Sunday, July 31, 2011

Royal Jelly and Citrus Bioflavonoid Activate Neuron Functions


Honeybee Royal Jelly and Nobiletin Stimulate CRE-Mediated Transcription in ERK-Independent and -Dependent Fashions, Respectively, in PC12D Cells
J Pharmacol Sci, 2011 Jul 9

To prove the pharmacological actions of honeybee royal jelly (RJ) on the nervous system, we examined the effects of RJ on CRE-mediated transcription.
RJ increased CRE-mediated transcription in PC12D cells. Moreover, CRE-mediated transcriptional activity by RJ was enhanced by nobiletin. U0126, a MEK inhibitor, inhibited CRE-mediated transcription by combining RJ plus nobiletin without affecting transcription by RJ alone.

These results suggest that RJ stimulates CRE-mediated transcription via an ERK-independent cascade, whereas the increasing CRE-mediated transcriptional effect by nobiletin is dependent on ERK phosphorylation.

Combining RJ plus nobiletin may activate effectively neuronal functions via enhancement of CRE-mediated transcription.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

UMF Honey Association Announces Singapore Testing Regime

7/26/2011 -- The UMF Honey Association and AsureQuality Singapore have jointly announced the availability of a testing regime to determine non-peroxide activity in Manuka Honey sold in Singapore.

UMF Honey Association General Manager, John Rawcliffe, said the announcement would come as welcome news to consumers in Singapore.

“The new Singapore-based test will ensure that Manuka Honey sold in that country is from New Zealand and true to label - in line with the core industry standard as originally determined by Peter Molan of Waikato University.”…

Friday, July 29, 2011

Bee Venom Used to Treat Multiple Sclerosis, Arthritis

Speaker Creates Buzz Over Bee Venom as Medical TreatmentBy Alexandria Randolph, The Eagle, 7/28/2011

A multiple sclerosis patient who has been self-medicating herself with bee venom will speak Thursday at an annual event sponsored by the Central Texas Beekeepers in Brenham.

Alice Daley and her husband, Bill, said they initially learned about venom therapy in 1995 during a support group meeting for MS patients.

"When we heard about the bee sting treatment, we thought, 'We've got nothing to lose, so let's try it!'" Bill Daley said…

Bill Daley administers the venom once a week to his wife, who suffers from the autoimmune disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. She has received more than 17,000 stings since beginning the treatment. Some use venom in a cream, ointment or injection form, the latter of which is used on her.

"I have a record of every sting I've ever given her," Daley said. "I give her 32 stings every week; five on each arm and leg, nine on her back, one on her neck and two on her chest."
Alice Daley said that while the treatment isn't commercially available or medically approved, it works for her.

"It keeps me out of the hospital," she said. "I get bee stings every week, and I haven't yet had a crash."

And, not only is she more mobile, she said, but doctors at her last neurological appointment could no longer find lesions that had been present on her brain…

"I've heard my whole life about people with arthritis who had used stings on their knuckles," Kelling said. "It relieved people of the condition for a while."...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Manuka Honey Component a Potential Risk Factor in Healing of Diabetic Ulcers

Methylglyoxal-a Potential Risk Factor of Manuka Honey in Healing of Diabetic Ulcers 
Evid Based Complement Alternat Med, 2011;2011:295494

Honey has been considered as a remedy in wound healing since ancient times. However, as yet, there are inadequate supportive robust randomized trials and experimental data to fully accept honey as an effective medical product in wound care. Manuka honey has been claimed to have therapeutic advantages over other honeys.
Recently, it has been documented that the pronounced antibacterial activity of manuka honey is due, at least in part, to reactive methylglyoxal (MG). The concentration of MG in manuka honeys is up to 100-fold higher than in conventional honeys. MG is a potent protein-glycating agent and an important precursor of advanced glycation end products (AGEs). MG and AGEs play a role in the pathogenesis of impaired diabetic wound healing and can modify the structure and function of target molecules.
This commentary describes the concern that MG in manuka honey may delay wound healing in diabetic patients. Further detailed research is needed to fully elucidate the participation of honey/derived MG in healing diabetic ulcers. We advocate randomized controlled trials to determine efficacy and safety of manuka honey in this population… 
Conclusion 
A number of randomized clinical trials suggest that medical grade honey promotes wound healing but most of them have not included diabetic patients with chronic leg ulcers and nearly three-quarters of clinical trials have focused on the use of honey for acute wounds, in particular burns. In general, repair of tissue damage in diabetic foot disease is accompanied with several pathophysiological mechanisms. Since manuka honey contains high levels of MG, we speculate that patients with diabetes may be at risk due to either the direct negative effect of MG on cells and components in the wound or the indirect formation of AGEs, which could impair the wound-healing process.
We believe that honey is an effective alternative dressing for treatment of many types of chronic wounds. However, MG may have a detrimental effect on diabetic ulcers. Further research is needed to fully elucidate the effect of honey-derived MG in the treatment of diabetic ulcers. In addition, honeys with varying levels of MG should be subjected to randomized comparative clinical trials in treatment of diabetic ulcers.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Royal Jelly Powder Acts as a Brain Food

