Saturday, April 30, 2011

Turkish Propolis Shows Radical Scavenging Activity

Pressurized Liquid Extraction of Phenolic Compounds from Anatolia Propolis and Their Radical Scavenging Capacities
Food and Chemical Toxicology, Article in Press

Propolis samples from important honey producing locations of Anatolia namely; Bingol (BG), Rize (RZ), Tekirdag (TK) and Van (VN), were evaluated for their antiradical capacities, total phenolic contents and individual phenolic compounds which was recovered by means of pressurized liquid extraction (PLE). Several extraction parameters of PLE such as; temperature, pressure, solvent type, extraction time and cell size were investigated for their effects on the extraction performances.

The results showed that, 40 °C, 1500 psi, Ethanol:Water:HCl; (70:25:5, v/v/v) containing 0.1% tert-butylhydroquinone (tBHQ) as solvent, three extraction cycles within 15 min, and a cell size of 11 mL was the most favorable PLE operating conditions. Results of the tests performed to designate the success of the polyphenol analysis showed that the recovery was in the range of 97.2 and 99.7%.

Major phenolic compounds in all samples were found to be gallocatechin (GCT), catechin (CT), epicatechin gallate (ECTG), caffeic acid (CA), chlorogenic acid (ChA), and myricetin (Myr). ChA level of BG propolis was 4.5, 3 and 23 times higher than that of RZ, TK and VN region, respectively.

Antiradical tests showed that all propolis samples have superior antiradical capacities up to 500 mg Trolox equivalent activity per gram of extract.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Jelly Protein Stimulates Queen Development

Royalactin Induces Queen Differentiation in Honeybees
Nature, 4/24/2011

The honeybee (Apis mellifera) forms two female castes: the queen and the worker. This dimorphism depends not on genetic differences, but on ingestion of royal jelly, although the mechanism through which royal jelly regulates caste differentiation has long remained unknown.

Here I show that a 57-kDa protein in royal jelly, previously designated as royalactin, induces the differentiation of honeybee larvae into queens. Royalactin increased body size and ovary development and shortened developmental time in honeybees. Surprisingly, it also showed similar effects in the fruitfly (Drosophila melanogaster). Mechanistic studies revealed that royalactin activated p70 S6 kinase, which was responsible for the increase of body size, increased the activity of mitogen-activated protein kinase, which was involved in the decreased developmental time, and increased the titre of juvenile hormone, an essential hormone for ovary development. Knockdown of epidermal growth factor receptor (Egfr) expression in the fat body of honeybees and fruitflies resulted in a defect of all phenotypes induced by royalactin, showing that Egfr mediates these actions.

These findings indicate that a specific factor in royal jelly, royalactin, drives queen development through an Egfr-mediated signalling pathway.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Kate Middleton Uses Bee Venom Facial

Kate's Bizarre NZ Facial Treatment
By Alanah Eriksen, New Zealand Herald, 4/28/2011

Kate Middleton may have been using venom from New Zealand bees as a face treatment ahead of her wedding.

The royal bride is reported to have taken the beauty tip from Prince William's stepmother, the Duchess of Cornwall.

The Bee Venom Mask, supposedly an alternative to botox, was credited last year with making Camilla, 63, look years younger.

The cream, which is sold online and in specialist boutiques, is said to work by gently stinging the skin, leaving a tingling sensation and causing the body to direct blood flow to the area…

New Zealand Firm Plans Products Using Medicinal Ingredients in Honey, Propolis

Range of Products a Long Way from a Pot of Honey
By Owen Hembry, New Zealand Herald, 4/26/2011

Manuka Health New Zealand is hoping a new range of products incorporating the benefits of manuka honey and propolis will help it more than double turnover within five years.

The company displayed new products at last month's NZBIO conference which encapsulated the active ingredients found in manuka honey and propolis - methylglyoxal and caffeic acid phenethyl ester respectively - with cyclodextrins as a powder.

The company had started making manuka honey lozenges and propolis powder which it intended to soon start selling as part of a CycloPower range of products.

The products encapsulated the active ingredients using cyclodextrins - a compound with the ability to enhance solubility, stabilise, control release rate, increase bio-availability and absorption.

Chief executive Kerry Paul said: "CycloPower moves us a long way from a pot of honey, improving bioactivity, ease of use and convenience, and with a presentation consistent with medical applications.

"Those are our starting products but we've got a whole pipeline of products lined up to bring out progressively over time."

The encapsulation process eliminated disadvantages of delivering the active ingredient in honey, including acidity, taste and odour, and opened the way to a wide range of applications such as eye drops, Nasal sprays, topical creams and oral capsules.

Oral delivery of manuka honey's active ingredient methylglyoxal opened up many possibilities to make better use of its antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties, the company said.

"From a commercial perspective it increases the multiples earned per kilogram of honey by around 10 times," Paul said. "It opens up new frontiers, midway between natural health and pharmaceutical products."

