Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Improve Cognitive Function and Memory with Royal Jelly

(NaturalNews, 6/25/2010) - Royal jelly is one of the most nutritionally complex foods on the planet with the ability to shore up many nutritional deficiencies and help people quickly overcome conditions they may have been dealing with for years. Royal jelly is also highly regarded for its brain-boosting capabilities. Whether you are a young student looking for an edge on an exam, a CEO with tremendous demands on your time, or have received the devastating diagnosis of Alzheimer`s disease, royal jelly may be able to deliver radical results that will astonish you.

Royal Jelly and the Acetylcholine Connection

Royal jelly is a creamy substance produced by the common worker bee for the purpose of developing and nourishing the queen bee. On this diet of royal jelly, the queen bee will typically grow to be 40 percent larger and live 40 times longer than the worker bee. Royal jelly isn`t just food for the queen bee, it`s her longevity strategy.

Royal jelly`s structure and composition is so unique that it cannot be replicated by man in any lab. The only lab capable of producing such an extraordinary substance is the bee hive. This superfood is rich in protein, loaded with B vitamins, and contains many other minerals and nutrients. One of the key ingredients in royal jelly that may have profound implications for improving memory and invigorating mental acuity is acetylcholine.

Acetylcholine was the first neurotransmitter ever discovered. It is found in the brain, spinal cord, and throughout areas of the nervous system. It regulates memory and is needed to transmit nerve messages from cell to cell. Interestingly, royal jelly is the only natural source of pure acetylcholine. Optimal levels of acetylcholine in the brain are associated with improved memory, fluidity of thought, and enhanced cognitive function.

Implications for Alzheimer`s Disease

Part of the wonderful symmetry of nature is its ability to deliver a formidable solution equivalent to virtually any problem you encounter. Though conventional medicine declares that there is no cure for Alzheimer`s disease, royal jelly may offer substantial benefits. Alzheimer`s disease is a progressive, degenerative, neurological disease that is thought to be irreversible. It usually afflicts people after the age of 65 and is the fourth leading cause of death among adults. The pathology of Alzheimer`s disease includes the presence of extracellular plaques (clusters of dead and dying nerve cells) and intracellular "neurofibrillary tangles" (twisted fragments of protein within nerve cells). These plaques and fibrous entanglements in the brain disrupt lines of communication and inhibit the production of acetylcholine. This leads to loss of memory, anxiety, irritability, and difficulty in expressing thoughts…

Bee Venom May Help Cure Cancer

Is Melittin the Answer to a Cure for Cancer?
By Mini Swamy, TMCnet, 6/28/2010

…Melittin, may be life threatening, but its benefits are tremendous. Because the substance is known to kill cells, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have harnessed it to destroy tumor cells.

Their research involved attaching melittin to nano-sized spheres they called “nanobees,” which were injected into mice with cancerous tumors. The results of the findings seem to be positive, for the nanobees not only lessened the growth and size of the cancerous tumors, but also prevented the cancer from developing.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

At German Airports, Bees Help Monitor Air Quality

By Tanya Mohn, The New York Times, 6/28/2010

Airports in Germany have come up with an unusual approach to monitoring air quality. The Düsseldorf International Airport and seven other airports are using bees as “biodetectives,” their honey regularly tested for toxins.

“Air quality at and around the airport is excellent,” said Peter Nengelken, the airport’s community liaison. The first batch of this year’s harvested honey from some 200,000 bees was tested in early June, he said, and indicated that toxins were far below official limits, consistent with results since 2006 when the airport began working with bees.

Beekeepers from the local neighborhood club keep the bees. The honey, “Düsseldorf Natural,” is bottled and given away as gifts.

Biomonitoring, or the use of living organisms to test environmental health, does not replace traditional monitoring, said Martin Bunkowski, an environmental engineer for the Association of German Airports. But “it’s a very clear message for the public because it is easy to understand,” he added.

Volker Liebig, a chemist for Orga Lab, who analyzes honey samples twice a year for the Düsseldorf and six other German airports, said results showed the absence of substances that the lab tested for, like certain hydrocarbons and heavy metals, and the honey “was comparable to honey produced in areas without any industrial activity.” A much larger data sampling over more time is needed for a definitive conclusion, he said, but preliminary results are promising.

Could bees be modern-day sentinels like the canaries once used as warning signals of toxic gases in coal mines?

Assessing environmental health using bees as “terrestrial bioindicators“ is a fairly new undertaking, said Jamie Ellis, assistant professor of entomology at the Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory, University of Florida in Gainesville. “We all believe it can be done, but translating the results into real-world solutions or answers may be a little premature.” Still, similar work with insects to gauge water quality has long been successful…

Malaysian Tualang Honey Shows Bactericidal, Bacteriostatic Effect

Antibacterial Properties of Tualang Honey and Its Effect in Burn Wound Management: A Comparative Study
BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 24 June 2010

Background

The use of honey as a natural product of Apis spp. for burn treatment has been widely applied for centuries. Tualang honey has been reported to have antibacterial properties against various microorganisms, including those from burn-related diagnoses, and is cheaper and easier to be absorbed by Aquacel dressing. The aim of this study is to evaluate the potential antibacterial properties of tualang honey dressing and to determine its effectiveness as a partial thickness burn wound dressing.

Methods

In order to quantitate the bioburden of the swabs, pour plates technique were performed to obtain the colony count (CFU/ml). Swabs obtained from burn wounds were streaked on blood agar and MacConkey agar for bacterial isolation and identification. Later, antibacterial activity of Aquacel-tualang honey, Aquacel-Manuka honey, Aquacel-Ag and Aquacel-plain dressings against bacteria isolated from patients were tested (in-vitro) to see the effectiveness of those dressings by zone of inhibition assays.

Results

Seven organisms were isolated. Four types of Gram-negative bacteria, namely Enterobacter cloacae, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas spp. and Acinetobacter spp., and three Gram-positive bacteria, namely Staphylococcus aureus, coagulase-negative Staphylococcus aureus (CONS) and Streptococcus spp., were isolated. Total bacterial count decreased on day 6 and onwards.

In the in-vitro antibacterial study, Aquacel-Ag and Aquacel-Manuka honey dressings gave better zone of inhibition for Gram positive bacteria compared to Aquacel-Tualang honey dressing. However, comparable results were obtained against Gram negative bacteria tested with Aquacel-Manuka honey and Aquacel-Tualang honey dressing.

Conclusions

Tualang honey has a bactericidal as well as bacteriostatic effect. It is useful as a dressing, as it is easier to apply and is less sticky compared to Manuka honey. However, for Gram positive bacteria, tualang honey is not as effective as usual care products such as silver-based dressing or medical grade honey dressing.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Bee Sting Venom Could Provide Treatment for Arthritis

Venom from bee stings could help to treat and even prevent arthritis, new research has suggested.
By Richard Gray, Telegraph (UK), 6/27/2010

Scientists have found that bee venom can control the harmful inflammation in joints that leads to rheumatoid arthritis.

They have shown the venom contains molecules that cause an increase in natural hormones in the body that regulate inflammation.

It has raised hopes that bee venom can be used to develop new treatments that can help bring relief from the pain of arthritis and even prevent it from developing in the first place.

The findings helped to explain anecdotal reports of how patients who undergo bee sting therapy report improvement in their condition.

Dr Suzana Beatriz Veríssimo de Mello, an associate professor in rheumatology who led the research at the University of São Paulo, in Brazil, said bee venom caused increased levels of anti-inflammatory hormones called glucocorticoids.

She said: "Bee venom is a complex mixture of substances that are known to induce immune and allergic responses in humans.

"Nevertheless, bee venom has been used to treat rheumatoid arthritis for centuries. However, the placebo effect has been described in studies investigating bee venom anti-inflammatory properties in arthritic patients.