(NaturalNews, 7/24/2011) - An interesting product, to say the least, royal jelly is the food that turns regular bee larvae into queen bees - it's the substance that elevates the physical capabilities of certain bees to allow them to become leaders of their own hives. Secreted by the nurse bees that look after the larvae in a hive, royal jelly causes some of the baby bees to grow faster and stronger than the rest. Claims have been made that when consumed by humans royal jelly can act as a "brain food," providing the boost the brain needs to grow faster and more efficient.

This claim is made because royal jelly contains a rare fatty acid, 10-HDA, that is said to enhance the cognitive capabilities of individuals. Due to a high concentration of phospholipids, people that consume royal jelly are able to improve their motor function, short-term memory, learning abilities, and overall awareness. Studies have shown that royal jelly has even been able to improve the conditions of individuals that suffer from Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. The availability of a natural therapy for such illnesses is certainly important, as the market's current medications are laden with harsh chemicals that often provide serious side effects.

Despite the fact that royal jelly is recognized as a brain food, it remains that this natural remedy has much more to offer than increased brain function. As a substance that contains many B vitamins (especially Vitamin B5, pantothenic acid), trace minerals, and antibacterial proteins, royal jelly provides a natural boost of overall well-being…

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Allen Dennison: I Can Heal Wounds with Honey and So Can You

By Allen Dennison, The Providence Journal, 7/22/2011

The Crowne Plaza Hotel in Warwick resembles a decent beehive even on a slack day. It is swarming with conferees and employees moving in and out of chambers consuming sweet food. Some people arrive by air from nearby T.F. Green Airport on low-cost fares. There is a high social organization.

Next week, on July 25-29, management will show extreme cooperation in welcoming 20 beehives and 500 beekeepers for the annual meeting of the Eastern Apiculture Society. They will have talks on Colony Collapse Disorder, practical beekeeping including a bee yard, the business of keeping an apiary and treating illness with bee products and stings.

On Wednesday they will be regaled by Rhode Island’s own Charlie Hall and the Ocean State Follies, who will sting them all in a show they will not soon forget. If you have even a passing interest in bees, I recommend that you go to the Web site easternapiculture.org and sign up for a day or two.

I am presenting my literature review and work among the elderly in healing wounds with honey, based on 30 years of office practice and work as a medical director of Evergreen House Health Center, a nursing home in East Providence. I remember a comic TV routine with Mel Brooks interviewing Sid Caesar posing as a great Egyptologist. “So professor, what is the secret of Tutankhamen’s Tomb?” Quipped Caesar, “Twenty years of research and I should tell you?”

I am going to tell you. Speaking of Egyptian tombs, did you know that urns of honey were found undegraded in several tombs in ancient Egypt? This tells volumes about the amazing chemical nature of honey for wound-healing, to say nothing of the long association of the bees and humans.

How does honey help to heal wounds and why is it superior to neosporin, bacitracin and prescription mupirocin (bactroban)? Honey is bee spit but it is also their energy currency and their bank account. Just as “people get funny about their money” so, too, do bees get funny about their honey. They hate bears, bacteria and yeasts that may steal or spoil the honey. For the bears they have stingers, for the micro-organisms they put amazing stuff in the honey. They also seal the hive with an antimicrobial substance called propilis.