Caffeic acid phenethyl ester's main property was as an anti-tumour compound, Paul said…

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Apitherapy Worshop Held in Saudi Arabia

Baqshan Chair for Bee Research Organizes Apitherapy Workshop
King Saud University, 4/25/2011

This week, heads of the international beekeepers association and the Asian beekeepers association, along with Saudi researchers, were among the guests at a workshop on the medical and therapeutic use of bee products. The workshop was organized by the Eng. Abdullah Baqshan Research Chair for Bee Research.

Dr. Ahmad Khazim Al-Ghamdi, supervisor of the Chair, said the apitherapy workshop is the first of its kind in the Kingdom and drew physicians and experts from Germany, Switzerland, Bulgaria, the United States, France, Thailand and elsewhere who are renowned for using bee products in therapy.

Dr. Al Ghamdi said the workshop was held because the Chair recognizes the importance of apitherapy, especially for its effectiveness in treating more than 500 ailments, including breast cancer, chronic wounds, skin ulcerations, burns, skin diseases, hepatitis, arthritis and eczema.

He added that a goal of the workshop was to spread knowledge about the medical properties of bee products and increase awareness of them among health workers.

He said the workshop also aimed to bring to the Arab world medical technology pertaining to the use of bee products and to consider laws and regulations governing apitherapy in other countries for the purpose of drafting a national plan.

Dr. Al Ghamdi added that the workshop would conclude with a two-day training session by Dr. Stefan Stangaciu, director of the German and Rumanian Apitherapy Association on the practical implementation of bee product therapy. That session was intended for doctors, advanced students, pharmacists, pharmacological industry workers, alternative medicine workers, nurses and apiarists…

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Propolis Has Low Toxicity, Even in High Doses

Pharmacognostic and Acute Toxicological Evaluation of Scaptotrigona aff. postica Propolis Extract in Pre-Clinical Assays
Nat Prod Res, 2011 Jan 1:1-10

The propolis of Scaptotrigona aff. postica is popularly used in Maranhao State, Brazil, for treating wounds and respiratory illnesses. Nevertheless, little is known about the chemical composition of this propolis and the adverse effects of its use.

Hence, this study is a pharmacognostic characterisation of the propolis hydroalcoholic extract (PHE) from S. aff. postica.

The methodology consisted of an evaluation of the sensory and chemical parameters. Chemical analysis of PHE indicated high concentrations of phenolic and triterpens substances, and the absence of steroids.

Additionally, we evaluated the acute toxicity of propolis using 48 Swiss male and female mice. The animals received single doses of PHE (1000, 2000 or 4000 mg kg(-1)) orally and were observed for 14 days. After this period, the mice were sacrificed and the blood was used for biochemical and haematological evaluation.

PHE did not induce any death, and the acute treatment significantly reduced serum concentrations of alanine aminotransferase and alkaline phosphatase.

The resultant data indicate that PHE from S. aff. postica has low toxicity when used orally, even in high doses.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Freeze-Dried Bee Pollen Has Highest Antioxidant Activity

Hydroxycinnamic Acid Amide Derivatives, Phenolics Compounds and Antioxidant Activities of Extracts of Pollen Samples from Southeast Brazil
J Agric Food Chem, 2011 Apr 18

Seven bee pollen samples with different palynological sources were harvested from Pindamonhangaba municipality (Southeast Brazil). Methanol extracts of untreated samples (control), samples freezed to -18oC and samples freezed and then dried were analyzed by HPLC/DAD/ESI/MS/MS.

Glycosides of quercetin, kaempferol, isorhamnetin and patuletin were detected. The main constituent found in all samples C1-C7 (seven collections of bee pollen along 21 days) was N',N",N'"-tris-p-feruloylspermidine, together N',N",N'"-tris-p-coumaroylspermidine. Distinct phenolic profiles characterize the samples analyzed, but no differences were noted as resulting from different treatments.

Total phenolic ranged from 1.7 to 2.2%. Antioxidant activities above 75% (based on the DPPH method) were observed for all extracts, not correlated with total phenolic content.

Among samples from the same origin, those freezed were more active than samples untreated (control), and the samples freezed and dried were the most active.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Video: Allergy Sufferers Turn to Local Honey

video

For 20 years, John Pluta's bee collection kept growing and the demand for his local honey and bee products shot up as well. Word spread quickly to allergy sufferers of a possible solution.

"I've been eating it from here for quite a few years. Last year I didn't eat much of it and I did have some allergy problems. I ate some this past winter and I haven't had any problems this year," said Jimmy Warren of Milledgeville…

Pluta says some people take advantage of the bee venom by using Apitherapy which can give relief to arthritis and other joint issues.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Coniferous, Thyme Honeys Show Highest Antibacterial Activity

Antibacterial Activity of Different Honeys Against Pathogenic Bacteria
Anaerobe, Article in Press

To study the antimicrobial activity of honey, 60 samples of various botanical origin were evaluated for their antimicrobial activities against 16 clinical pathogens and their respective reference strains. The microbiological quality of honeys and the antibiotic susceptibility of the various isolates were also examined.

The bioassay applied for determining the antimicrobial effect employs the well-agar diffusion method and the estimation of minimum active dilution which produces a 1 mm diameter inhibition zone.