"Our data shows that bee venom prevents the development of induced arthritis in rabbits through the action of glucocorticoids."…

Honey Extract May Slow Apple Juice Spoilage

By Stephen Daniells, Food Navigator, 6/24/210

An extract from honey may prevent undesirable browning of apple juice and help the beverage stay on shelves longer, suggests new research from Mexico.

Browning is a problem for fruit juices and particularly apple juice. It occurs in the presence of oxygen when the enzyme polyphenol oxidase (PPO) converts phenolic compounds into dark coloured pigments.

“This browning decreases both the acceptability and nutritional quality of the fresh juice; therefore, the use of anti-browning agents is required,” explained Mexican researchers in LWT – Food Science and Technology.

“However, market trends on food preservation are limiting the use of synthetic additives and the search for natural anti-browning products is increasing in correspondence to industrial and consumer demands.”

In keeping with the natural trend, the researchers examined the potential of a range of natural anti-browning agents to inhibit the activity of PPO in an apple juice product.

Test details

Four agents were tested: an extract from Palo Fierro honey, caffeic acid phenetyl ester, L-cysteine, and 4-hexylresorcinol. The compounds were used over a range of concentrations.

Results showed that apple juice containing the honey extract, cysteine, and 4-hexylresorcinol showed virtually no browning, while the caffeic acid-containing juice did undergo significant browning…

“In view of these results, we suggest that Palo Fierro Honey (as a natural product) or its flavonoid rich extract has great potential in being used as an anti-browning agent for apple juice, since it reduces enzymatic browning, while at the same time provides bioactive ingredients with health-promoting properties,” concluded the researchers…

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Apitherapy Helps Boost Libido (Spanish)

MetroNoticias, 6/24/2010

Since ancient times known beneficial effects of certain foods that serve as home remedies to increase libido and address sexual dysfunction.

Apitherapy: provides very effective home remedies to increase testosterone levels in men and women, honey, bee pollen and royal jelly are known since ancient times, as aphrodisiac foods…

Propolis Effective in Reducing, Delaying Radiation-Induced Mucositis

The Effect of Ethanolic Extract of Propolis on Radiation-Induced Mucositis in Rats
Saudi Medical Journal, 2010; Vol. 31 (6): 622-626

Objectives: To assess the efficacy of ethanolic extract of propolis in radiation-induced mucositis in rats.

Methods: This study was performed in the Dental Faculty, Shahid Rajaee Hospital of Babol University of Medical Sciences, Babol, Mazandaran, Iran from August 2008 to September 2009, It was carried out on 21 male Wistar rats, age 7-11 weeks, and weighing 160±20g. They were divided into 3 groups. Group A received intraperitoneal (ip) injections of 100 mg/kg ethanolic extract of propolis (EEP), group B received ip injections of 200 mg/kg EEP, and the control group (group C) received 10% ethanol (10ml/kg [ip]) just before x-ray irradiation. All rats were irradiated in the head and neck region by an x-ray device at a dose rate of 15 gray (Gy) for 9 minutes and 39 seconds. The daily injection continued for the next 10 days, and the lips and tongues of the rats were examined daily to assess the intensity of lesions induced by irradiation.

Results: In group C, the first signs of ulcers appeared on the first day, while they appeared on the fourth day in group B, and third day in group A. The severity of ulcers was greatest in group C, and least in group B.

Conclusions: Propolis is effective in reducing and delaying radiation-induced mucositis in an animal model, however, further study and evaluation is required.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Propolis Promotes 'Social Immunity' in Bee Hive

Propolis and Bee Health: The Natural History and Significance of Resin Use by Honey Bees
Propolis et santé de l’abeille : l’histoire naturelle et la signification de l’utilisation de résine végétale chez les abeilles
Propolis und Bienengesundheit: Die Naturgeschichte und die Bedeutung des Gebrauchs von Pflanzenharzen durch Bienen
Apidologie, Volume 41, Number 3, May-June 2010

Social immunity, which describes how individual behaviors of group members effectively reduce disease and parasite transmission at the colony level, is an emerging field in social insect biology. An understudied, 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 bring 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 propolis in regards to bee 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 role that propolis plays in disease resistance.

Zusammenfassung

Die „soziale Immunität“als neues Forschungsfeld bei sozialen Insekten beschreibt, wie das individuelle Verhalten von Mitgliedern einer Gruppe wirkungsvoll die Verbreitung von Krankheiten und Parasiten auf der Ebene des Sozialstaates verhindern kann. Ein bisher zwar wenig untersuchtes aber wichtiges Verhaltensmerkmal zur Krankheitsabwehr bei Honigbienen ist die Verwendung von Pflanzenharzen. Honigbienen sammeln Harze mit antimikrobiellen Eigenschaften von verschiedenen Pflanzen, mischen diese dann im Bienenvolk mit unterschiedlichen Mengen von Wachs und benutzen dies als Propolis (Abb. 1–4). Propolis ist demnach der bienenkundliche Begriff für Harze, die im Bienenstock verwendet werden. Während es zahlreiche Untersuchungen zur Verwendung bestimmter Bestandteile des Propolis zur Krankheitsbekämpfung beim Menschen gibt, sind kaum Informationen über die Bedeutung von Propolis für die Bienengesundheit vorhanden...

Friday, June 25, 2010

Video: The Secret Life of White House Bees

When White House carpenter Charlie Brandts told some of First Lady Michelle Obama’s staff about his latest hobby in beekeeping, Chef Sam Kass was quick to ask him if he knew how to make honey that could be used in the White House kitchen. Fortunately, not only did Brandts know how to make the honey, but he also had a spare beehive at home that he was happy to donate to the White House. Now Brandts is the White House’s official beekeeper tending a hive of approximately 70,000 bees near the new Kitchen Garden.

Watch this new "Inside the White House" video on the first ever White House beehive.

Report Looks at Pros and Cons of Bee Venom Therapy

The Nociceptive and Anti-Nociceptive Effects of Bee Venom Injection and Therapy: A Double-Edged Sword
Prog Neurobiol, 2010 Jun 14

Bee venom injection as a therapy, like many other complementary and alternative medicine approaches, has been used for thousands of years to attempt to alleviate a range of diseases including arthritis.

More recently, additional theraupeutic goals have been added to the list of diseases making this a critical time to evaluate the evidence for the beneficial and adverse effects of bee venom injection. Although reports of pain reduction (analgesic and antinociceptive) and anti-inflammatory effects of bee venom injection are accumulating in the literature, it is common knowledge that bee venom stings are painful and produce inflammation.

In addition, a significant number of studies have been performed in the past decade highlighting that injection of bee venom and components of bee venom produce significant signs of pain or nociception, inflammation and many effects at multiple levels of immediate, acute and prolonged pain processes.

This report reviews the extensive new data regarding the deleterious effects of bee venom injection in people and animals, our current understanding of the responsible underlying mechanisms and critical venom components, and provides a critical evaluation of reports of the beneficial effects of bee venom injection in people and animals and the proposed underlying mechanisms.

Although further studies are required to make firm conclusions, therapeutic bee venom injection may be beneficial for some patients, but may also be harmful. This report highlights key patterns of results, critical shortcomings, and essential areas requiring further study.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Clover Honey is Cost-Effective Dressing for Diabetic Wounds in Developing Countries

The Clinical and Cost Effectiveness of Bee Honey Dressing in the Treatment of Diabetic Foot Ulcers
Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, Article in Press

Honey is known, since antiquity, as an effective wound dressing. Emergence of resistant strains and the financial burden of modern dressings, have revived honey as cost-effective dressing particularly in developing countries. Its suitability for all stages of wound healing suggests its clinical effectiveness in diabetic foot wound infections.