Honey is a mixture of concentrated sugars that immediately dehydrate a bacterial cell, rendering it immobile, though without necessarily killing it. Young Dr. Keith Monchik, of the Orthopedic Service at Rhode Island Hospital (RIH), went to Haiti with our team from the Ocean State to treat earthquake victims. They ran out of usual wound-care creams quickly but a senior military nurse reminded the team that sugar packs from their rations always work in a pinch to keep a wound from getting infected through the same mechanism. He reported gratifying results to the RIH medical staff.

The high osmotic value of honey draws fluids out of wounds. This decreases tissue pressure, thus admitting more new blood, with, of course, oxygen, as well as healing elements and protective immune-system cells. As the fluid hits the honey, small amounts of hydrogen peroxide are produced, very toxic to bacteria but not to fibroblasts and healing elements. Honey derived from medicinally active nectars such as tea tree and eucalyptus may have additional value, and the Food and Drug Administration has allowed their importation and marketing.

Topical antibiotic creams and ointments — both over the counter and prescription — are commonly used for skin infections and wound healing. These include neosporin, bacitracin, “triple-antibiotic” ointments and mupirocin. They sterilize the wound but also kill healing elements, leading to delayed wound closure. And they often lead to confusing red hypersensitivity reactions.

Additionally, more and more bacteria are growing resistant to antibiotics, which is a terrific threat to all of us. Some are costly. We should avoid these like the plague. My wife, Jane Dennison, M.D., is a pediatrician and beekeeper. As our house experienced colony collapse with drone migration of our four boys to New York City and Washington, my wife had the time to take the Bee Course offered by Rhode Island Beekeepers Association (RIBA) and start some hives. At the monthly RIBA meetings I spoke with the older beekeepers and was fascinated to learn of honey’s medicinal benefits. Some of the older beekeepers suggested that I try using honey mixed with Aquaphor ointment on my patients with minor wounds and ulcers. Honey at body temperature gets runny and dribbles on clothes, leading to poor treatment adherence. Aquaphor was already my favorite healing ointment. It is well-suited to mixing in equal parts with honey because the lanolin and mineral oil holds both aqueous and oily parts together to treat a wound.

Mixing large batches with the help of my mother in law, Jane Mackenzie, R.N., is sticky business indeed. She helps me pot it into little cosmetic jars for use in the nursing home. We heat the aquaphor to 110 degrees in the microwave but never put raw honey in the microwave because it would ruin its special qualities. And I urge you all: “Do this at home!.” You can’t buy it already made up.

If I were to try to sell this as a medicament, the Food and Drug Administration could have me jailed and impound all my ointment, because adequate studies on the effectiveness and safety of this compound have not been done. However, two imported products, Medihoney and Manuka Honey, have passed FDA approval for wound-healing. They are derived from the eucalyptus and tea tree plant, respectively, whose nectars have supposedly superior qualities. These honeys are irriadiated to inactivate trace amounts of botulinum toxin and bacteria.

I believe that raw honey needs no such help and that such help might even be counter-productive. This treatment and the importation increases the cost of treatment, with small tubes going for $50 to $100. I insist on the real thing when treating serious or stubborn wounds but for everyday use the product from your home lab will work very well on your cuts, burns and skin tears.

If you have diabetes and/or congestive heart failure peripheral arterial-supply problems, no ointment is going to help. The problem is under the skin. You need a doctor for it. I invite colleagues and hospitals to begin randomized controlled trials on using local raw honey head to head against imported honey and the usual wound-care products. My hypothesis is that we can control, at low cost, such superbugs as methacillin-resistant staphyllococus aureus and vancomycin-resistant enterococcous and the emergence of further resistant superbugs by avoiding the usual antibiotics.

Meanwhile, we’d be encouraging the development of new local hives, which are so important to pollination — and thus plant life and the broader eco-system — nationally. You may be interested in using bee stings to treat disease and honey to desensitize yourself to allergies. On July 28 the Apitherapy Association will make a presentation. You can find out information on the schedule and admission at easternapiculture.org.

Allen Dennison, M.D., is an assistant beekeeper and internist practicing in Barrington and East Providence.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Manuka Honey Offers Clinical Potential in Eradicating Streptococci from Wounds

Testing the Susceptibility to Manuka Honey of Streptococci Isolated from Wound Swabs
Journal of ApiProduct & ApiMedical Science, Vol. 3 (3) pp. 117 - 122

Honey is a broad spectrum antimicrobial agent that has been re-introduced into clinical practice to treat wounds.