All honey samples, despite their origin (coniferous, citrus, thyme or polyfloral), showed antibacterial activity against the pathogenic and their respective reference strains at variable levels.

Coniferous and thyme honeys showed the highest activity with an average minimum dilution of 17.4 and 19.2% (w/v) followed by citrus and polyfloral honeys with 20.8 and 23.8% respectively. Clinical isolates of Staphylococcus aureus subsp. aureus, Escherichia coli, Salmonella enterica subsp.

Enterica, Streptococcus pyogenes, Bacillus cereus and B. subtilis were proven to be up to 60% more resistant than their equal reference strains thus emphasizing the variability in the antibacterial effect of honey and the need for further research.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Honey a Potential Treatment for Renal Cancer

Honey Induces Apoptosis in Renal Cell Carcinoma
Pharmacogn Mag, 2011 Jan;7(25):46-52

Background: The fact that antioxidants have several preventative effects against different diseases, such as coronary diseases, inflammatory disorders, neurologic degeneration, aging, and cancer, has led to the search for food rich in antioxidants. Honey has been used as a traditional food and medical source since ancient times. However, recently many scientists have been concentrating on the antioxidant property of honey. By use of human renal cancer cell lines (ACHN), we investigated the antiproliferative activity, apoptosis, and the antitumor activity of honey.

Materials and Methods: The cells were cultured in Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium with 10% fetal bovine serum treated with different concentrations of honey for 3 consecutive days. Cell viability was quantitated by the 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay. Apoptotic cells were determined using Annexin-V-fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) by flow cytometry.

Results: Honey decreased the cell viability in the malignant cells in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. The IC (50) values against the ACHN cell lines were determined as 1.7 ± 0.04% and 2.1 ± 0.03% μg/mL after 48 and 72 h, respectively. Honey induced apoptosis of the ACHN cells in a concentration-dependent manner, as determined by flow cytometry histogram of treated cells.

Conclusion: It might be concluded that honey may cause cell death in the ACHN cells, in which apoptosis plays an important role. Most of the drugs used in the cancer treatment are apoptotic inducers, hence apoptotic nature of honey is considered vital. Therefore, it prompted us to investigate honey as a potential candidate for renal cancer treatment.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Honey Has Considerable Therapeutic Effects on Wounds, Ulcers, Burns

Honey for Wound Healing, Ulcers, and Burns; Data Supporting Its Use in Clinical Practice
ScientificWorldJournal, 2011 Apr 5;11:766-87.

The widespread existence of unhealed wounds, ulcers, and burns has a great impact on public health and economy. Many interventions, including new medications and technologies, are being used to help achieve significant wound healing and to eliminate infections.

Therefore, to find an intervention that has both therapeutic effect on the healing process and the ability to kill microbes is of great value.

Honey is a natural product that has been recently introduced in modern medical practice. Honey's antibacterial properties and its effects on wound healing have been thoroughly investigated. Laboratory studies and clinical trials have shown that honey is an effective broad-spectrum antibacterial agent.

This paper reviews data that support the effectiveness of natural honey in wound healing and its ability to sterilize infected wounds.

Studies on the therapeutic effects of honey collected in different geographical areas on skin wounds, skin and gastric ulcers, and burns are reviewed and mechanisms of action are discussed. (Ulcers and burns are included as an example of challenging wounds.) The data show that the wound healing properties of honey include stimulation of tissue growth, enhanced epithelialization, and minimized scar formation. These effects are ascribed to honey's acidity, hydrogen peroxide content, osmotic effect, nutritional and antioxidant contents, stimulation of immunity, and to unidentified compounds. Prostaglandins and nitric oxide play a major role in inflammation, microbial killing, and the healing process.

Honey was found to lower prostaglandin levels and elevate nitric oxide end products. These properties might help to explain some biological and therapeutic properties of honey, particularly as an antibacterial agent or wound healer.

The data presented here demonstrate that honeys from different geographical areas have considerable therapeutic effects on chronic wounds, ulcers, and burns. The results encourage the use of honey in clinical practice as a natural and safe wound healer.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Honey, Bee Pollen Effective in Preventing Postoperative Adhesions

The Effect of Oral Honey and Pollen on Postoperative Intraabdominal Adhesions
Turk J Gastroenterol, 2011 Feb;22(1):65-72

Background/aims: We evaluated the effect of oral usage of honey and pollen, either separately or together, on postoperative intraabdominal adhesions.

Methods: Forty rats were randomly separated into 4 groups of 10 rats each. Abrasion was performed on the cecum, and a patch of peritoneum located opposite to the cecal abrasion was completely dissected. Group 1 rats received no treatment; Group 2 rats received 4 g/kg/day honey; Group 3 rats received 4 g/kg/day pollen; and Group 4 rats received 4 g/kg/day honey and pollen mixed in equal amounts, in addition to the standard feeding for postoperative 21 days. All the rats were sacrificed on the 21st day.

Following the adhesion scoring, tissue specimens of the peritoneum and bowel were subjected to histopathological investigation. The tissue and blood specimens were also taken for biochemical analysis to investigate the antioxidant capacity.