Thirty infected diabetic foot wounds were randomly selected from patients presenting to Surgery Department, Suez Canal University Hospital, Ismailia, Egypt. Honey dressing was applied to wounds for 3 months till healing, grafting or failure of treatment. Changes in grade and stage of wounds, using University of Texas Diabetic Wound Classification, as well as surface area were recorded weekly. Bacterial load was determined before and after honey dressing.

Complete healing was significantly achieved in 43.3% of ulcers. Decrease in size and healthy granulation was significantly observed in another 43.3% of patients. Bacterial load of all ulcers was significantly reduced after the first week of honey dressing. Failure of treatment was observed in 6.7% of ulcers.

This study proves that commercial clover honey is a clinical and cost-effective dressing for diabetic wound in developing countries. It is omnipresence and concordance with cultural beliefs makes it a typical environmentally based method for treating these conditions.

New Honey Wound Healing Patent Issued

Derma Sciences Announces Issuance of Second U.S. Patent Related to MEDIHONEY Alginate Dressing

PRINCETON, N.J., Jun 22, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Derma Sciences, Inc., a medical device and pharmaceutical company focused on advanced wound care, announces that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued patent No. 7,714,183 related to the Company's MEDIHONEY(R) Calcium Alginate Dressing.

This is the second patent granted in the U.S. covering Derma Sciences' line of proprietary honey-based wound dressings. This new patent further strengthens the intellectual property on the MEDIHONEY(R) line of dressings, especially with regard to the single-use sterile pouched dressings that are most commonly used in the treatment of wounds and burns.

Derma Sciences Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Edward J. Quilty stated, "Alginate is an ideal delivery mechanism for MEDIHONEY(R) because it allows this medical-grade honey to reside on the wound site for an extended period of time. Alginates are known for their significant absorption capacity, and can be removed easily from the wound bed without disrupting the healing process.

"This newly issued patent, along with others issued and filed, increases the barriers to entry for any meaningful competition within the honey wound and burn care space. Together with our strong brand identity and first-to-market status, we are confident in our market position," Mr. Quilty added.

MEDIHONEY(R), the leading global brand of honey-based wound care, is a line of wound and burn dressings containing Active Manuka (Leptospermum) Honey from New Zealand. This unique species of medical-grade honey has been shown in several large-scale, randomized controlled clinical studies to possess unique qualities that help to initiate healing in stalled wounds, and assist with fast debridement of non-viable tissue.

MEDIHONEY(R) dressings are indicated for the management of leg ulcers, diabetic foot ulcers and pressure ulcers, first and second-degree burns, and traumatic and surgical wounds. MEDIHONEY(R) alginate dressings have proven to be the most popular of all the MEDIHONEY(R) dressings in the U.S. as alginates help to keep large quantities of honey at the wound site, while still absorbing up to 18 times the alginate's weight in wound fluid…

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Bee Venom Therapy Used to Treat Shingles, Multiple Sclerosis and Menopause

Bees Used for Natural Remedies
By Peter Watson, Nelson Mail (New Zealand), 6/22/2010

Being stung by a bee would have most people rushing for the medicine cabinet or even hospital in the event of a severe reaction.

But in Japan, China and many other countries there is a long history of using bee stings to treat rheumatism, arthritis and a range of other chronic ailments.

While New Zealand companies are producing honey and other products containing bee venom for medicinal purposes, few are using the direct sting from live bees. However, in a quiet rural property in Hope where he lives with his family, Yukiyasu Uda uses bee sting therapy to supplement his acupuncture practice, which he rather neatly calls apipuncture.

The technique involves delicately removing the stinger and venom sac from the bee using tweezers and then using it to briefly prick patients at pressure points much the way an acupuncture needle is used.

The theory is that the venom stimulates the adrenal gland to produce cortisol, a natural steroid hormone which helps reduce inflammation, eases pain and increases blood circulation.

The genial 61-year-old, who has a doctorate and is a member of the Japan Apitherapy Association, will explain his work and its benefits at the National Beekeepers Conference in Nelson on Sunday.

He has been practising bee sting therapy for 15 years since a doctor friend and his wife who were having trouble having children used it to successfully to start a family.

That sparked his interest and he studied and trained in the therapy which is used by beekeepers throughout Japan.

Until the last couple of years, he used to spend more than six months of the year in Japan where such treatments are more widely accepted.

In New Zealand, he concedes many people remain nervous about the risk of allergic reactions.

But he says honey bee venom is not as toxic as wasps' and he is careful to get people accustomed to tolerating it by either brushing them with it first or only stinging them for a couple of seconds so they don't feel strong pain and then slowly increasing the time the sting is left in. For children the sting is in only momentarily so they don't feel any pain.

He says most of his patients can move much more easily after treatment, saying it is also useful for those suffering from back ache, frozen shoulder, shingles, multiple sclerosis and menopause…

Malaysian Honey Boosts Effect of Anti-Diabetic Drugs

Antioxidant Protective Effect of Glibenclamide and Metformin in Combination with Honey in Pancreas of Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Rats
Int. J. Mol. Sci, 2010, 11(5), 2056-2066

Hyperglycemia exerts toxic effects on the pancreatic β-cells. This study investigated the hypothesis that the common antidiabetic drugs glibenclamide and metformin, in combination with tualang honey, offer additional protection for the pancreas of streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats against oxidative stress and damage.

Diabetes was induced in male Sprague Dawley rats by a single dose of STZ (60 mg/kg; ip). Diabetic rats had significantly elevated levels of lipid peroxidation (TBARS), up-regulated activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) while catalase (CAT) activity was significantly reduced. Glibenclamide and metformin produced no significant effects on TBARS and antioxidant enzymes except GPx in diabetic rats.

In contrast, the combination of glibenclamide, metformin and honey significantly up-regulated CAT activity and down-regulated GPx activity while TBARS levels were significantly reduced.

These findings suggest that tualang honey potentiates the effect of glibenclamide and metformin to protect diabetic rat pancreas against oxidative stress and damage.

Saharan Honey Bees Isolated for 5,000 Years

Honeybees Survive in Desert Oasis
By Matt Walker, BBC, 6/22/10

Deep in the Sahara desert are honeybees that have remained isolated from all other bees for at least 5,000 years.

The bees arrived at Kufra in Libya when the Sahara was still a green savannah, and have survived ever since around an oasis in the desert, over 1,000km from their nearest neighbouring bees.

So concludes a new study which has analysed the bees' genetics.

The Kufra honeybees are so isolated they remain free of a parasitic mite that threatens bees around the world.

Details of the discovery are published in the journal Conservation Genetics…

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Part of Honey’s Antibacterial Activity Might be of Bee Origin

Determination of Royal Jelly Acids in Honey
Food Chemistry, Article in Press

In the present work we report on the compounds characteristic of larval food (royal jelly, RJ) of the honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) that were identified in 34 different samples of genuine honey and in 3 sugar-adulterated “herbal honeys” by using Solid Phase Extraction and Gas Chromatography–Mass Spectrometry (SPE/GC–MS).

The unique feature of RJ is a set of C8, C10 and C12 hydroxy fatty acids. In all, ten acids characteristic of this bee product were identified in different combinations in the analyzed honey samples, namely: 7- and 8-hydroxyoctanoic, 3-hydroxydecanoic, 9-hydroxydecanoic, 9-hydroxy-2-decenoic, 10-hydroxydecanoic, 10-hydroxy-2-decenoic (10-HDA), 3,10-dihydroxydecanoic, 2-octene-1,8-dioic and 2-decene-1,10-dioic acids.

The higher relative abundance of these compounds was determined in genuine honeydew and heather honeys, and in “herbal honeys” (23.8–40.8, 18.2–48.5, and 27.0–48.4 μg/g, respectively).

Since RJ is known to have strong antibiotic efficacy, our results suggest that a part of the non-peroxide antibacterial activity of honey might be of bee origin.