Wounds support polymicrobial communities of bacteria that either colonise or infect wounds. Strains with resistance to antibiotics are difficult to eradicate and pose a risk of transfer to other patients.

Manuka honey has been shown to inhibit many of the bacteria commonly associated with wounds, such as staphylococci, pseudomonads, coliforms and anaerobes, but its efficacy against streptococci isolated from wounds has not been reported.

Using macro- and micro-dilution in broth and an agar incorporation technique, the susceptibility to manuka honey of 15 cultures of catalase negative, Gram positive cocci that had been isolated from wounds was tested. All cultures were inhibited by 10% (v/v) manuka honey and statistically significant differences between the three test methods were not found.

Manuka honey offers clinical potential in eradicating streptococci from wounds.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Polyphenols from Red Propolis Reduce Atherosclerotic Lesions

Anti-Atherogenic and Anti-Angiogenic Activities of Polyphenols from Propolis
The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, Article in Press

Propolis is a polyphenol-rich resinous substance extensively used to improve health and prevent diseases. The effects of polyphenols from different sources of propolis on atherosclerotic lesions and inflammatory and angiogenic factors were investigated in LDL receptor gene (LDLr−/−) knockout mice.

The animals received a cholesterol-enriched diet to induce the initial atherosclerotic lesions (IALs) or advanced atherosclerotic lesions (AALs). The IAL or AAL animals were divided into three groups, each receiving polyphenols from either the green, red or brown propolis (250 mg/kg per day) by gavage. After 4 weeks of polyphenol treatment, the animals were sacrificed and their blood was collected for lipid profile analysis.

The atheromatous lesions at the aortic root were also analyzed for gene expression of inflammatory and angiogenic factors by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry.

All three polyphenol extracts improved the lipid profile and decreased the atherosclerotic lesion area in IAL animals. However, only polyphenols from the red propolis induced favorable changes in the lipid profiles and reduced the lesion areas in AAL mice. In IAL groups, VCAM, MCP-1, FGF, PDGF, VEGF, PECAM and MMP-9 gene expression was down-regulated, while the metalloproteinase inhibitor TIMP-1 gene was up-regulated by all polyphenol extracts.

In contrast, for advanced lesions, only the polyphenols from red propolis induced the down-regulation of CD36 and the up-regulation of HO-1 and TIMP-1 when compared to polyphenols from the other two types of propolis.

In conclusion, polyphenols from propolis, particularly red propolis, are able to reduce atherosclerotic lesions through mechanisms including the modulation of inflammatory and angiogenic factors.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Propolis Can Help Manage Gastric Damage Caused by Radiation Exposure

Anti-Ulcerogenic Effect of Aqueous Propolis Extract and the Influence of Radiation Exposure
Int J Radiat Biol, 2011 Jul 8

Purpose: to study the effect of aqueous propolis extract (AEP) against indomethacin (Indo)-induced gastric ulcers in irradiated and non-irradiated rats.

Materials and methods: animals were irradiated at different radiation dose levels before the induction of ulcers. AEP was injected orally one hour (h) before induction of gastric ulcers and the effects compared with those of lansoprazole (Lanso), which was used as a reference anti-ulcerogenic drug.

Results: pretreatment of rats, either irradiated or non-irradiated, with AEP effectively protected against Indo-induced gastric ulceration. This was associated with a reduction in acid output and peptic activity and an increase in the secretion of mucin. The mucosal prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) level was also increased. The levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin-1beta (IL-1β) were suppressed to the same extent after treatment. Both propolis and Lanso were effective in reducing the number of gastric lesions as well as the plasma level of malondialdehyde (MDA).

Conclusions: These findings indicate that the gastroprotective effect of AEP could be of value in the management of excessive gastric damage induced by radiation exposure.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Propolis May Help Prevent Tongue Cancer

Effect of Green Propolis on Oral Epithelial Dysplasia in Rats
Braz. j. otorhinolaryngol, vol.77 no.3 São Paulo May/June 2011

Studies have demonstrated that flavonoid compounds of green propolis have antitumoral activity.