Results: Adhesion scores were significantly different between the control and other groups. No dense adhesion was observed in the treatment groups. Tissue malondialdehyde levels were significantly different between the control and honey and honey+pollen groups. Superoxide dismutase and glutathione-peroxidase levels were significantly different between the control and other groups. Catalase levels were different between the control and honey groups. Plasma antioxidant levels were different between the control and other groups. The pathological scores for fibrosis and inflammation were significantly different between the control and other groups.

Conclusions: Honey and pollen were found to be effective in preventing postoperative intraabdominal adhesions, and these effects were thought to be a result of their antiinflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Honey May Help Treat Inflammatory Conditions


Effects of Honey on Inflammation and Nitric Oxide Production in Wistar Rats
Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Xue Bao, 2011 Apr;9(4):447-52

Objective: The aim of the study is to investigate the effects of honey on acute and chronic inflammations and nitric oxide production in rats.

Methods: Carrageenan, cotton pellet and formaldehyde methods were used in quantifying the anti-inflammatory effect of honey while the effect of honey on nitric oxide (NO) production was investigated by administering NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME, 100 mg/kg body weight, subcutaneously) and L-arginine (300 mg/kg body weight, intraperitoneally) to groups of rats. Animals were divided into five groups each comprising of five rats in each experiment; two groups were orally administered distilled water (control) and indomethacin (5 mg/kg body weight), respectively, while the remaining three groups were administered 2, 6 and 10 g/kg honey for anti-inflammatory studies.

Results: Honey significantly reduced the paw size in the carrageenan model, while in the cotton pellet model, the granuloma weight was significantly reduced. Honey also significantly reduced the arthritis induced by formaldehyde injection from the second day of the study.

In the investigation on NO involvement, L-NAME significantly inhibited paw oedema while the administration of L-arginine abolished the anti-inflammatory effect of honey and L-NAME.

Conclusion: The results obtained from the study confirm that honey has an anti-inflammatory effect which may be due in part to inhibition of NO release. Therefore honey may be used to treat certain acute and chronic inflammatory conditions.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Bee Pollen Boosts Release of Growth Factor

The Effect of Bee Pollen on Secretion Activity, Markers of Proliferation and Apoptosis of Porcine Ovarian Granulosa Cells in vitro
J Environ Sci Health B, 2011 Apr;46(3):207-12

The general objective of this in vitro study was to examine the effect of bee pollen on the release of insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) and steroid hormone progesterone, and expression of markers of proliferation (PCNA) and apoptosis (caspase-3) in porcine ovarian granulosa cells.

Concentrations of IGF-I and progesterone were determined by RIA method and expression of PCNA and caspase-3 by immunocytochemistry. Bee pollen addition at the dose of 10 ng/mL significantly inhibited IGF-I release by porcine ovarian granulosa cells. This growth factor was not influenced by 100 and 1000 ng/mL doses of bee pollen. Progesterone release by cells was not influenced by bee pollen addition at the doses of 10, 100 and 1000 ng/mL as used in our study. Similarly expression of PCNA and caspase-3 was not affected by bee pollen addition.

The present study shows dose-dependent regulation of IGF-I by experimental bee pollen addition in vitro. Progesterone release, expression of PCNA and caspase-3 in porcine ovarian granulosa cells was not induced by pollen.

Our results contribute to new insights regarding the possible effect of bee pollen on IGF-I release, which is important for regulation of porcine ovarian functions.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Propolis Boost Immune Response

The Immune Enhancement of Propolis Adjuvant on Inactivated Porcine Parvovirus Vaccine in Guinea Pig
Cell Immunol, 2011 Apr 9

Two experiments were carried out. In immune response test, the immune enhancement of propolis, oilemulsion and aluminium salt were compared in guinea pig vaccinated with inactivated porcine parvovirus (PPV) vaccine.

The result showed that three adjuvants could enhance antibody titer, T lymphocyte proliferation, IL-2 and IL-4 secretion of splenic lymphocyte. The action of propolis was similar to that of oilemulsion and superior to that of aluminium salt, especially in early period of vaccination propolis could accelerate antibody production.

In immune protection test, the effects of three adjuvants on PPV infection were compared in guinea pig vaccinated with PPV vaccine then challenged with PPV. The result showed that propolis and oilemulsion could enhance the antibody titer, IL-2 and IL-4 content in serum and decrease the PPV content in blood and viscera. In the effect of improving cellular immune response, the propolis was the best.

These results indicated that propolis possessed better immune enhancement and would be exploited into a effective adjuvant of inactivated vaccine.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Honey Used to Treat Wound Related to Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and Wound Healing: Injury in a Collagen Disorder
Br J Nurs, 2011 Mar 22;20(6):10-20

Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) is a rare familial disorder affecting the production, quality and strength of collagen. It presents in many forms, and many individuals experience hypermobile joints and soft, elastic skin. When injury occurs, EDS can result in severe bruising, the development of wide open wounds and delayed healing (Babak et al, 2003).