Honey Has Been Used to Treat Variety of Ailments for 2700 Years

Money From Honey
By Henrylito D. Tacio, Sun.Star, 6/20/2010

"Honey is a treat, and is man's oldest sweetener," someone once wrote. "It is an excellent substitute for sugar in our drinks and food. It is also good for many medicinal uses and treating certain conditions."

For at least 2700 years, honey has been used to treat a variety of ailments. But it's only in recent years that scientists around the world have been investigating the use of honey in modern medicine.

Scientists at the honey research unit of the University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand have found that honey kills a wide range of bacteria. Part of honey's antibacterial activity can be explained by what's known as an "osmotic" or "water-withdrawing" effect. Honey reportedly has a density of about 1.36 kilogram per liter (that's 40% denser than water!).

"Honey has very little water, that's what makes it thick and gooey, whereas bacteria are made mostly of water," explained Dr. Peter Molan, professor of biological sciences and the unit's director. "So when certain kinds of bacteria come into contact with honey, the honey basically sucks the water out of the bacteria like a sponge, and the bacteria die."…

Other products that can be derived from honeybees are propolis, royal jelly, beeswax, and bee venom. Propolis, also known as bee glue, is a sticky material which plugs the holes of the beehive. It contains a chemical that can be used as anesthetic.

Royal jelly is a creamy liquid produced by the glands of the honeybees. Beeswax, a product of young honeybee workers, can be utilized as a waterproofing agent in leather and cotton strings, in making candles, and in hair and skin ointments.

Bee venom has some therapeutic values. It contains polypeptide substances, non-polypeptide substances, enzymes, and concentrated tumor cell toxin. These elements have proven effective in adjusting the function of the brain, clearing and activating channels and collaterals, relieving inflammation, resisting rheumatism, treating radiation illness, and in reducing cholesterol…

Monday, June 21, 2010

Beekeeper Attributes Long Life, Health to Honey

Prince Proves Honey is Nature’s True Elixir
By Patrick Flanagan, The Daily Iberian, 6/20/2010

AVERY ISLAND — David Prince, 84, has baffled doctors by maintaining a body free from sickness and arthritis while living a long, hard-working life.

Prince credits his vigor to honey, which he described as the “only perfect food on Earth.”

“My doctor can’t understand it,” Prince said. “He tells his nurses: ‘He’s in better shape than me.’”…

“Honey doesn’t spoil because bacteria doesn’t grow on it,” he said. “It’s better to give children honey to cure their coughs. I even rub it on bruises and cuts, and they never get infected.”

Prince’s wife, Dorothy Prince, 73, who was a schoolteacher for 32 years, said every September, like clockwork, she would become ill with flu-like symptoms.

But after meeting and befriending Prince in the late 1960s, she said, “Since I got on honey, I haven’t had any allergies or colds.”…

High Quality Manuka Honey in Short Supply

Radio New Zealand, 6/21/2010

A severe shortage of high-quality manuka honey is leaving exporters struggling to fill orders, and hitting beekeepers' incomes.

Processor and exporter Steve Lyttle of Honey Valley in Timaru says variable weather conditions this year, which may have seen manuka flower at the same time as other trees, severely affected production of manuka honey.

Mr Lyttle says the manuka content in the honey is lower than usual and exporters are struggling to fill orders for high-quality honey…

Low Risk of Bacteria Acquiring Resistance to Honey

Absence of Bacterial Resistance to Medical-Grade Manuka Honey
Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis, 2010 Jun 13

Clinical use of honey in the topical treatment of wounds has increased in Europe and North America since licensed wound care products became available in 2004 and 2007, respectively.

Honey-resistant bacteria have not been isolated from wounds, but there is a need to investigate whether honey has the potential to select for honey resistance.

Two cultures of bacteria from reference collections (Staphylococcus aureus NCTC 10017 and Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 27853) and four cultures isolated from wounds (Escherichia coli, methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA), Pseudomonas aeruginosa and S. epidermidis) were exposed to sub-lethal concentrations of manuka honey in continuous and stepwise training experiments to determine whether the susceptibility to honey diminished.

Reduced susceptibilities to manuka honey in the test organisms during long-term stepwise resistance training were found, but these changes were not permanent and honey-resistant mutants were not detected.

The risk of bacteria acquiring resistance to honey will be low if high concentrations are maintained clinically.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Propolis Halts Spread of MRSA Superbug

Bees Create a Buzz in the Battle Against MRSA Superbug
Helen Puttick, The Herald (Scotland), 6/16/2010

A substance produced by bees can halt the spread of the superbug MRSA, according to Scottish researchers.

The insect creates a sticky material, called beeglue or propolis, to hold the sides of the beehive together and keep out germs and viruses.

Scientists at Strathclyde University have used compounds extracted from beeglue to attack MRSA strains, and found they prevent the bacteria from growing.

The research team hopes propolis, taken from beehives in the Pacific region, will provide an alternative treatment to fight MRSA infections, which are becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics.

More than 200 deaths were linked to MRSA in Scotland in 2008.

Dr Veronique Seidel, a lecturer in natural products chemistry at the university’s Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, led the research. She said: “MRSA can have a devastating impact on people who contract it and on their families, often compounding illnesses they already have.

“One of the few available drugs to treat MRSA infections is an antibiotic called vancomycin. But new strains have been emerging which show limited susceptibility, or even resistance, to vancomycin.

“This means that there is a pressing need to discover and develop alternatives to current anti-MRSA drugs. We investigated propolis, as part of a programme aimed at discovering new antibiotics from natural sources, because bees use it as an antiseptic glue to seal gaps between honeycombs and preserve their hives from microbial contamination.”…

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Chilean Propolis Decreases Fat Build Up on Liver

Propolis Decrease Diet-Induced Hepatic Steatosis in Mice
Int. J. Morphol, 2010, vol.28, n.1, pp. 75-84

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) covers a wide spectrum of injuries ranging from simple steatosis to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Its main risk factors are disorders associated with metabolic syndrome (MS).

Propolis, a resinous substance produced by Apis mellifera to protect is hive, has demonstrated a hepatoprotective effect. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of Chilean propolis on development of nonalcoholic hepatic steatosis in C57BL/6J mice exposed to Paigen atherogenic diet.

Twenty eight mice C57BL/6J were divided four groups: 1, balanced diet (CH); 2, hypercholesterolemic diet (HD); 3, HD diet supplemented with 10 mg/kg/day of propolis (LP); 4, HD diet supplemented with 40 mg/kg/day of propolis (HP). After 16 weeks of treatment was determined glucose, total cholesterol and triglycerides concentrations and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) activity. The liver tissue was fixed in 10% buffered formalin solution, embedded in paraplast and stained with hematoxylin-eosin.

No differences was detected in glucose and triglycerides concentrations, contrasting with total cholesterol levels between group fed with a balanced diet (CH) and feed with atherogenic diet D12336 (HD, LP and HP). In the same way, it was noted differences in ALT activity between groups, standing out the reduction in propolis supplemented groups (LP and HP).

Likewise the histoarchitecture of HD group, showed simple steatosis, inflammatory cell infiltration and inflammatory foci in hepatic lobule. This characteristics show a gradual decrease in LP and HP groups.

In conclusion, the Chilean propolis analyzed decreases hepatic steatosis induced by atherogenic diet in C57BL/6J mice. However, the involved mechanisms in this hepatoprotective activity must be identified.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Propolis Potential Anti-Diabetic Agent

Antidiabetic Effect of Propolis: Reduction of Expression of Glucose-6-Phosphatase Through Inhibition of Y279 and Y216 Autophosphorylation of GSK-3/ in HepG2 Cells
Phytotherapy Research, Published Online: 7 Jun 2010

Propolis is a sticky, resinous material that honey bees collect from various plants, and mix with wax and other secretions.

