
Bluetenpollen, 4/24/2010

The Vikings and the treasure of bees

The use of pollen as human food has already handed down by the Vikings. Long before Christopher Columbus sailed wild Northmen to your dragon boat through all the seven seas. The Vikings were, in fact, daring men and more fearsome fighters. The well-known former world lived in fear and dread of you. At that time, the Norsemen seemed to be almost impregnable. Any army that stood in their way was defeated in the battle. The Vikings fought as relentlessly as the rough sea from which they came.

The people on the coasts usually fled as fast as they could, if you value your life was. As soon as the dragon boats were sighted on the horizon, the inhabitants fled to the coastal towns and surrounding villages inland. The Vikings took to do what they could.

But you should think in any case where the Viking people consisted only of brutes. The Vikings had their own culture, social structure and strict laws that had every man to submit. The nature, your spirits, the ancestors and the family was the Vikings almost sacred. Within your tribe were the warriors and socially shared spoils among themselves. Even poor, weak and wounded were mitversorgt.

If one pays to believe the old traditions of these fearless navigators sailed often with larger quantities of "bread of the Bees" on board the stranger, because the men knew perfectly well that it weekly or even months on the road could be.

What is bee bread?

At that time we already knew a lot about astronomy, navigation, healing and death. But also about the deep relationships in the universe and the performance of a simple life in harmony with nature. Much of this ancient knowledge came gradually into oblivion.

That are discussed in the ancient records "Bee bread"(Also called Perga) was none other than our Pollen. The Vikings took it to be on the road safe from scurvy, disease, weakness and hunger. The diet of the bee bread you gave natural strength and good health to the long and dangerous journeys to survive well.

Pollen provides a unique blend and variety of natural enzymes, vitamins, amino acids, minerals and nutrients. Natural antibiotic and antioxidant properties. Therefore, pollen is considered the most complete food on the planet. Almost all essential substances are already included. The wise sailors knew the positive effect of flower pollen, many years ago…

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Long-Term Use of Honey May Lower Cholesterol levels

Long-Term Effects of Honey Versus Sucrose on Glucose, Insulin and Lipid Responses in Mice
FASEB J, 2010 24:lb277

We recently investigated the potential health benefits of honey as a substitute for refined sugars and demonstrated that compared to sucrose, honey may produce lower serum triglyceride, glucose and insulin concentrations over a short-term period.

Our goal was to determine the influence of honey versus sucrose on adiposity and plasma concentrations of insulin, glucose and lipids in two groups of weanling mice after a long-term period. Eighteen male weanling ICR mice (29.7 ± 0.6 g) were equally divided into two groups and fed ad libitum one of two isoenergetic diets differing only in the carbohydrate source provided. Diets contained 20% carbohydrate (by weight of total diet) from clover honey or sucrose.

After 116 days, fat pads were removed and blood was collected. No differences were found for weight gain, fat pad weights, glucose, insulin and triglycerides concentrations between honey and sucrose fed mice. Total cholesterol tended to be lower in the honey fed mice (p=.078). The results suggest that consuming honey instead of sucrose may potentially promote lower cholesterol over a long term period, but that benefits observed after shorter term feeding did not persist in growing ICR mice.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Honey Recommended for Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Eczema

What's All the Buzz About Healing Honey?
By Dave Hewitt, The Daily Express (UK), 5/18/2010

It has traditionally been used for centuries as a natural sweetener and a remedy for sore throats but it is only in recent years that scientists have recognised the unique healing properties of honey.

While there are various types of medicinal honey, the one showing the most promising results in lab studies is manuka honey. Made by bees that collect pollen from the white-flowered manuka bush in New Zealand, it is the only honey to be scientifically graded for its medicinal properties.

It is being used in hospitals around the world to keep wounds free from infection, treat stomach ulcers and even boost the immune system of cancer patients having chemotherapy.

Studies show it eradicates hundreds of bacterial strains, including antibiotic-resistant MRSA. Others swear by it to ease coughs, sore throats and treat digestive complaints, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

While all honeys are naturally antiseptic, these properties are eliminated when the honey is exposed to light and heat.

However, manuka honey contains methyglyoxal, a powerful antibacterial agent

Methyglyoxal content can vary but the Manuka Health brand, which has been independently tested by scientists, shows its methyglyoxal content or MGOSTmk on the jar – the only brand to do so. An MGOSTmk of 250+ means there is 250mg anti bacterial methyglyoxal per kg of honey. A minimum MGOSTmk of 100+ is recommended for treating digestive complaints. For wounds and ulcers, an MGOSTmk of 400+ or 500+ is used. Other brands are graded with a Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) rating – only varieties graded 10 or above are considered suitable for medicinal use.

Professor Thomas Henle of the Technical University of Dresden, Germany, whose team identified the presence of methyglyoxal as the key antibacterial ingredient in manuka honey, argues there is a strong case for regarding it as more than a health food.

“Manuka honey should be one of the few food items for which ahealth-promoting property beyond the basic nutritional function can clearly be documented,” he says.