In the case discussed, Lilly, a 10-year-old girl, presented with a wide trauma injury to her lower leg. Healing was influenced by the poor collagen production associated with EDS, and the presence of a high bacterial burden that resulted in infection.

Manuka honey was used to reduce the level of invading bacilli and stimulate production of collagen. Following this intervention, complete healing was achieved in two weeks. The action of manuka honey appears to be beneficial in the management of complex wounds, and further research is needed to determine its value in EDS.

Involvement of Lilly and her family in clinical decision-making and in the production of this article resulted in a growth in understanding for all parties and the development of a relationship that optimized the nurse/patient experience.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Bulgarian Manna Honey Properties Compared to Manuka

Project to Try to Prove Link Between Bulgaria’s Manna Honey and New Zealand’s Manuka Honey
FOCUS News Agency, 4/11/11

A project will try to prove a link between manna honey common in the Strandzha mountains, Southeastern Bulgaria, and New Zealand’s Manuka honey, Manol Todorov, a honey producer and organizer of the manna honey festival in the coastal municipality of Tsarevo, told FOCUS – Burgas Radio.

This year’s edition of the festival is due between August 1 and 7.

Last year we sent six samples for a test in Sofia. They showed that in terms of features and content, manna honey resembles the honey produced from the Manuka tree in New Zealand. The latter is the most expensive type of honey worldwide. On the basis of these samples we will launch a project in August-September to study the air, soil, water, and manna content in order to prove the link, he added.

Todorov hopes the results will be available within a year and if the project proves the link, the price of the Bulgarian honey will rise.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Honey May Stop Antibiotic Resistance

Fox News, 4/13/2011

New research has found that honey can be effective in helping to reverse antibiotic resistance, in addition to clearing infected wounds.

According to a study from the University of Wales Institute Cardiff, manuka honey interferes with the growth of three types of bacteria commonly found in wounds—Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Group A Streptococci and Meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

Manuka honey, collected by the nectar of bees from manuka trees in New Zealand, has been acknowledged for antimicrobial properties in the past, but has not yet been fully investigated to translate to modern medicine.

"Our findings with streptococci and pseudomonads suggest that manuka honey can hamper the attachment of bacteria to tissues which is an essential step in the initiation of acute infections. Inhibiting attachment also blocks the formation of biofilms, which can protect bacteria from antibiotics and allow them to cause persistent infections,” said Professor Rose Cooper from the University of Wales Institute Cardiff in a press release…

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Honey Kills Renal Cancer Cells

Honey Induces Apoptosis in Renal Cell Carcinoma
Pharmacogn Mag, 2011 Jan;7(25):46-52

Background: The fact that antioxidants have several preventative effects against different diseases, such as coronary diseases, inflammatory disorders, neurologic degeneration, aging, and cancer, has led to the search for food rich in antioxidants. Honey has been used as a traditional food and medical source since ancient times. However, recently many scientists have been concentrating on the antioxidant property of honey. By use of human renal cancer cell lines (ACHN), we investigated the antiproliferative activity, apoptosis, and the antitumor activity of honey.

Materials and Methods: The cells were cultured in Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium with 10% fetal bovine serum treated with different concentrations of honey for 3 consecutive days. Cell viability was quantitated by the 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay. Apoptotic cells were determined using Annexin-V-fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) by flow cytometry.

Results: Honey decreased the cell viability in the malignant cells in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. The IC (50) values against the ACHN cell lines were determined as 1.7 ± 0.04% and 2.1 ± 0.03% μg/mL after 48 and 72 h, respectively. Honey induced apoptosis of the ACHN cells in a concentration-dependent manner, as determined by flow cytometry histogram of treated cells.

Conclusion: It might be concluded that honey may cause cell death in the ACHN cells, in which apoptosis plays an important role. Most of the drugs used in the cancer treatment are apoptotic inducers, hence apoptotic nature of honey is considered vital. Therefore, it prompted us to investigate honey as a potential candidate for renal cancer treatment.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Biologic Evidence to Support Use of Honey in Wound Care

Honey and Wound Healing: An Overview
American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, Volume 12, Number 3, 1 June 2011 , pp. 181-190(10)

Honey has been used to treat wounds throughout the ages. This practice was rooted primarily in tradition and folklore until the late 19th century, when investigators began to characterize its biologic and clinical effects.

This overview explores both historic and current insights into honey in its role in wound care. We describe the proposed antimicrobial, immunomodulatory, and physiologic mechanisms of action, and review the clinical evidence of the efficacy of honey in a variety of acute and chronic wound types. We also address additional considerations of safety, quality, and the cost effectiveness of medical-grade honeys.

In summary, there is biologic evidence to support the use of honey in modern wound care, and the clinical evidence to date also suggests a benefit. However, further large, well designed, clinical trials are needed to confirm its therapeutic effects.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Australian Honeys Show Antibacterial Activity

The Antibacterial Activity of Honey Derived from Australian Flora
PLoS One, 2011 Mar 28;6(3):e18229

Chronic wound infections and antibiotic resistance are driving interest in antimicrobial treatments that have generally been considered complementary, including antimicrobially active honey.