The aim of this study was to evaluate the antidiabetic effect of propolis through an analysis of the expression and enzyme activity of glucose-6-phosphatase (G6Pase) and to elucidate the mechanism by which propolis inhibits G6Pase gene expression.

When HepG2 cells were incubated in high glucose media (25 mm), G6Pase expression was induced. Propolis significantly reduced the expression and enzyme activity of G6Pase; however, the hypoglycemic effect was not abolished by the phosphoinositide 3-kinase inhibitor, LY294002, and by the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) inhibitor, U0126. Propolis inhibited the activity of GSK3 and via the inhibition of serine and tyrosine phosphorylation, specifically, Y279 for GSK3 and Y216 for GSK3. The phosphorylations of Y279 and Y216 occur through autophosphorylation by GSK3/ and are involved in their own activity.

Although propolis showed antioxidant activity, antidiabetic effect of propolis was not influenced by hydrogen peroxide and N-acetylcysteine. These results suggest that propolis inhibits the expression of G6Pase by inhibiting the autophosphorylation of Y279 and Y216 of GSK3 and , respectively, which are involved in the activation of GSK3.

These findings suggest that propolis may be a potential antidiabetic agent for the treatment of insulin-insensitive diabetes.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Video: Beauty Product Uses Bee Venom to Plump Lips

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Lip Venom

New Zealand Apitherapy Firm, University in Dispute Over Funding

Honey Ruling Leaves Sour Taste
By Nick Krause, The Independent, 6/17/2010

A 25-year relationship between Comvita and Waikato University has ended in acrimony after a protracted legal battle over the holy grail of manuka honey.Relevant offers

Farming Bad weather helps wool prices Farmers markets grow up, take off Honey ruling leaves sour taste Dirty dairy firm vows to clean up its act Farm mishaps claim 13 lives in 2009 Bargain hunters start early Iwi livid after Crafar cows harm historic site A farmer dies every 28 days - ACC SFF to focus on growing Chinese market Dairying income set to leap A 25-year relationship between a listed company and a university has ended in acrimony after a protracted legal battle over the holy grail of manuka honey.

New Zealand healthcare group Comvita, which has an annual turnover of more than $80 million, and WaikatoLink, the commercialisation arm of Waikato University, called in the lawyers after a multimillion dollar deal to share the costs and benefits of research turned sour.

The dispute reached its climax in a High Court judgment last week but the ruling from Justice Rhys Harrison pleased neither combatant.

Central to the case were efforts to discover the root of manuka honey's antibacterial qualities a potentially valuable secret giving manuka honey a huge premium in the market known in the industry as unique manuka factor, or UMF.

Brett Hewlett, Comvita CEO, said the company no longer had a working relationship with WaikatoLink or the University of Waikato, and has instead forged a close working relationship with the University of Auckland, where Comvita's research on honey and other products continues.

"Comvita relied heavily upon the representations made by WaikatoLink about the stage of progress the research team at the University of Waikato had made in isolating and classifying the active compound behind UMF manuka honey," Hewlett said. "Those representations subsequently turned out to be either false or misleading."

In 2006, Comvita and WaikatoLink agreed to form a joint venture with Comvita financing research in exchange for rights to discoveries by the university's scientists. Whether the parties ever agreed on the essential terms of the arrangement, as Comvita alleges, is inconsequential to the claim, the judge said. One of the scientists working on the research was Professor Peter Molan, a renowned biochemist whose identification of the medicinal qualities in manuka honey was responsible for its transition from low value commodity to the world's most sought-after honey…

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Video: Beeswax Bio-Booms Used in Gulf Oil Spill Cleanup

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Thousands of feet of bio-boom have been ordered to help clean up the Gulf and its maker is a company in Robinson Township.

"We've been busy to the point where we can't produce enough product," Ray Tarasi, president of Universal Remediation, said.

The secret to the product's success, he says, is the powder that's inside it.

"It's pure beeswax – nothing added nothing taken out," Tarasi said…

Bee Venom Used to Treat Allergies, Cancer

Wild ways to get well: From deer antlers for arthritis to bee venom for cancer, the hidden power of the animal kingdom
By Angela Epstein, Daily Mail (UK), 6/15/2010

It sounds like something out of Harry Potter's spell book - animals with the ability to cure human ailments. In fact, the healing powers of a wide range of creatures are being harnessed in a range of health products and research, as Angela Epsteim reports.

BEE VENOM

USED FOR: Allergy, cancer.

HOW IT WORKS: Bee venom, along with wasp venom, is used to treat hay fever. The technique, known as immunotherapy, involves repeated doses of bee or wasp venom, grass pollen or extract of dust mite to build up the patient's tolerance.

The injections are given over a five-year period and usually stop your insect allergy symptoms completely with long-term protection. The treatment is widely used in the rest of Europe, though only privately in the UK.

Bee venom may also be engineered to target tumours and could prove an effective future treatment for cancer. In a trial at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, melittin, the poisonous chemical in a bee's sting, was attached to tiny molecules or 'nanoparticles'.

These, in turn, attacked and destroyed cancer cells, leaving healthy cells intact. In addition, the carrier particles, dubbed 'nanobees', were effective in targeting pre-cancerous cells.

PRODUCTS: Allermin, an allergy product containing a combination of pollen and bee venom to desensitise people prone to hay fever, £8.40, www.thehoneydoctor.com

Propolis May be Useful in Treating Allergic Disorders

Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester Inhibits Nuclear Factor-KappaB and Protein Kinase B Signalling Pathways and Induces Caspase-3 Expression in Primary Human CD4 T Cells
Clinical & Experimental Immunology, Volume 160 Issue 2, Pages 223 - 232

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)-gamma 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)-kappaB 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-kappaB 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.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

French Firm Launches Royal Jelly 'Youth Serum'

Guerlain Harnesses Bee Power to Create Abeille Royale
The Moodie Report, By Rebecca Mann, Associate Editor, 6/14/2010

FRANCE. Guerlain has unveiled a new anti-ageing treatment, called Abeille Royale Youth Serum. The product is claimed to harness the reparative power of bee products to repair wrinkles and promote tissue firmness.

Research by Guerlain has shown that “micro-tears” in skin tissue are responsible for lines and loss of firmness. They are caused by tissue breakdown produced by internal tension and stress, particularly mechanical, to which the skin is subjected every day.

Bee products – honey and royal jelly – have long been known for their healing properties. Guerlain claims to have selected the best raw materials from various bee products from different regions of the world, to create Abeille Royale.

A key ingredient is the Pure Royal Concentrate, described as a blend of exclusive elements capable of activating key factors of the skin’s self-repair mechanisms. It contains Ouessant honey, thyme honey, clover honey from New Zealand and French royal jelly...

Bee Venom has Potential for the Treatment of Liver Diseases

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, June 14, 2010

Honey Improves Health of Infants with Protein-Energy Malnutrition

Effect of Honey on Gastric Emptying of Infants with Protein Energy Malnutrition
European Journal of Clinical Investigation, Volume 40 Issue 5, Pages 383 - 387

Background: Patients with protein-energy malnutrition (PEM) have delayed gastric emptying time (GET) which may affect nutritional rehabilitation. This study was designed to examine the effect of honey on GET during nutritional rehabilitation of PEM patients.

Patients and methods: Thirty patients were enrolled and randomly assigned to one of two equal groups. One group received conventional nutritional rehabilitation therapy and the other received honey in addition. They were compared with 20 age- and sex-matched controls. History taking, clinical examination and laboratory tests were performed for enrolled cases and GET was assessed using abdominal ultrasonography. These parameters were performed before and 2 weeks after nutritional rehabilitation.