AIMS: To evaluate the effect of a hydroalcoholic extract of green propolis (EPV) on chemically induced epithelial dysplasias in rat tongues.

METHODS AND MATERIALS: DMBA was brushed on the lingual dorsum of rats 3x/week on alternate days - 100 (PROP1), 200 (PROP2) and 300 mg/kg (PROP3) EPV was administered orally for 20 weeks. EPV or DMBA were replaced by their vehicles and applied as positive (TUM1 and TUM2) and negative controls (CTR1 and CTR2), respectively. The lingual epithelium was histologically analyzed and graded according a binary system and the WHO classification; the data were compared using ANOVA.

RESULTS: The EPV yield was 41% and the flavonoid yield was 0.95±0.44%. According to the Binary System, TUM1, TUM2 and PROP1 were considered high risk lesions, with significantly higher morphological alteration rates compared to the other groups, which were considered low risk lesions. Based on the WHO classification, moderate dysplasia was TUM1 and TUM2, mild dysplasia was PROP1, PROP2 and PROP3, and non-dysplastic epithelium was CTR1 and CTR2.

CONCLUSION: EPV seems to play an important protective role against chemically-induced lingual carcinogenesis in rats.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Apitherapy Symposium July 28 in Rhode Island

The American Apitherapy Society (AAS) presents a full day of apitherapy presentations, practical workshops, networking, and sharing with old and new friends at the Eastern Apiculture Society (EAS)., Thursday, July 28, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Warwick, Rhode Island.

Propolis Helps Treat Burns

Propolis and Amnion Reepithelialise Second-Degree Burns in Rats
Burns, Article in Press

Burns are serious consequences of trauma in terms of both imminent mortality and prolonged periods of morbidity. They are often accompanied by unsatisfactory cosmetic as well as functional and psychological outcomes. These complications emphasise the need for stronger efforts in achieving greater diversity and effectiveness in the treatment of skin burns.

This study aimed to verify the effectiveness of gross and microscopic epidermal and dermal responses in the process of regenerative repair or healing of burns in rats that were treated either daily with 5% propolis ointment or by autologous amnion graft.

Second-degree burns were inflicted in the neck region of female rats by contact with a hot metal (at 130 °C) for 5 s. Propolis treatment accelerated the process of tissue repair and led to decreased local inflammation, which indicates that treatment with propolis was successful in the initial period (7 days) and stimulated the production of collagen fibre (assessed by morphometry) in all the periods evaluated (14 and 21 days).

Amnion treatment inhibited local inflammation (assessed macroscopically), stimulated local epithelial regeneration (assessed microscopically) and stimulated the production of collagen fibre (assessed by morphometry) in the days following burn.

These treatments offer new therapeutic strategies for treating severe skin burns; these strategies may allow the minimisation of scar formation, a more rapid return of function and, ultimately, a better quality of life for burn patients.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Propolis More Effective than Antibiotic in Treating Infected Root Canals

Comparative Evaluation of Propolis and Triantibiotic Mixture as an Intracanal Medicament against Enterococcus faecalis
Journal of Endodontics, Article in Press

Introduction

The aim of this study was to evaluate and compare the antimicrobial activity of calcium hydroxide, triantibiotic mixture (TAM), and an ethanol extract of propolis as intracanal medicaments on Enterococcus faecalis–infected root canals.

Methods

One hundred twenty extracted intact human permanent incisors were decoronated, and chemomechanical preparation of the root canal was performed. After sterilization of the samples, they were inoculated with pure culture of E. faecalis and incubated. After incubation, colony-forming units were recorded before medication. Then, samples were divided randomly into five groups (n = 24). Each group was then exposed to various intracanal medicaments, namely calcium hydroxide (group 1), TAM (group 2), propolis (group 3), ethanol (group 4), and saline as the control group (group V). The antibacterial effectiveness of the different intracanal medicament was recorded by determining the percentage reduction in colony counts (%RCC) at the end of days 1, 2, and 7. The data were statistically analyzed using one-way analysis of variance and Tukey Honestly Significant Difference (HSD) post hoc test.

Results

The %RCC was highest for propolis showing 100% reduction on day 2 followed by TAM showing 82.5%, 92.2%, and 98.4% of reduction on days 1, 2, and 3, respectively. Calcium hydroxide showed a gradual increase in antibacterial activity with a maximum of 59.4% on day 7.