Mum-of-two Jodine Arnold, 32, from Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, suffered from IBS, a common intestinal disorder that affects up to a quarter of the population, for 16 years before discovering the healing benefits of manuka honey.

“I suffered with uncomfortable bloating for so long it never crossed my mind to try to do anything about it,” she says. “After eating any kind of food Iwould experience painful stabbing sensations and going to the toilet was often painful.” After taking six teaspoons of honey daily for a month, Jodine’s symptoms had gone. “My entire digestive system seems to be working better and I feel so much happier,” she says.

Here are other ways manuka honey can be good for you:

HEALS WOUNDS

It can be applied to leg ulcers and wounds. Destroys bacteria that are the most common causes of infected wounds. Used post-surgery it can speed up healing.

TREATS ECZEMA AND SUNBURN

Trials are being carried out to research the effectiveness of manuka honey on eczema. Apply MGOSTmk 400+ neat to the skin and leave for 15-20 minutes for a natural treatment. Diluted or neat manuka can also be applied to soothe sunburned skin…

Bee Pollen Collected in Urban Areas has Higher Level of Contaminants

Inorganic Contaminants in Bee Pollen from Southeastern Brazil
J. Agric. Food Chem, May 7, 2010

A set of experiments was carried out to validate a method for inorganic contaminants in honeybee-collected pollen, consisting of digestion of the samples in a closed microwave-assisted system and quantification of 10 inorganic contaminants by ICP OES.

Forty-three samples of Brazilian bee pollen, collected in southeastern Brazil during one year, were analyzed. Determination of these analytes is important both as bioindicators of pollution and to verify the safety of consuming the pollen itself. The method had satisfactory performance, with good accuracy and precision…

Generally higher levels of all studied contaminants were observed in samples produced in an urban site, compared to those of a rural site. Al, Cd, Co, and Pb tended to have higher levels during the dry months (July−October). Ingestion estimates showed that Al and As would have the highest contributions to the adult diet, reaching 27 and 8%, respectively, of the provisional tolerable weekly intake (PTWI) values, considering a daily portion of 25 g.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Bee Products and Honey: Are They Vegetarian?

By Jill Harris, Vegetarian Cuisine, 5/16/2010

While vegans avoid the use of any products coming from an animals, for vegetarians the distinction between what is acceptable and what is not may not be as clear...

Video: Dr. Oz Demonstrates Bee Venom Therapy

video

Is the future of your health steeped in ancient tradition? Dr. Oz reveals the top 2 alternative treatments: equine-assisted therapy and apitherapy – that’s right, bee venom can help relieve your pain.

Propolis May Help Prevent, Treat Obesity

Ethanolic Extracts of Brazilian Red Propolis Promote Adipocyte Differentiation Through PPARγ Activation
Phytomedicine, Article in Press

Aim of the study

The aim of present study was to investigate the effects of ethanolic extracts of red propolis (EERP) on adipogenesis and evaluate the molecular basis for their anti-obesity effects.

Materials and methods

We tested whether EERP alone could induce differentiation of 3T3-L1 cells, regulate the expression of adipocyte-specific genes and reverse inhibitory effects of TNF-α on their differentiation. Next, we performed a luciferase reporter gene assay to test whether EERP could enhance transcriptional activities of PPARγ and adiponectin promoter activities.

Results

EERP strongly induced differentiation of 3T3-L1 preadipocytes into adipocytes, and enhanced the PPARγ transcriptional activity and adiponectin promoter activity. In addition, EERP attenuated the inhibitory effect of TNF-α on adipocyte differentiation and adiponectin production in mature adipocytes.

Conclusion

The present study indicates that EERP enhance differentiation of 3T3-L1 adipocytes in part by its potency of PPARγ activation and are capable of reversing inhibitory effects of TNF-α on adipocyte differentiation and adiponectin expression. These results suggest the value of EERP as a diet supplement for prevention and treatment of obesity and obesity-associated disorders.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Honey Produces Lower Blood Glucose Level than Sugar

Effects of Consumption of Honey, Sucrose and Glucose on Satiety and Postprandial Metabolism in Healthy Subjects
FASEB J, 2010 24:553.4

We recently demonstrated that consuming a 240-kcal portion of honey produces an attenuated glycemic response in healthy adults compared to glucose but not sucrose and that honey reduces food intake compared to sucrose in rats.

The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of consuming honey, sucrose and glucose at a greater energy load on satiety and plasma glucose, insulin and ghrelin.

In a randomized, crossover design, 14 healthy subjects consumed 400-kcal solutions containing honey, sucrose or glucose following a 10-hr fast. Visual analog scales for satiety assessment and fingerprick blood samples were collected over a 2-hr period. Satiety area under the curve (AUC) and plasma ghrelin area over the curve did not differ significantly among the sweeteners consumed. Intake of honey resulted in lower (p.05) plasma glucose and insulin AUCs (mean ± SEM: –33.3±6.1% and –11.1%±1.6%, respectively) than the AUCs induced by glucose consumption (p.05).