Results: The GET was significantly delayed in the PEM groups compared with the controls. Further significant delay occurred in the honey supplemented group after nutritional rehabilitation, while the un-supplemented group showed significant shortening of GET. The improvement of anthropometric measurements and laboratory parameters was equally noticed in the two PEM groups upon nutritional rehabilitation but their rate of change was distinctly higher, although non-significant, in the group supplemented with honey.

Conclusion: Honey supplementation increased GET in PEM patients with positive effect on the improvement in the anthropometric measurements and serum albumin which makes us wonder that this delay in GET might be primarily a compensatory phenomenon and it was augmented by the use of honey. Larger scale studies with longer term follow up are recommended to further clear this point and assess any changes in the absorptive indices in honey supplemented PEM patients.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Manuka Honey Phytochemical Beats MRSA

Methylglyoxal: A New Weapon against Staphylococcal Wound Infections?
Chemistry Letters, Vol. 39 (2010) , No. 4 p.322

Methylglyoxal (MG), a phytochemical present in some New Zealand honeys, was found to possess bactericidal activity against S. aureus and a methicillin-resistant strain of S. epidermidis. The MIC and MBC values were 1.05 and 2.11 mM, respectively. Inclusion of MG in a hydrogel resulted in an active and stable preparation suitable for treating wound or burn infections.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Propolis Could Prevent Development of Insulin Resistance

Ameliorative Effect of Propolis on Insulin Resistance in Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima Fatty (OLETF) Rats
Yakugaku Zasshi, 2010 Jun;130(6):833-40

Propolis is known to have abundant bioactive constituents and a variety of biological activities.

To investigate the effect of Brazilian propolis on insulin resistance, 10-week-old Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima Fatty (OLETF) rats, a non-insulin-dependent type 2 diabetic model, were treated for 4 weeks with propolis (100 and 300 mg/kg, p.o.) or vehicle (control).

Propolis treatment significantly decreased the plasma levels of insulin and insulin resistance index (Homeostasis Model Assessment-Insulin Resistance; HOM-IR), without affecting blood glucose levels and tended to lower systolic blood pressure compared with the control.

In isolated and perfused mesenteric vascular beds of OLETF rats, propolis treatment resulted in significant reduction of sympathetic nerve-mediated vasoconstrictor response to periarterial nerve stimulation (PNS) and tended to increase calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) nerve-mediated vasodilator response to PNS compared with in vehicle-treated OLETF rats.

However, propolis treatment did not significantly affect the vasoconstrictor and vasodilator response to noradrenaline, CGRP, acetylcholine, and sodium nitroprusside.

These results suggest that propolis could be an effective and functional food to prevent development of insulin resistance.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Bee Venom Therapy May Help Prolong Lung Cancer Survival

Bee Venom Inhibits Tumor Angiogenesis and Metastasis by Inhibiting Tyrosine Phosphorylation of VEGFR-2 in LLC-Tumor-Bearing Mice
Cancer Letters, Volume 292, Issue 1, Pages 98-110 (1 June 2010)

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 1μg/ml or 10μg/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.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Bee Venom Therapy Becoming Popular in Thailand

Chinese Doctor Curing Disease with a “Sting” in Pattaya
Pattaya Daily News, 6/10/2010

…Mr. Prasert Nopphakhunkhajorn and Dr. Michael Birt Pho, from the Species Ecologists UK, Natural England. England was working as Advisor for the livestock Department of Agriculture and Forestry. Together, they were researching using bee and bee’s sting to implant alongside Chinese medical science, curing many diseases. It was found that most people coming to them from the farm for treatments were getting better.

Mr. Prasert Nopphakhunkhajorn stated that the bee was an animal that has been close to the Thai people for many years. Treatment using bee stings are considered to be an alternative choice for them. It was safe and not expensive. The Apithrapy were available to treat following diseases: Rheumatoid arthritis, rheumatoid, finger locking, pain, hemorrhoids, paralysis, allergy, chronic vapor, Chronic cholecystitis, Chronic intestinal inflammation, High blood pressure, blood vessel, fatigue and the degeneration in sex.

He added that for all patients who want to try this treatment, they would have to be tested with the bee’s sting for allergies first. In addition the people who could not get this treatment were the one who were feeling hungry, too full, angry, exciting, sweaty, and weak. Also the patients have to pay attention to what they eat, consuming a lot vegetables, avoid eating seafood, no drinking alcohol and no smoking.

Libyan Propolis and Rosemary Extracts have Synergistic Anti-Tumor Effect

West-Libyan Propolis and Rosemary have Synergistic Anti-Tumor Effect Against 12-O-Tetradecanoylphorbol 13-Acetate-Induced Skin Tumor in BULB/C mice Previously Initiated with 7,12-Dimethylbenz[a]anthracene
Basic and Applied Pathology, Volume 3 Issue 2, Pages 46 - 51

Background and aim: Many dietary constituents are chemopreventive in animal models and experiments with cultured cells are revealing various potential mechanisms of action. Many of these compounds can prevent, or greatly reduce, initiation of carcinogenesis, or can act on cell proliferation. In this study we examined the effects of topical application of propolis extract, rosemary extract and a mixture of both extracts together on 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate-induced tumor promotion in mice previously initiated with 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene.

Methods: The propolis extract, rosemary extract and a mixture of both extracts together were applied topically 15 min prior to the application of 5 nmol TPA for 20 weeks.

Results: A decrease in the number of skin tumors per mouse by 27, 39, 71% was seen, as well as a decrease in the number of mice with tumors by 22, 31, 75% and inhibited the tumor size per mouse by 46, 62, 72% for propolis, rosemary and both together respectively. Also TUNEL data showed more increased incidence of TUNEL positivity among cancer cells in both topical applications together than their separate application on the back skin of mice.

Conclusions: It is likely that the combination of their activities such as antioxidant and cytotoxic ones as well as the combination of several components in both are responsible for their inhibitory effect on carcinogenesis. Further investigations are recommended in order to establish the conditions under which topical application of propolis as well as rosemary produces either protective or deleterious effects.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Propolis Effective Dental Antimicrobial

Dentinal Tubule Disinfection with 2% Chlorhexidine Gel, Propolis, Morinda Citrifolia Juice, 2% Povidone Iodine, and Calcium Hydroxide
International Endodontic Journal, Volume 43 Issue 5, Pages 419 - 423

Aim: To investigate the antimicrobial activity of 2% chlorhexidine gel, propolis, Morinda citrifolia juice (MCJ), 2% povidone Iodine (POV-I), and calcium hydroxide on Enterococcus faecalis-infected root canal dentine at two different depths (200 μm and 400 μm) and three time intervals (day 1, 3 & 5).

Methodology: One hundred and eighty extracted human teeth were infected for 21 days with E. faecalis. Samples were divided into six groups. Group I (Saline) (Negative control), Group II (Propolis), Group III (MCJ), Group IV (2% Povidone Iodine), Group V (2% Chlorhexidine Gel), Group VI (Calcium hydroxide). At the end of 1, 3, and 5 days, the remaining vital bacterial population was assessed. Dentine shavings were collected at two depths (200 μm and 400 μm), and total numbers of colony forming units were determined. The values were analysed statistically with one-way analysis of variance followed by Tukey multiple comparison test. The paired t-test was used to check for differences in growth at different time intervals within groups and for differences at the two depths.

Results: The number of colony-forming units was statistically significant in all groups compared to the control group (Saline). Group V (chlorhexidine gluconate) (100%) produced better antimicrobial efficacy followed by 2% POV-I (87%), propolis (71%), MCJ (69%), and calcium hydroxide (55%). There was no significant difference between propolis and MCJ and no significant difference between data at 200 μm and 400 μm.