Conclusions

Propolis was more effective than TAM against E. faecalis at a 2-day time period, and both were equally effective at 7 days.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Royal Jelly May Help Treat Alzheimer’s Disease

Honeybee Royal Jelly and Nobiletin Stimulate CRE-Mediated Transcription in ERK-Independent and -Dependent Fashions, Respectively, in PC12D Cells
J Pharmacol Sci, 2011 Jul 9

To prove the pharmacological actions of honeybee royal jelly (RJ) on the nervous system, we examined the effects of RJ on CRE-mediated transcription.

RJ increased CRE-mediated transcription in PC12D cells. Moreover, CRE-mediated transcriptional activity by RJ was enhanced by nobiletin. U0126, a MEK inhibitor, inhibited CRE-mediated transcription by combining RJ plus nobiletin without affecting transcription by RJ alone.

These results suggest that RJ stimulates CRE-mediated transcription via an ERK-independent cascade, whereas the increasing CRE-mediated transcriptional effect by nobiletin is dependent on ERK phosphorylation.

Combining RJ plus nobiletin may activate effectively neuronal functions via enhancement of CRE-mediated transcription…

Alzheimer’s disease (AD), a progressive neurodegenerative disorder, is characterized by multiple cognitive deficits, including memory loss, with a devastating impact on the whole society. Consequently, a tremendous effort is being devoted to the development of drugs that prevent or delay neurodegeneration in the brains of patients with AD…

Monday, July 18, 2011

Honey Can Reverse Antibiotic Resistance

SGM Media Release, 7/16/2011

Manuka honey could be an efficient way toclear chronically infected wounds and could even help reverse bacterial resistance toantibiotics, according to research presented at the Society for GeneralMicrobiology’s Spring Conference in Harrogate.

Professor Rose Cooper from the University of Wales Institute Cardiff is looking athow manuka honey interacts with three types of bacteria that commonly infest wounds:Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Group A Streptococci and Meticillin-resistant Staphylococcusaureus (MRSA). Her group has found that honey can interfere with the growth of thesebacteria in a variety of ways and suggests that honey is an attractive option for thetreatment of drug-resistant wound infections…

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Propolis Can Control Blood Glucose, Improve Insulin Sensitivity

Effects of Encapsulated Propolis on Blood Glycemic Control, Lipid Metabolism, and Insulin Resistance in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Rats
Evid Based Complement Alternat Med, 2012;2012:981896

The present study investigates the encapsulated propolis on blood glycemic control, lipid metabolism, and insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) rats.

The animal characteristics and biological assays of body weight, fasting blood glucose (FBG), fasting serum insulin (FINS), insulin act index (IAI), triglycerides (TG), total cholesterol (TC), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) were measured and euglycemic hyperinsulinemic glucose clamp technique were used to determine these effects.

Our findings show that oral administration of encapsulated propolis can significantly inhibit the increasing of FBG and TG in T2DM rats and can improve IAI and M value in euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp experiment. There was no significant effects on body weight, TC, HDL-C, and LDL-C in T2DM rats treated with encapsulated propolis.

In conclusion, the results indicate that encapsulated propolis can control blood glucose, modulate lipid metabolism, and improve the insulin sensitivity in T2DM rats.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Study: Bee Pollen Could Ameliorate the Effects of Ageing

Chemical Analysis of Greek Pollen - Antioxidant, Antimicrobial and Proteasome Activation Properties
Chem Cent J, 2011 Jun 23;5(1):33

Background: Pollen is a bee-product known for its medical properties from ancient times. In our days is increasingly used as health food supplement and especially as a tonic primarily with appeal to the elderly to ameliorate the effects of ageing. In order to evaluate the chemical composition and the biological activity of Greek pollen which has never been studied before, one sample with identified botanical origin from sixteen different common plant taxa of Greece has been evaluated.


Results: Three different extracts of the studied sample of Greek pollen, have been tested, in whether could induce proteasome activities in human fibroblasts. The water extract was found to induce a highly proteasome activity, showing interesting antioxidant properties. Due to this activity the aqueous extract was further subjected to chemical analysis and seven flavonoids have been isolated and identified by modern spectral means. From the methanolic extract, sugars, lipid acids, phenolic acids and their esters have been also identified, which mainly participate to the biosynthetic pathway of pollen phenolics. The total phenolics were estimated with the Folin-Ciocalteau reagent and the total antioxidant activity was determined by the DPPH method while the extracts and the isolated compounds were also tested for their antimicrobial activity by the dilution technique.