Consumption of honey elicited lower (p.05) plasma glucose AUC (–16.4%±6.2%) compared to sucrose but resulted in similar insulin AUCs. These results suggest that at the given energy load, honey promotes a potentially healthier response than sucrose and glucose with regard to postprandial glucose metabolism.

However, there appears to be no difference in satiating power among honey, sucrose and glucose.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Brazilians Patent Bee Anti-Venom

By Marcio Derbli, Com Ciência, 3/5/2010

Researchers from the Institute for Research in Immunology - National Institute of Science and Technology (iii-INCT) recorded the final of the first national patent bee antivenom in the world. Serum should start to be produced this year by Fundação Butantan after the final tests of homogeneity and certification by the National Agency for Sanitary Surveillance (ANVISA). The product will be distributed primarily to public hospitals.

Serum is the result of our doctoral researcher Keity Souza Santos, held at the Faculty of Medicine, University of São Paulo (USP), under the guidance of biochemical Mario Palma, the Instituto de Biociências Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP) Rio Claro (SP) and co-orientation of medical Fabio Castro, FMUSP. The product will be used in people who suffer attack by swarms of Apis mellifera bee species common in the country…

An estimated 15,000 attacks occurring bees per year in Brazil, causing about 140 deaths. "Despite the low-lethality explains Palma - the toxic shock caused by bee venom causes severe discomfort in the patient for about two weeks and can cause organ damage such as liver, kidney and heart." Poisoning Syndrome is a neglected disease, so it is very important to develop specific treatments, according Keity…

To develop the antidote, the researchers did a survey of the structure and function of the 134 proteins in bee venom. Knowing the mechanisms of action they have arrived in serum that neutralizes the toxic action of the venom…

Honey Has Been Used as a Natural Medicine for Centuries

Teatro Naturale International, 5/15/2010

All types of honey have some levels of healing properties. However, Manuka Honey from New Zealand seems to have the highest levels of these healing properties, more so than any other honey in the world. Manuka Honey is antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal and anti-parasitic. It also has very powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, making it extremely useful in treating a wide range of health problems.

Studies have shown that Manuka honey is an effective treatment for wounds, burns, insect bites, eczema, bacterial and fungal infections, psoriasis, ulcers, sore throats, gastrointestinal disorders, arthritis, etc. There are also no side effects when using Manuka Honey like those you can experience when using antibiotics or other drugs. Manuka honey is excellent for stomach aches, indigestion, cough, cold and flu symptoms, etc. It can also be used to cure insomnia.

An enzyme is present in honey that produces low levels of hydrogen peroxide, which can be used as a disinfectant. This is one reason why honey has such a high antimicrobial activity. Hydrogen peroxide is also partly responsible for regulating oxygen supply to skin cells, which helps to hasten the healing process. Manuka honey provides a protective barrier over wounds without damaging the skin or interfering with the healing process. It contains vital nutrients that are needed for the regeneration of skin tissue. The amino acids, minerals, vitamins and sugars present in Manuka Honey stimulate collagen production in as well as supporting the growth of new capillaries. The pH level of Manuka Honey also promotes wound healing and the eradication of infectious bacteria.

In addition to its ability to produce low levels of hydrogen peroxide, Manuka honey contains other antibacterial compounds such as methylglyoxal and an otherwise unidentified component that has become known as the Unique Manuka Factor or UMF…

Friday, May 14, 2010

Honey and Black Seed Combination Protects Liver

Hepatoprotective Effects of Nigella Sativa and Bees’ Honey on Hepatotoxicity Induced by Administration of Sodium Nitrite and Sunset Yellow
FASEB J, 2009 23:733.2

Background: The study was conducted to shed the light on adverse effects of food additive such as sodium nitrite (NaNO2; as preservative) and sunset yellow (as color) on the rat liver. Furthermore, the study was extended to show the protective role of Nigella sativa (black seed) and bees' honey in modulating the toxic effects induced by these additives.

Methods-results: Data show that the administration of NaNO2 and sunset yellow caused significant increase in serum and liver total lipids, total cholesterol, riglycerides and phospholipids levels. Also, aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase and alkaline phosphatase activities were increased in serum and liver of rats. Oxidative stress markers; lipid peroxidation product and protein carbonyl group were increased in the liver.

However, the antioxidants glutathione content, glutathione-S-transferase and catalase activities were decreased significantly in the liver tissue. Interestingly, a complete recovery of most of biochemical abnormalities was observed when black seed and bees' honey were administered, in combination, to rats intoxicated with NaNO2 and Sunset yellow.

Conclusion: We conclude that bees' honey is more hepatoprotective than black seed but the administration of both agents together has a better liver-protection effect rather. Black seed and bees' honey should be used in Human food additives based on their protector effect.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Company Produces Beeswax-Based Oil Eater for Gulf Spill

Pittsburgh Companies to Help with Gulf Oil Spill Clean Up
By Kris B. Mamula, Pittsburgh Business Times, 5/10/2010

Some Pittsburgh-area companies are finding their products and services in demand as efforts to cap a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico continue.

Universal Remediation Inc. is looking for room to expand as it quickly ramps up production of materials that will be used to help clean up the spill.