Conclusion: Propolis and MCJ were effective against E. faecalis in dentine of extracted teeth.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Bee Venom Therapy Used in Thailand to Treat Arthritis, Hypertension, ED

Amazing "Bee Sting" Treatment
Pattaya Daily News, 6/8/2010

Honey Rehydration Solution Speeds Recovery from Vomiting, Diarrhea

Bee Honey Added to the Oral Rehydration Solution in Treatment of Gastroenteritis in Infants and Children
Journal of Medicinal Food, June 2010, 13(3): 605-609

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.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Warning to Parents on Honey Danger to Babies

By Madeleine Brindley, Western Mail, 6/7/2010

Parents are being warned not to feed babies under 12 months honey because of the risk of botulism.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) issued the advice after a confirmed case of the rare but serious illness infant botulism.

There have been only 11 confirmed cases of infant botulism in the past 30 years, but three of these have occurred in the past year and all have had possible links to honey.

The most recent case involved a 15-week-old baby.

The FSA said although it is not absolutely clear eating honey caused the illness in these cases, honey had definitely been eaten by the infants.

Botulism is caused by a germ, which can lie dormant in soil or dust and occasionally gets into honey. If the germ gets into a baby’s intestine it can grow and produce a toxin or poison, leading to infant botulism.

Honey is safe for children over the age of one, but a younger baby’s gut is not sufficiently developed to be able to fight off the bacteria…

For more information, see: Only 15 Percent of Infant Botulism Cases Attributed to Honey

Slovenia to Host the Third International Apitherapy Forum

Did you know that Dr. Filip Terč (1844 -1917), a doctor and beekeeper from Maribor, who successfully cured 543 out of his 658 of patients suffering from rheumatic diseases, is considered the father of modern apitherapy? For several years, his birthday, 30 March, has been celebrated as World Apitherapy Day.

This is one of the reasons why Slovenia decided to organise the international forum under the auspices of Apimondia at the end of this September that will be held under the ‘Keeping Healthy through Bees’ motto. This forum, which will undoubtedly be the biggest international beekeeping event in 2010, will bring together the greatest experts from the field of apitherapy and techniques of obtaining healthy bee products. These experts will present the latest findings of their research. In order to bring the event closer to the general public, national and international beekeepers and others, the technical consultations will be accompanied by the API-EXPO international beekeeping exhibition offering various workshops and popular lectures dealing with a variety of topics. This will be a true beekeeping festival aimed at bringing the bees and their general benefits for human kind closer to all generations, young and old.

In the second half of the previous century, the Medex company from Ljubljana, specialising in bee products, organised three highly noted international symposia on apitherapy, meaning Slovenian beekeepers have quite a tradition in this field. The Apimondia 2003 congress was another wonderful experience, as many of its former participants from all parts of the world still remember that it was a congress with soul. We hope to again give soul to this year's Apimedica and Apiquality forum.

Similar to in other developed countries, official medical science in Slovenia looks upon apitherapy with distrust and keeps its distance. The greatest reproach that some doctors make is that healing substances in bee products are not standardised and they change from year to year and from one place to the other. This is very true. Each Aspirin Plus C tablet contains exactly 400mg of acetylsalicylic acid and 240mg of ascorbic acid or vitamin C, regardless of whether it was manufactured in Germany or anywhere else, this year or five years from now. Fresh willow pollen contains both of these active ingredients and current observations show that it has more beneficial effects for people than Aspirin, but each year, the quantity of these two important components differs. And this is why such pollen cannot be recognised as a drug.

It is interesting that official medical science recognises immense power in pollen and bee venom. The first can confine a person with allergies to bed and incapacitate him for weeks. A single bee sting can kill every two hundredth resident of Slovenia who is allergic if medical care is not received on time. But beekeepers know that both pollen and bee products can help prevent or even treat various diseases, as previously stated. Most doctors do not see this, do not know it or refuse to learn about it. Perhaps they will change their minds if we manage to bring them as listeners to this year’s forum. This is why we have invited the best experts to hold lectures, as they will present strong scientific evidence of the usefulness of bees for our health.

In defence of official medical science, however, it needs to be said that certain improvements are evident: an increasing number of doctors have been successfully using honey to treat wounds.

With our ‘Keeping Healthy Through Bees’ slogan, we wish to express that it is not only bee products that maintain and improve our health, but bees themselves are important for people and our life of harmony. Beekeeping groups have been operating in Slovenian primary and secondary schools for decades, allowing children to come together once a week and learn about the life of the bees, especially in winter, while in the spring and summer, children get to participate in working with the school beehives. Of course, not all students are members of these groups - only the ones that are particularly interested in bees. With time, many of them become good beekeepers and members of our organisation. Once a young person accepts bees into his heart, he is less likely to be tempted by the dangers of the modern world, such as alcohol, drugs and crime.

There are even cases when young people suffering from severe depression, without a goal in their life and burdened by suicidal thoughts have found new meaning in life through working with bees and with the help of a patient beekeeper. While receiving drug treatment in state institutions, such young people had made no progress until they came into close contact with bees, and then completely changed within a single year.

Slovenia still has something that has already almost disappeared in Germany, Switzerland and Austria: our beehouses. The German beekeeper and Chairman of the Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf Beekeeping Association, Erika Mayr, who together with her partner Stephane Orsolini won an international competition in 2008 introducing the idea of setting up beehouses and transferring vacant land into bee pastures in the City of Detroit, wrote: “Slovenian beekeepers have managed to preserve beehives that Germany has already lost. They preserve part of a beautiful and old European tradition.” She said this after seeing the Land of the Good Beekeepers book, which won the gold medal at Apimondia 2009 and features photos of our most magnificent beehouses.

Speaking of beehouses, these are true apitherapy chambers full of tantalising smells of honey accompanying a good collection of nectar. The feelings of a beekeeper, who lies down behind the beehives after his work is done, opening the doors of the beehives and allowing the divine scents and the regular hum of hundreds of thousands of bees to overcome him, is indescribable. For him, this is the most beautiful symphony, setting his mind at ease and filling him with new energy.

Yes, in many European countries, beehouses live only in the memory of older beekeepers. These countries had to make room in the name of progress, as only Langstroth hives are considered modern, and these do not require a beehouse. I hope that beehouses continue to adorn our country for a long time ennobling it with their appearance. As many beekeepers see their beehouses as their sanctuaries, they will never allow them to be torn down, as something like that should never happen to a sanctuary. After all, beehouses are, as we have seen, precious health resorts for the body and mind.

Slovenian beekeepers invite all readers to come to Slovenia at the end of September and experience our beekeeping festival in a friendly atmosphere.

More about the Apimedica and Apiquality forum is available online at http://www.go-mice.eu/ or http://www.czs.si/

Franc Šivic
Vice-President of the Slovenian Beekeepers’ Association

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Propolis Extract Shows Anti-Cancer Activity

Apoptosis of Human Breast Cancer Cells Induced by Ethylacetate Extracts of Propolis
American Journal of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, 6 (2): 84-88, 2010

Problem statement: Propolis has been ethno medically claimed to possess a wide array of biological activities including anticancer activity. The purpose of this research was to verify the folklore claim.

Approach: This study was performed in a human breast carcinoma cell, MCF-7. Extract of propolis from different solvent, ethylacetate and n-buthanol showed induced apoptotic cells was detected by flow cytometry.

Results: The results demonstrated that ethylacetate extract of propolis can induce apoptosis in MCF-7 as large as 13.21% during the 24 h incubation. On the other hand, doxorubicin is able to induce apoptosis as large as 18.89% during the 24 h incubation.