Conclusions: The Greek pollen is rich in flavonoids and phenolic acids which indicate the observed free radical scavenging activity, the effects of pollen on human fibroblasts and the interesting antimicrobial profile…

Moreover, the interesting antimicrobial profile especially against Gram positive strains together with the other beneficial effects of Greek pollen, which is successfully introduced as a food supplement and can be easily up-taken through normal diet, could ameliorate the effects of ageing and well-being. Especially this latter mechanism, it has to be given careful consideration in the future through further scientific research.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Bee Venom Component Has Anti-Cancer Effect

Identification of Melittin and Its Effect on Anti-Hepatocarcinoma Lines
Latest-Science, 7/5/2011

Bee venom is a natural substance that has been used medicinally as traditional Chinese medicine for more than thousands years. Melittin, a 26-residue peptide, is the major component and activity unit of bee venom, exhibits highly and extensive biological action in antibacterial, anti-arthritis, anti-radiation, analgesia, as well as effect on heart-blood vessel.

In recent years, it is noticeable that melittin studies in anti-tumor and anti-virus of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).

Hepatocellular carcinoma is one of the most common malignancies in our country. It may be the important role of treatment in hepatocellular carcinoma with melittin, a unique and potent cell membrane perforation.

The purpose of paper is to identify of melittin extracted with AKTA protein production explorer system, and study anti-hepatocarcinoma action and mechanisms of melittin. It is great significance that this studies provided scientific data to promote clinical application of melittin in the treatment of malignant disease.

Methods: (1) The melittin extracted from bee venom with AKTA protein production explorer system were evaluated with high performance liquid chromatograph (HPLC) and mass spectrometry. (2) The efficiency of melittin in anti-hepatocarcinoma was determined MTT assay. (3) Morphologic observation, Flow cytometry, DNA electrophoresis, RT-PCR and TUNEL assay were used to study the cell cycle, proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), apoptosis and signal transduction of hepatocarcinoma cells treated by melittin.

Results: (1) Mass spectrometry result of the melittin isolated and purified from bee venom showed that m/z was 2846 dalton. Content of melittin was 97.32%, and relative standard deviation was 0.49%, which was detected with HPLC. (2) MTT assay results demonstrated that melittin can inhibit 4 hepatocarcinoma cells (HepG2, Hep3B, BEL-7402 and SMMC-7721) proliferation in vitro and 50% inhibitive concentration was 36.95 (g/ml, 16.24 (g/ml, 15.33 (g/ml and 102.77 (g/ml respectively. In addition, the growth inhibition was also observed in BEL-7402 cells from 6 hour to 48 hour. (3) Melittin could block cell cycle (S arrest) and down-regulated PCNA expression. (4) Hepatocarcinoma cells presented apoptosis features: chromatin condensation, nucleic fragmentation; Agarose electrophoresis showed marked DNA ladder; Flow cytometry analysis showed Annexin V positive cells and APO2.7 expression.(5) Anther experimental results show that cytosolic phospholipase A2 was activated and up-regulated Fas mRNA expression, after melittin treated BEL-7402 cells.

Conclusions: (1) The melittin extracted with AKTA protein production explorer system from bee venom was approved succeed and reliability. (2) 4 hepatoma cell lines, HepG2, Hep3B, SMMC-7721, and BEL-7402 were treated with melittin and the results demonstrated the suppression of cell growth and proliferation. It suggested that melittin isolated from bee venom possess significant anti-hepatocarcinoma effect. (3) Melittin has shown substantial efficacy in treating hepatocarcinoma in vitro.