The company, based west of Pittsburgh in Robinson, has orders for as much of its natural, beeswax-based oil eater as it can produce, according to President Ray Tarasi. The company makes about 20 tons of the cornmeal-like material a month, but wants to quickly expand capacity to 75 to 100 tons per month within three months…

Propolis may Help Treat Soreness Caused by Dentures

The Antifungal Effect of Six Commercial Extracts of Chilean Propolis on Candida spp.
Cien. Inv. Agr, 37(1):75-84. 2010

Propolis has been used in traditional medicine for many centuries because of its beneficial health properties, including its antimicrobial capacity.

Prosthesis stomatitis affects a significant percentage of users of removable dentures; Candida albicans is the most common fungal species associated with the development of this pathology. Thus, the objectives of this study were: a. To evaluate the antifungal activity of six commercial propolis extracts against Candida spp. that was isolated from the oral cavity of removable dentures users, and b.

To determine chemical characteristics of the propolis extracts evaluated. Among the results, we note that these concentrations of polyphenols varied between 9 ± 0.3 and 85 ± 2.1 mg mL-1. Chromatographic analysis was able to detect 35 compounds, among which were caffeic acid, myricetin, quercetin, kaempferol, apigenin, pinocembrin, galangin, and caffeic acid phenyl ester (CAPE).

All strains tested were inhibited by the liquid extracts of propolis. The MID ranged between 1:40 and 1:1280, and the MIC for C. albicans ranged from 197 μg mL-1 to 441 μg mL-1.

From the results obtained in this investigation, we can conclude that all propolis extracts evaluated are capable of inhibiting the development of Candida spp. However, they show significant differences in the concentration of polyphenols present and in antifungal activity.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Recipe for Organic Beeswax-Herbal Lip Balm

The Buzz on Beeswax
It's easy to make your own lip balm
By Sean Conway, Tribune Media Services, 5/10/2010

There are some things our technologically advanced society just can't improve on. The honeybee is one of them. Since ancient times honeybees have been kept and appreciated not just for their honey but also for the waxy multicell comb they produce to store it in.

Melted honeycomb produces what we commonly refer to as beeswax, a material that since ancient times has been put to many different uses, from manufacturing to food production to the arts…

By now beeswax has been largely displaced from these traditional uses by newer materials and techniques, but it remains much in demand for specialty products that take advantage of its unique qualities. Beeswax candles, for example, burn largely without producing the smoke and dripping characteristic of other candles. Beeswax is valued for its emollient, softening and antibacterial properties. Thus it's a common ingredient in skin care products such as moisturizer and lip balm.

Brenda Brock, owner of Farmaesthetics (farmaesthetics.com), a company that creates organic skin-care products for select spas, boutiques and high-end hotels such as the Four Seasons, stopped by to tape a segment of this week's episode of "Cultivating Life." Brock shared a simple recipe for lip salve that combines local beeswax and fresh herbs from the garden (which is described below)…

The materials you'll need to make Brenda's beeswax lip balm include a quart-size storage jar with cover, a strainer, some cheesecloth, a double boiler, and small new or recycled containers for the finished salve.

Also assemble these ingredients: about 1/2 cup (packed) lemon balm leaves, washed and dried; 1/2 cup organic almond, grapeseed or soy oil; 1/8 teaspoon vitamin E; 2 teaspoons organic beeswax; and 1/4 teaspoon pink grapefruit essential oil. Note: If you can't find lemon balm, lavender or mint can be substituted.

1. Put the lemon balm leaves in the jar; pour the almond oil over the mint, then add vitamin E. Cover tightly; let mixture set a week or longer in a cool, dark place. This will allow the essential oils of the lemon balm to infuse the almond oil.

2. Strain the oil-herb infusion twice through a strainer lined with cheesecloth to separate the oils from the lemon balm. Discard the lemon balm.

3. Combine the infused oil and beeswax in a double boiler. Heat gently (but do not boil) over low heat until the beeswax is melted. Remove pan from heat; add the grapefruit essential oil. Pour mixture into tiny lip pots or jars. Allow to cool; cap securely…

Genetic Engineering Used to Produce Bee Venom Enzyme

Expression of a Bee Venom Phospholipase A(2) from Apis cerana cerana in the Baculovirus-Insect Cell
J Zhejiang Univ Sci B, 2010 May;11(5):342-9

Bee venom phospholipase A(2) (BvPLA(2)) is a lipolytic enzyme that catalyzes the hydrolysis of the sn-2 acyl bond of glycerophospholipids to liberate free fatty acids and lysophospholipids.

In this work, a new BvPLA(2) (AccPLA(2)) gene from the Chinese honeybee (Apis cerana cerana) venom glands was inserted into bacmid to construct a recombinant transfer vector. Tn-5B-4 (Tn) cells were transfected with the recombinant bacmid DNA for expression. Sodium dodecylsulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) analysis revealed a double band with molecular weights of 16 and 18 kDa. Products of hexahistidine AccPLA(2) fusion protein accumulated up to 5.32% of the total cellular proteins. The AccPLA(2) fusion protein was cross reactive with the anti-AmPLA(2) (BvPLA(2) of the European honeybee, Apis mellifera) polyclonal serum.