Australia has unique native flora and produces honey with a wide range of different physicochemical properties.

In this study we surveyed 477 honey samples, derived from native and exotic plants from various regions of Australia, for their antibacterial activity using an established screening protocol.

A level of activity considered potentially therapeutically useful was found in 274 (57%) of the honey samples, with exceptional activity seen in samples derived from marri (Corymbia calophylla), jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata) and jellybush (Leptospermum polygalifolium).

In most cases the antibacterial activity was attributable to hydrogen peroxide produced by the bee-derived enzyme glucose oxidase. Non-hydrogen peroxide activity was detected in 80 (16.8%) samples, and was most consistently seen in honey produced from Leptospermum spp.

Testing over time found the hydrogen peroxide-dependent activity in honey decreased, in some cases by 100%, and this activity was more stable at 4°C than at 25°C.

In contrast, the non-hydrogen peroxide activity of Leptospermum honey samples increased, and this was greatest in samples stored at 25°C. The stability of non-peroxide activity from other honeys was more variable, suggesting this activity may have a different cause.

We conclude that many Australian honeys have clinical potential, and that further studies into the composition and stability of their active constituents are warranted…

Conclusions

This study has provided a broad overview of the antibacterial activity of Australian honey and shown that many honeys have potential for therapeutic use as antibacterial agents. Jarrah and marri honeys have exceptional levels of hydrogen peroxide-dependent activity, and non-peroxide activity in Australian Leptospermum honeys is comparable to that found in New Zealand manuka honey.

These findings indicate that there is an opportunity for Australian apiarists to share in the lucrative medicinal honey market. However, the factors affecting antibacterial activity in honey are complex, numerous, and not solely dependent on the floral source. This prevents generic statements being made regarding the activity of honey derived from a given floral source, and indicates the need to test individual batches of honey for their level of antibacterial activity before they are designated as therapeutic products.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Bee Venom May Help Treat Alzheimer's Disease

Apamin Induces Plastic Changes in Hippocampal Neurons in Senile Sprague-Dawley Rats
Synapse, 2011 Apr 4

Apamin is a neurotoxin extracted from honey bee venom and is a selective blocker of small conductance Ca(2+) -activated K(+) channels (SK).

Several behavioral and electrophysiological studies indicate that SK-blockade by apamin may enhance neuron excitability, synaptic plasticity and long-term potentiation (LTP) in the CA1 hippocampal region, and for that reason, apamin has been proposed as a therapeutic agent in Alzheimer's disease treatment. However, the dendritic morphological mechanisms implied in such enhancement are unknown.

In the present work, Golgi-Cox stain protocol and Sholl analysis were used to study the effect of apamin on the dendritic morphology of pyramidal neurons from hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex, as well as on the medium spiny neurons from the nucleus accumbens and granule cells from the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus.

We found that only granule cells from the dentate gyrus and pyramidal neurons from dorsal and ventral hippocampus were altered in senile rats injected with apamin.

Our research suggests that apamin may increase the dendritic morphology in the hippocampus, which could be related to the neuronal excitability and synaptic plasticity enhancement induced by apamin.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Russian Republic to Produce Apitherapy Products

Kulinski District of Dagestan Implements a Number of Large Investment Projects

Makhachkala, April 5, 2011 - The Kulinski district administration along with the Republican Agency for Investment and Foreign Economic Relations developed an investment passport of the region.

According to the passport data the local administration intends to create a big animal farm in the settlement of Tsovkra. The total project cost amounts to 300-350 million rubles. For the present time approximately 130 million rubles have been disbursed on the area of 1000 hectares for construction of the cattle-breeding complex for 300 heads and the different facilities. It is also planned to build a dairy factory for milk processing and producing a wide range of dairy products.

Another project is the construction of the industrial beekeeping complex in the village of Hayhi. 400 bee colonies had already been placed in the area for the present time. In the nearest future specialists intend to double the number of colonies. As to the business plan each colony is expected to give up to 20 kg of the high-quality environmentally clean and healthy products - honey, pollen, beeswax, propolis and even precious bee venom…

Friday, April 08, 2011

Brown Propolis Boosts Feed Efficiency in Lambs

Addition of Propolis or Monensin in the Diet: Behavior and Productivity of Lambs in Feedlot
Animal Feed Science and Technology, Article in Press

This study assessed the behavior and the productive performance of lambs finished in feedlot receiving diets added with green propolis, brown propolis or monensin sodium.

The experiment used a randomized block design that compared weight gain of 32 male lambs aged four months among four dietary treatments: (1) control, non-enriched diet; (2) with green propolis; (3) with brown propolis; and (4) with monensin sodium. The basic diet provided to all the groups was a total mixed ration (TMR) with a forage:concentrate ratio of 50:50, in which Tifton 85 (Cynodon spp.) grass was used as roughage feed and the concentrate was based on soybean meal, corn meal and minerals.

The green propolis diet decreased rumination and increased resting time. The diets provided similar feeding rate (g/min). DM and aNDF intake (g/kg of body weight and g/kg of metabolic weight) were higher in the control treatment.