Conclusion: The extracts of propolis ethylacetate had cytotoxic activity and triggers apoptosis on MCF-7 cells.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Propolis Boosts Immune Response

Epimedium Polysaccharide and Propolis Flavone Can Synergistically Stimulate Lymphocyte Proliferation in vitro and Enhance the Immune Responses to ND Vaccine in Chickens
International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, Article in Press

Four prescriptions, epimedium flavone plus propolis flavone (EF-PF), epimedium flavone plus propolis extracts (EF-PE), epimedium polysaccharide plus propolis flavone (EP-PF) and epimedium polysaccharide plus propolis extracts (EP-PE), were prepared and their immune-enhancing effects were compared.

In test in vitro, the effects of them on chicken peripheral lymphocyte proliferation were determined by MTT method. The results showed that EP-PF group presented the highest stimulating index at most concentrations. In immune test, three hundred 14-day-old chickens were randomly divided into 6 groups and vaccinated with ND vaccine except for blank control (BC) group, re-challenged at 28 days of age. At the same time of the first vaccination, the chickens in four experimental groups were injected respectively with four prescriptions. The changes of the lymphocyte proliferation and antibody titer were determined. On day 28 after the first vaccination, the chickens except for BC group were challenged with NDV, the immune protective effect was observed.

The results displayed that in EP-PF group, the antibody titers, lymphocyte proliferation and protective rate were the highest, the morbidity and mortality were the lowest. In dose test, 14-day-old chickens were randomly divided into five groups. The treatment and determinations were the same as the immune test except that the chickens in experimental groups were injected respectively with high, medium and low doses of EP-PF.

The results revealed that in medium dose group, the antibody titers, lymphocyte proliferation and protective rate were the highest, the morbidity and mortality were the lowest. These results indicated that EP and PF possessed synergistically immune enhancement, EP-PF had the best efficacy, especially at medium dose, and would be expected to exploit into a new-type immunopotentiator.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Manuka Honey Conflict Reportedly Resolved

Radio New Zealand, 6/4/2010

The manuka honey industry appears to have resolved a conflict over labelling and testing standards.

A national conference of the Bee Industry Group this week heard that honey producers and exporters are now working together to ensure supply and standard of manuka honey.

Manuka sells for a premium over other honey because of its unique antibacterial properties.

A dispute broke out last year over how that antibacterial activity should be measured and described...

Propolis Shows Anti-Tumor Activity

The Effect of Propolis on Th1/Th2 Cytokine Expression and Production by Melanoma-Bearing Mice Submitted to Stress
Phytotherapy Research, Published Online: 1 Jun 2010

Since propolis possesses immunomodulatory and antitumoral activities, this work aimed to evaluate its effect on Th1 (IL-2 and IFN-) and Th2 (IL-4 and IL-10) cytokines mRNA expression and production by melanoma-bearing mice submitted to immobilization stress.

C57BL/6 male mice were inoculated with B16F10 cells, treated with propolis and submitted to stress for 14 days. Spleen cells were assessed for Th1/Th2 cytokine expression and production. Stress induced a higher tumor area, while propolis-treated mice, stressed or not, showed a melanoma development similar to the control.

In groups without melanoma, stress or propolis treatment did not affect IL-2, IL-4 and IL-10 gene expression. On the other hand, IL-2 and IL-10 expression was inhibited in melanoma-bearing mice, stressed or not. Th1 cytokine production was also inhibited in melanoma-bearing mice.

Propolis administration to melanoma-bearing mice submitted to stress stimulated IL-2 expression, as well as Th1 cytokine (IL-2 and IFN-) production, indicating the activation of antitumor cell-mediated immunity. Propolis also stimulated IL-10 expression and production, which may be related to immunoregulatory effects.

The data indicate that propolis exerted an immunomodulatory activity in this assay, which may be related to its antitumoral action in vivo.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Honey Cough Syrup Firms Signs Marketing Agreement

Honey Naturals Signs Agreement With Les Walgreen of Peaux Deaux Products, Division of Invicta Group, to Represent the ZarBee's Children Cough Syrup

ZarBee's Is a Safe and Effective Children's Cough Medicine to Replace the Recent Recalled Medicines

CHICAGO, IL, Jun 02, 2010 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- Invicta Group Inc. (http://www.ivitgroup.com) (PINKSHEETS: IVIT) is pleased to announce the signing of an agreement with Honey Naturals with Les Walgreen, President of Peaux Deaux Products, a division of the Invicta Group to represent the ZarBee's Children Cough Syrup.

ZarBee's(TM) Children's Cough Syrup is an all-natural, honey-based cough suppressant that provides children relief from coughs while simultaneously boosting the immune system. The product is made with a unique blend of dark honey, vitamins and other all natural ingredients. ZarBee's does not contain any Dextromethorphan or alcohol and is safe for children 12 months and older. It is high in antioxidants and contains the daily vitamin C requirements per dose. Pediatricians recommend it and you can find out more at www.Zarbees.com.

Les Walgreen said, "As we have seen a recent recall of DM children's medicines, parents have nowhere to turn to. Those medications (DM) already were marked unsafe for children 4 and under. Finally, there is a safe and effective treatment for young children! I expect a resounding response from retailers that can now offer ZarBee's on their shelves. Parents, get ready, ZarBee's will be there for you and your children!"

CEO of the Invicta Group, Paul Sorkin, said, "We represent products and companies that we believe in and I have been very impressed with how safe and effective ZarBee's is. Parents are always looking for alternatives to some of the dangerous or unproven products or remedies out there today and we are proud to represent this product. As an additional benefit our shareholders should also be happy that we are continuing to add quality clients and products which will help us increase both our revenues and profits."...

Honey Should be Consumed Within One Year

High 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural Concentrations are Found in Malaysian Honey Samples Stored for More Than One Year
Food and Chemical Toxicology, Article in Press

5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) content is an indicator of the purity of honey. High concentrations of HMF in honey indicate overheating, poor storage conditions and old honey.

This study investigated the HMF content of nine Malaysian honey samples, as well as the correlation of HMF formation with physicochemical properties of honey.

Based on the recommendation by the International Honey Commission, three methods for the determination of HMF were used: 1) high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), 2) White spectrophotometry and 3) Winkler spectrophotometry methods. HPLC and White spectrophotometric results yielded almost similar values, whereas the Winkler method showed higher readings.

The physiochemical properties of honey (pH, free acids, lactones and total acids) showed significant correlation with HMF content and may provide parameters that could be used to make quick assessments of honey quality.

The HMF content of fresh Malaysian honey samples stored for 3–6 months (at 2.80–24.87 mg/kg) was within the internationally recommended value (80 mg/kg for tropical honeys), while honey samples stored for longer periods (12 to 24 months) contained much higher HMF concentrations (128.19–1131.76 mg/kg).

Therefore, it is recommended that honey should generally be consumed within one year, regardless of the type.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Review: Honey-Based Dressings and Wound Care

An Option for Care in the United States
Journal of Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing, Volume 36 Number 1, Pages 60 - 66

Honey-based wound dressings have been used worldwide since ancient times. A honey product received US Federal Drug Administration approval in 2007, making this dressing an option for wound care. Honey has been found to exert anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects without antibiotic resistance, promote moist wound healing, and facilitate debridement. However, it may cause a stinging pain. As is true of any wound dressing, its use must be carefully selected and monitored. Continued research is needed to add to its evidence base.

This article provides a summary of the current evidence base for the use of honey and a review of its therapeutic effects and discusses implications for WOC nursing practice.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

New Zealand Shop Fined Over False Royal Jelly Claims

Firm Faces Fine for Misleading NZ-made Claim
TopNews New Zealand, 5/28/2010

An Auckland souvenir shop is reported to be imposed with a fine of $6000 for misleading claiming that its royal jelly was a product of New Zealand.

The merchandize was reported to be retailed in Auckland souvenir stores and the Company, Shim's International Ltd, trading as Royal Deer of New Zealand, faced conviction in Auckland District Court on two charges of violating the Fair Trading Act.

It is the second Company in a month that has been convicted and fined…