The reaction resulted in a double glycosylation band, which agrees with the band generated by the native AmPLA(2) in Western blot analysis. The PLA(2) activity of the total extracted cellular protein in the hydrolyzing egg yolk is about 3.16 mumol/(min.mg).

In summary, the recombinant AccPLA(2) protein, a native BvPLA(2)-like structure with corresponding biological activities, can be glycosylated in Tn cells. These findings provided fundamental knowledge for potential genetic engineering to produce AccPLA(2) in the pharmaceutical industry.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Russian Conference: Apiculture, Apitherapy and the Quality Of Life

May 17-20, 2010, Moscow, Russia
International Industrial Academy

Unique products of apiculture, containing all the essential nutrients, are widely used for the prophylaxis and treatment of many diseases. Established in 1992 at the initiative of the Research Institute for Apiculture and Ryazan State Medical University, the Apitherapists’ Society promotes the development of this field of science in Russia by uniting creative potentials of medicine and apiculture. Fourteen All-Russian theoretical and practical conferences have been held so far, the proceedings published in the “Apitherapy Today” collected articles.

We hope that this International Conference, being at the same time the 15th All-Russian anniversary conference, will contribute to a more effective introduction of the apiculture products as an element of nutrition, thus improving people’s health and the quality of life...

Conference Highlights:

• Current state of the world output of the beekeeping products;
• Apiculture in Russia and around the world;
• Technologies for breeding and keeping of the bee colonies;
• Selection of the bee lines specialized in the production of certain kinds of products;
• Innovative technologies for the production and processing of beekeeping products;
• Modern methods of quality and safety control of the beekeeping products;
• Standardization in beekeeping;
• Research of the composition, nutritional value and biological activity of the beekeeping products;
• Development of technologies and remedies for apitherapy;
• Effective means of using the products of beekeeping in medical practice;
• Achievements of apitherapy in improving the quality of life...

Raisins, Apple-Cider Vinegar and Honey Recommended for Arthritis

Richmond Times Dispatch (Virginia), May 9, 2010

Q: I read a recent column about golden raisins soaked in gin. I tried these a few years ago and wrote to you about them. I also told you that I didn't use gin, but instead soaked the raisins in a combination of apple-cider vinegar and honey.

I do hope you tell people about that option. It is important for people who either don't drink alcohol or shouldn't. It's also less expensive, for those who can't afford gin.

The alternative worked wonders, not just for me, but also for others I know about. Recovering alcoholics in particular should know of the alternative…

Royal Jelly Boosts Wound Healing

Royal Jelly Enhances Migration of Human Dermal Fibroblasts with Decreased Levels of Triglycerides And Cholesterol in In Vitro Wound Healing Model
FASEB J, 2010 24:922.6

Oral administration of royal jelly (RJ) promotes the wound healing in diabetic mice. Concerns have arisen about the efficacy of RJ on wound healing process of normal skin cells.

In this study, a wound was created by scratching normal human dermal fibroblasts, one of major cells involved wound healing process. 0.1, 1.0 or 5 ug/ml RJ were promptly treated up to 48 hrs, and migration was analyzed by the closure of wound margin. Furthermore, altered levels of lipids, which is recently reported to be responsible for wound healing process, were analyzed by HPTLC.

Migration of fibroblasts was peaked up to ~24hr after wounding. RJ treatment significantly accelerated migration of fibroblasts in a dose dependent manner at 8hr. Although RJ accelerated migration of fibroblasts at either 20 hr or 24hr, the efficacy of RJ was less portent than at 8hr. Among various lipid classes of fibroblasts, the levels of triglycerol and cholesterol were significantly decreased with 5 ug/ml RJ.

In spite of a dose-dependent increase of sphinganine, no altered level of sphingosine, ceramides and glucosylceramide was noted with any concentration of RJ.

We demonstrate that RJ enhances migration of fibroblasts with altered levels of various lipids in the wound healing process.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Honey Boosts Rehydration, Speeds Recovery from Vomiting and Diarrhea

Honey Added to the Oral Rehydration Solution in Treatment of Gastroenteritis in Infants and Children
J Med Food, 2010 May 3

Among honey's benefits are its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects. Because gastroenteritis is an acute inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract that may be caused by a variety of microbes, the aim of the present study was to verify whether the addition of honey in oral rehydration solution (ORS) could affect the duration of symptoms of acute gastroenteritis in infants and children.

One hundred infants and children with acute gastroenteritis were randomly assigned to one of two treatment groups, each consisting of 50 patients: Group I received ORS for rehydration (control), and Group II received ORS with honey. The mean ages of patients of Groups I and II were 1.5 +/- 1.2 and 1.1 +/- 0.8 years, respectively. In the honey-treated group the frequencies of vomiting and diarrhea were significantly reduced compared to the control group. Also, the recovery time, defined as the number of hours from initiation of treatment to when normal soft stools are passed, with the patient showing normal hydration and satisfactory weight gain, was significantly shortened after honey ingestion.