Although the control group had the highest weight gain, the highest feed conversion and feed efficiency were found in lambs fed brown propolis and monensin sodium.

Technically, brown propolis can substitute monensin sodium as a dietary additive for feedlot lambs. However, complementary studies are needed to identify the best levels of brown propolis to add to these diets.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Koreans Travel to Uganda to Buy Propolis

Bee Keepers Reap Big From Propolis
By Ronald Kalyango, New Vision, 3/30/11

When we think of honey, bees and pollen are foremost in our thoughts. Yet another important substance, propolis, a sticky resin collected by bees, is often far from our minds.

Propolis is a chemical that can work as an antibiotic, soothe inflammations, speed up healing of wounds, ease rheumatic pains, combat fungal infections and strengthen the body’s immune system.

This useful product, which has been ignored by human beings for years, is a money making product in Kabarole district, having attracted buyers from South Korea.

The buyers, who were identified by the Kabarole Bee Keepers Association, started purchasing the product last year.

The director of the association, Adolf Bagonza, describes the deal as fruitful to the farmers.

Bagonza says the association collects propolis from farmers and packages it in one litre jerrycans before it is sold to the Koreans.

“It is a good deal because we don’t incur exportation costs. They come for it from our shops,” Bagonza explained.

He says the association is assured of sh2m every month from the sale of the product…

There are several Ugandan companies engaged in the buying of propolis from farmers.

They include the Bee Natural Products based in Arua, Malaika Honey, Hives Save Lives Africa and Nyabubale Foundation for Rural Development, a Kabarole-based organisation.

Propolis is a sticky resin that seeps from the buds of some trees to protect tree buds from environmental hazards such as moulds, fungi, and bacteria.

…Propolis contains about 55% resinous compounds and balms, 30% beeswax, 10% aromatic essential oils and 5% bee pollen…

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Bees Use Propolis to Protect Hive From Pesticide-Contaminated Pollen

Honeybees 'Entomb' Hives to Protect Against Pesticides, Say Scientists By Fiona Harvey, The Guardian (UK), 4/4/11

Honeybees are taking emergency measures to protect their hives from pesticides, in an extraordinary example of the natural world adapting swiftly to our depredations, according to a prominent bee expert.

Scientists have found numerous examples of a new phenomenon – bees "entombing" or sealing up hive cells full of pollen to put them out of use, and protect the rest of the hive from their contents. The pollen stored in the sealed-up cells has been found to contain dramatically higher levels of pesticides and other potentially harmful chemicals than the pollen stored in neighbouring cells, which is used to feed growing young bees.

"This is a novel finding, and very striking. The implication is that the bees are sensing [pesticides] and actually sealing it off. They are recognising that something is wrong with the pollen and encapsulating it," said Jeff Pettis, an entomologist with the US Department of Agriculture. "Bees would not normally seal off pollen."

But the bees' last-ditch efforts to save themselves appear to be unsuccessful – the entombing behaviour is found in many hives that subsequently die off, according to Pettis. "The presence of entombing is the biggest single predictor of colony loss. It's a defence mechanism that has failed." These colonies were likely to already be in trouble, and their death could be attributed to a mix of factors in addition to pesticides, he added.

Bees are also sealing off pollen that contains substances used by beekeepers to control pests such as the varroa mite, another factor in the widespread decline of bee populations. These substances may also be harmful to bees, Pettis said. "Beekeepers - and I am one – need to look at ourselves in the mirror and ask what we are doing," he said. "Certainly [the products] have effects on bees. It's a balancing act – if you do not control the parasite, bees die. If you control the parasite, bees will live but there are side-effects. This has to be managed."…

The entombing phenomenon was first noted in an obscure scientific paper from 2009, but since then scientists have been finding the behaviour more frequently, with the same results.

Bees naturally collect from plants a substance known as propolis, a sort of sticky resin with natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal qualities. It is used by bees to line the walls of their hives, and to seal off unwanted or dangerous substances – for instance, mice that find their way into hives and die are often found covered in propolis. This is the substance bees are using to entomb the cells…

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Bee Venom Has Anti-Inflammatory Effect

Malaysian Bee Venom Abrogates Carrageenan Induced Inflammation in Rats
Journal of ApiProduct & ApiMedical Science, Vol. 3 (2) pp. 75 - 80

This study was carried out to test the hypothesis that Malaysian bee venom (MBV) has the potential to produce a potent anti-inflammatory effect.

MBV was obtained by electrical stimulation technique without causing death to the bees. An animal model with carrageenan (CR) induced inflammation was employed and paw volume was measured at each specific time point during the period of this study.