In conclusion, honey added to ORS promoted rehydration of the body and sped recovery from vomiting and diarrhea.

New Honey Energy Booster for Athletes

RevHoney Offers 1,000 Free U-Tubes
Life Science Weekly, May 11, 2010

Whether you're a serious athlete or just want to get in shape for spring and summer, fueling up naturally before working out just got easier and convenient. U-Tubes, by RevHoney, are made with 100 percent real honey and natural fruit flavors. More than just an energy boost, they help promote metabolism, muscle recovery and regulate blood sugar levels (see also RevHoney).

For a limited time, RevHoney will give away 1,000 free samples, one per person, to those who sign up at http://www.revhoney.com/sample.html or www.facebook.com/pages/RevHoney and click on the "sign up form" tab.

Originally designed with endurance athletes in mind, such as runners and cyclists, U-Tubes can also enhance energy levels of novice through professional athletes in any sport…

The founders of RevHoney are expert beekeepers who have researched the functional properties of honey and discovered it was a natural source of energy with added benefits.

"The 1 to 1 ratio of glucose and fructose in U-Tubes fuels the liver directly by forming liver glycogen which gives muscles more energy while lessening the damage brought on by stress hormones and proteins manufactured by the body during exercise," says Nathan Brown, CEO of RevHoney.

Honey Energy Bars Recommended

Gear Review: Honey Stinger Energy Bars and Energy Chews
By Ryan Alford, Snowshoe Magazine, 5/9/2010

About a year ago, I was introduced to Honey Stinger Energy Bars via a set of samples I encountered in the mail. I was an immediate fan. I’ve never tasted an energy bar like the Honey Stinger. Living up to its name, each bar is made with 30 percent USDA certified organic honey. In addition, each bar includes 10 grams of whey protein, 22 vitamins and minerals, calcium and antioxidants. When snowshoeing and trail running, they come in handy. Because I loved the energy bars, I was eager to try the energy chews. As it turns out, the chews kept my engine running in between energy bar consumption. And both taste so good…

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Bee Venom May Help Treat Alcohol-Induced Liver Disease

The Protective Effect of Bee Venom Against Ethanol-Induced Hepatic Injury Via Regulation of the Mitochondria-Related Apoptotic Pathway
FASEB J, 2010 24:lb404

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 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.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Bee Venom May be Useful in Treating Huntington’s, Parkinsons’s, Alzheimer’s, and ALS

The Effect of Bee Venom Against Glutamate Toxicity in Microglial Cells
FASEB J, 2010 24:489.5

Bee venom (BV) extracted from honey bee has been used in a traditional Korean medical therapy. Several research groups demonstrated the anti-inflammation effects of BV in immune-related diseases in vivo and in vitro.

Glutamate is predominant excitatory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system (CNS). Prolonged exposure of glutamate receptors to high or persistently increased concentrations of glutamate leads the cell death. In addition, changes in glutamate release, uptake and activity of glutamate transporters have been reported in many neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington’s disease, Parkinsons’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

However, BV is not clear whether BV has a protective effect against glutamate-mediated cell death. To assess whether BV affords protection against glutamate mediated cell death, we examined the cell viability and signal transduction regarding cell survival with glutamate-treated microglial cells in either the presence or absence of BV.

First of all, we confirmed glutamatergic toxicity on microglial cells. Then, we found that BV had an inhibitory effect against the glutamatergic toxicity.

As a result of it, our results showed that BV inhibited significantly the cell toxicity against glutamate and activation of proteins such as Akt, JNK, Erk and p38 were altered by exposure of glutamate time dependent manner.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Bee Venom Therapy May Help Treat ALS - Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Anti-Inflammatory Effect of Bee Venom in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Model
FASEB J, 2010 24:751.2

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), paralyzing disorder is characterized by the progressive degeneration and death of motor neurons occurring both as a sporadic and a familial disease.

Mutant SOD1(mtSOD1) induces vulnerability of motor neurons through protein misfolding, mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative damage, cytoskeletal abnormalities and defective axonal transport, excitotoxicity, inadequate growth factor signaling, and neuro inflammation.

Bee venom (BV) known as an Oriental medicine has been reported the evidence in the literature indicated that BV exerts anti-inflammatory and anti-nociceptive effects on inflammatory reactions in arthritis and other inflammatory diseases.

The purpose of the present study is to determine whether acupuncture with BV is able to suppress the motor neuron loss and microglial cell action in hG93ASOD1 mouse commonly used model for inherited ALS. BV was treated at the ‘ZuSanLi’ (ST36) acupuncture point in hSODG93A animal model.

BV treated animals showed the decrease of micro cell activity and the expression level of phospho-p38MAPK in spinal cord and brain stem in mutant hSOD1 transgenic mice.