Our findings demonstrate that MBV has an anti-inflammatory effect on 1% CR induced inflammation in the rat paw, making it potentially useful in the development of future anti-inflammatory therapies.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Manuka Honey May Help Treat Allergic Fungal Rhinosinusitis

Evaluation of Manuka Honey in Management of Allergic Fungal Rhinosinusitis: A
Case Report

J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg, 2011 Apr;40(2):E19-21

The cases presented here suggest that Manuka honey can be considered as a potential treatment for patients suffering from AFRS who have failed all alternative treatment regimes. More research using double blinded trials for chronic sinusitis, AFRS and post op cystic fibrosis patients are being conducted at our centre and will be reported
on shortly.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Honey Used for Wound Treatment in Ayurvedic Medicine

Role of Honey (Madhu) in the Management of Wounds (Dushta Vrana)
Int J Ayurveda Res, 2010 Oct;1(4):271-3

Application of Madhu (honey) is one among the Shashthi Upakrama (sixty treatment modalities) described by Sushruta.

Clinical observation has shown its effectiveness in treatment of Dushta Vrana (chronic wounds). We report a case of Dushta Vrana on the anterior aspect of the right leg that was treated successfully with local application of Madhu and Neem (Azadirachata indica) bark decoction.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Article Outlines Health Benefits of Bee Products

Jury’s Out on Honey’s Health Benefits, But Buzz Grows By Kim Mulford, (Cherry Hill, N.J.) Courier-Post, 3/28/2011

CHERRY HILL, N.J. — Ancient Greeks and Egyptians used it. So did your grandmother. But modern medicine hasn’t fully recognized the health benefits of honey and other bee products.

Few well-controlled studies have been done on the effectiveness of apitherapy, or the medical use of honey, beeswax, bee pollen, bee venom, royal jelly or propolis (a resin-like substance used in the construction of hives).

According to the American Apitherapy Society, no medical group in the United States has sanctioned apitherapy as a medical treatment, though the Food and Drug Administration has approved bee venom for “de-sensitization.”

“Apitherapy is considered, from both the legal and medical viewpoint, an experimental approach,” the organization says.

No matter. The buzz about the benefits of the honeybee has been growing, from slurping down honey as a remedy for allergies and colds to injecting bee venom as a treatment for multiple sclerosis and arthritis.

Honey itself has antimicrobial properties. It does not spoil.

Seth Belson, president of the New Jersey Beekeepers Association, says he sells a lot of raw honey to repeat customers who take it for their seasonal allergies.

The Cherry Hill, N.J., resident and public defender collects the amber gold from his 10 hives. The honey must be raw, he stresses, so the pollens aren’t altered…

Honey may be useful in treating wounds and burns because of its antibacterial properties.

Propolis, the hard, sticky material honeybees use to maintain and build their hives, also is edible. Belson melts it and puts it in his tea to ease a sore throat.

Gathered from tree sap, propolis looks like brown paste or putty. It has a nutty flavor and smells like flower nectar.

“It really does seem to have a significant effect,” Belson says. “It’s amazing stuff.”…

Bee venom is believed to reduce inflammation and promote healing. Some medical practitioners use it as a therapy for painful conditions like multiple sclerosis and arthritis. However, some people may be allergic to bee stings, so the therapy should be administered by a trained professional, the American Apitherapy Society suggests.

As a beekeeper, Belson sometimes suffers a few stings when collecting honey from his hives. But when he’s hit, he says a side effect is the temporary easing of his arthritis pain in his knees…

Carefully collected, pollen is a protein source for bees, and can be eaten by humans as a food additive.

Beeswax is frequently used in lip balm, cosmetics and hand creams. And royal jelly, the substance fed to the larvae designated to become the queen bee, also has benefits that aren’t fully known.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Honey a Low Cost Treatment for HIV Patients with Venous Ulcers

Derma Sciences Advanced Wound Care Products Featured in Five Poster Presentations at the Diabetic Foot Global Conference 2011

PRINCETON, N.J.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Derma Sciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: DSCI), a medical device and pharmaceutical company focused on advanced wound care, today announced that five scientific abstracts based on commercial and development-stage products in the Company’s line of wound dressings were presented at the annual Diabetic Foot Global Conference (DFCON), held in Los Angeles March 24-26…

About the MEDIHONEY® Poster Presentations

MEDIHONEY®, 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.

The Clinical Use of Leptospermum Honey on Neuropathic Forefoot Ulcerations in Patients with Diabetes Mellitus; by Steven Kavros, DPM, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the healing of forefoot ulcerations with the use of MEDIHONEY® in the setting of diabetic neuropathy. The study found that the MEDIHONEY® group healed at a significantly faster rate than the control group; the mean healing time was 77 days (95% CI, 73.1 – 80.89 days) versus 96 days (95% CI, 91.3 – 100.89 days) for the control group. There was a significant healing rate with the use of MEDIHONEY® versus control (p< 0.0001).

The Use of Active Leptospermum Honey Dressings on Challenging Patients in an Indigent Wound Clinic; by LaVerne Graves, RN, BSW, CWS; Diane Maggio, RN, BSN, CRRN, CWON, Atlanticare Regional Medical Center; Princeton, NJ

Also presented was data collected from case reports chronicling MEDIHONEY® dressing usage in an indigent clinic on patients with the co-morbidities of HIV and highly exudating venous ulcers. The study concluded that the outcomes of MEDIHONEY® usage in these cases were successful closure of wounds that restored quality of life to patients and cost savings with decreased healing times...