Interestingly, BV acupuncture in symptomatic ALS animals improved motor activity and extended survival compared to the control group. Our research suggests a potential functional link between BV and anti-neuroinflammation in ALS animal model.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

New Throat Lozenge 100% Manuka Honey

New MANUKAlozenges® with 100% Medical-grade Manuka Honey Offer Fast, Effective, Natural Relief to Irritated and Sore Throats

New MANUKAlozenges® from Links Medical Products, Inc., Irvine, CA, offer sore throat relief. Contain 100% medical-grade Manuka honey to calm, soothe, and heal irritated and sore throats. All-natural, great-tasting and package displays seal of the Molan Gold Standard the internationally recognized certification of authentic Manuka honey.

(Vocus/PRWEB) May 6, 2010 -- …MANUKAlozenges are made by dehydrating Manuka honey through a special process that maintains the honey’s unique medicinal properties. The result: a pure, natural lozenge that dissolves slowly in your mouth, while calming, soothing, and healing sore throats…

Bees That Heal (Spanish)

Diario Hoy, 5/2/2010

In alternative medicine, apitherapy involves the use of poison and other derivatives of bees to diseases like rheumatism, lung problems and psoriasis. Believes a local specialist.

"What does not kill you makes you stronger,” says the classic saying that somehow sums up the cunning of man to survive the ravages of life and also, why not, to take advantage of every product of nature for personal gain. That the case of apitherapy, branch of medicine that uses bee venom to treat various rheumatic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, tennis elbow or bursitis, among others. also the cardiovascular and hypertension, arrhythmias, arteriosclerosis and varicose veins, in skin problems like eczema, psoriasis, warts, and lung conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema and asthma, among others…

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Texas A&M Scientist Tracks Origins of Bootleg Honey from China

Science Blog, 5/3/2010

A Texas A&M University scientist spends hours at a time peering at slides of pollen samples, comparing them to track down the origins of honey with questionable heritage. Some of the samples contain labels from other countries when in fact they originated in China but were re-routed to avoid tariffs of up to 500 percent, says Vaughn Bryant, a palynologist and an anthropology professor at Texas A&M University...

Mislabeled Chinese Royal Jelly Sold in New Zealand

Imported Jelly Passed Off as New Zealand Made - Company Fined
New Zealand Herald, 5/5/2010

A company that sold a product made from royal jelly imported from China, with labels that implied the product was made in New Zealand, has been fined $15,000 in the Auckland District Court.

New Zealand Natural Care Products Limited (NZ Natural) entered guilty pleas to two charges of breaching the Fair Trading Act yesterday.

Both charges relate to making false or misleading representations concerning the place of origin of goods.

Royal jelly, a secretion from honey bees, is claimed to have a variety of health benefits.

New Zealand royal jelly is believed to be of a higher quality, recording higher readings of the active ingredient 10HDA than overseas sourced product, and therefore attracts a premium price…

Nanofiltration Used to Concentrate Propolis Extracts

Extraction of Biologically Active Compounds from Propolis and Concentration of Extract by Nanofiltration
Journal of Membrane Science, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 22 April 2010,

Propolis is a natural product, rich in biologically active compounds. In the recent years the product is extensively used in food and medical applications.

This investigation reports results on the extraction of these compounds with an ethanol–water mixture and sequential concentration of the extract by nanofiltration, using two membranes: Starmem™ 122 (polyimide) and Duramem™ 200 (modified polyimide).

The content of flavones, flavonols, flavanones, dihydroflavonols as well as total phenolic substances was determined spectrophotometrically in the feeds and permeates of dead-end nanofiltration experiments. Rejections of over 95% were observed and extract concentration of over three times was achieved with the Duramem™ 200 membrane.

The membranes behaviour during the process was characterized by environmental scanning electron microscopy, revealing better stability and higher permeability of the modified polyimide membrane.

The established conditions for extract concentration could facilitate cross-flow nanofiltration experiments regarding a technology for medicine or nutritional additive production. They could also be utilized in propolis chemistry investigations for a more reliable identification of some individual compounds.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Propolis Component May Help Control Airway Allergies

Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester Suppresses the Induction of Eotaxin in Human Lung Fibroblast Cells
J Asthma, 2010 Apr;47(3):233-7

BACKGROUND: Eotaxin, a CC chemokine, plays an important role in inflammation of airway allergic diseases. The authors investigated the activities of caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), the active component of propolis, in regulating eotaxin production in human lung fibroblast.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: The authors used human lung fibroblasts, CCD-11Lu cells, stimulated with interleukin-13 (IL-13) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), to induce eotaxin secretion. The cells were treated with CAPE of different concentrations and pretreatment duration to check its inhibition in eotaxin production. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used to measure eotaxin secretion; electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) to check nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappaB)-promoter binding; and Western blot to quantitate the cyplasmic inhibitor of NF-kappaB (IkappaB) and nuclear NF-kappaB p65.

RESULTS: CAPE inhibited the production of eotaxin in CCD-11Lu cells stimulated by IL-13 and TNF-alpha combination in a dose- and time-dependent manner. The authors also demonstrated CAPE to be able to inhibit NF-kappaB activation in CCD-11Lu cells.

CONCLUSION: The authors suggest that CAPE is a promising agent in controlling eosinophils influx in human airway.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Propolis, Black Seed Diminish Risk of Atherosclerosis

Protective Effects of Propolis and Thymoquinone on development of Atherosclerosis in Cholesterol-Fed Rabbits
Arch Pharm Res, 2010 Apr;33(4):637-43

Hypercholesterolemia, cholesterol-enriched diet and oxidative stress have been shown to increase serum total cholesterol (TC) and low density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) levels resulting in development of atherosclerosis.

Antioxidants play an important role in inhibiting and scavenging free radicals, thus providing protection to humans against infectious and degenerative diseases.

The present study was undertaken to examine the possible protective effects of propolis (a resinous hive product collected by honeybees from various plant sources) and thymoquinone (TQ, active constituent of Nigella. Sativa seeds oil) on serum lipid levels and early atherosclerotic lesions in hypercholestrolemic rabbits.

New Zealand rabbits were fed on either standard chow or atherogenic diet during four weeks and concomitantly received either propolis or TQ. At the end of experiment period, serum samples were collected to determine lipid profile, kidney functions and antioxidant status. Tissues from aorta, pulmonary artery and kidney were taken for histopathological examination. The cholesterol-enriched diet induced a significant increase in serum TC, triglycerides, LDL-C, thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances concentrations and a significant decrease in high density lipoprotein-cholesterol and in reduced glutathione levels compared to control group.

Administration of propolis or TQ with cholesterol-enriched diet significantly reduced TC, LDL-C, triglycerides and thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances concentrations, while increased high density lipoprotein-cholesterol concentration, as well as glutathione content compared to high cholesterol (HC) control group.

Kidney function parameters were significantly affected by cholesterol diet and both propolis and TQ counterregulated the cholesterol-induced changes. Histopathologically, early athersclerotic changes were observed in HC control group represented by endothelial damage and thickened foam cells while propolis or TQ provided protection against the HC-induced damage.

In conclusion, the present study suggests the potential beneficial effects of both propolis and TQ in diminishing the risk of atherosclerosis via antioxidant mechanism.

Scientist: China Avoiding Honey Tariff

COLLEGE STATION, Texas, April 30 (UPI) -- Honey from China is being shipped into the United States illegally to avoid expensive tariffs, a Texas scientist who tracks the origins of pollen alleges.

China, the world's largest honey producer, is sending honey to other countries for labeling and then into the United States to avoid paying U.S. tariffs of up to 500 percent, Vaughn Bryant, a Texas A&M professor, said.

Bryant, a palynologist or a pollen specialist, analyzes honey samples from around the world to determine their origin.

Honey samples labeled as coming from Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia and Laos usually turn out to be "a little honey from those countries" with the majority of the blend coming from Chinese sources, Bryant said in a release Thursday…

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Honey Alleviates Effect of Toxins

Beneficial Effect of Pine Honey on Trichlorfon Induced Some Biochemical Alterations in Mice
Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, Article in Press

Forty-eight male BALB/c mice, weighing 30–35 g, 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 1 g/kg bw/day pine honey, 180 mg/kg bw/day trichlorfon (1/5LD50) and 1 g/kg bw/day pine honey plus 180 mg/kg bw/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.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Nutritional Analysis of Royal Jelly

Livestrong.com, 4/19/2010

Overview
Royal jelly is a thick, milky mix of nutrients, which is produced from a combination of honey and pollen. All of the bees in a hive consume this substance, but larvae that consume it exclusively and in high doses grow larger than the other bees, thus enabling them to become queens of the hive. Queen bees live up to 4 or 5 years, compared to an average six weeks for worker bees, according to "Better Nutrition" magazine.

History
The use of bee products dates back to Paleolithic times, according to Alex Poplawsky of Emory University. The ancient Egyptians were master beekeepers who revered honey for its antibacterial and medicinal properties, and used royal jelly in skin treatments. The ancient Chinese used royal jelly as an aphrodisiac.

Types
Royal jelly is often sold mixed with honey to keep its potency intact. This form of royal jelly should be kept in the refrigerator to prevent spoiling. Some natural food outlets offer royal jelly in capsules, powdered or freeze-dried. It also has been used as an ingredient in lip balm, shampoos and conditioners, and skin creams.

Function
Royal jelly has been use to treat asthma, hepatic disease, insomnia and skin problems, among other conditions. Most of the reported benefits of royal jelly are provided by anecdotal evidence. More research is needed.

The "Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients" online magazine confirms the existence of evidence that royal jelly supports liver health.

Potential
Research has confirmed the antibacterial potential of a protein known as "royalisin," which is present in royal jelly. Royalisin was discovered to be effective in fighting gram-negative bacteria at low concentrations. The "Journal of Biological Chemistry" has theorized that an antibacterial protein found in royal jelly, called royalisin, helps the honeybee defend against bacteria.

The "Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture" has reported that royal jelly appears promising as an aid to inhibiting the growth of tumors.

Poplawsky cites studies that indicate royal jelly's potential as a treatment for Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. Further research is needed to expand upon the implications of these initial studies...