These actions of melittin may result in the induction of apoptosis and the inhibition of growth. Data show that melittin induce apoptosis and the inhibition of proliferation, at least in part associated with down-regulated PCNA expression, arrest cycle, and the activation of phospholipase A2, as well as Fas signal transduction.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bee Venom May Help Treat Complication of Lupus

Bee Venom-Associated Th1/Th2 Immunoglobulin Class Switching Results in Immune Tolerance of NZB/W F1 Murine Lupus Nephritis
Am J Nephrol, 2011;34:163-172

Background/Aims: Bee venom (BV) therapy has been used to treat inflammatory diseases including rheumatoid arthritis in humans and in experimental animals. This study was conducted to examine the therapeutic effect of BV on established lupus nephritis in New Zealand Black/White (NZB/W) F1 female mice.

Methods: Beginning at 18 weeks of age, mice were given a subcutaneous injection of either BV (3 mg/kg BW) or an equal volume of saline once a week until the end of the study. To examine the effect of BV on CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ regulatory T cells, splenocytes from NZB/W mice (23 weeks of age) were treated with BV (1 µg/ml) or PBS in the presence of anti-CD3ε (1 µg/ml) and anti-CD28 antibodies (4 µg/ml) for 48 h.

Results: BV administration delayed the development of proteinuria to a significant extent, prevented renal inflammation, reduced tubular damage, and reduced immune deposits in the glomeruli. Interestingly, CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells were significantly increased in vitro and in vivo after BV treatment.

Conclusion: Collectively, the administration of BV that has immune modulating effects represents an applicable treatment of lupus nephritis in NZB/W F1 mice.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Propolis May Help Prevent Cavities

Mexican Researchers: Resin Produced By Bees Can Fight Cavities

Mexico City – Researchers are using propolis, a resinous substance produced by honey bees, to fight cavities and are examining whether the compound can be used to control hypertension, the National Autonomous University of Mexico, or UNAM, said.

Bees use propolis, which is made from plant resins gathered by the insects, to seal hives, UNAM said.

The chemical structure of propolis "varies due to factors such as the time of year, flowering and the region where the insects gather it," the university said.

The project, whose goal is to promote the use of a "wasted resource," is being carried out by UNAM School of Chemistry researcher Jose Fausto Rivero Cruz and veterinarians Angel Lopez Ramirez and Adriana Correa Benitez.

Mexico produces just six tons annually of propolis even though it is the world's sixth-largest honey producer, the researchers said.

Propolis is mainly used in Mexico to deal with coughs, but it is known that the substance has other therapeutic uses and can help in the treatment of viral infections, scars, swelling, allergies and pain.

The researchers tested the effects of propolis on the bacterial organisms that cause cavities - Porphyromonas gingivalis and Streptococcus mutans - and isolated some compounds that help fight the dental problem...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Video: Treating Allergies, Bronchial Diseases with Bee Hive Air

video

The beehive is considered nature's pharmacy: honey, propolis and royal jelly are known products. But now a beekeeper has a new idea: Healing with beehive air. Allergies, bronchial and lung diseases are to be relieved by inhaling air from the hive.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Kate Middleton Boosts Bee Venom Alternative to Botox

A Right Royal Buzz
Stuff
, 7/6/2011

Phones were ringing off the hook yesterday at Nelson Honey after a bee venom product produced by the company was reported to have been used by Kate Middleton.

Nelson Honey managing director Philip Cropp said four extra staff had to take phone orders for his Royal Nectar face cream yesterday, after bee venom was publicised as an alternative to botox.

The back blocks of Motupiko may seem a world away from Westminster Abbey but reports that the Duchess of Cambridge had used the cream prior to her wedding have provided a huge boost to Nelson Honey.

Mr Cropp said he was excited about the future of bee venom and believes it will become a lucrative industry. He was surprised to hear about royalty using his product. "I was very surprised, I didn't think it would go that far up the ladder, even Camilla used it," he said.

Mr Cropp has been extracting bee venom since 1997 on his rural Motupiko property south of Tapawera, using mild electric shocks to irritate the bees.

He discovered the venom had medicinal effects when he mistakenly gave some honey contaminated with venom to his neighbour, who had severe arthritis in his hands.

The neighbour found relief by eating the honey. "He showed that he could pick up a knife and fork," Mr Cropp said…

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Propolis Oil Extract Shows Antimicrobial Activity

Propolis Oil Extract: Quality Analysis and Evaluation of Its Antimicrobial Activity
Nat Prod Res, 2011 Jun 30

Designing propolis products for external use involves determining the optimal form of propolis for the introduction into dermatological pharmaceuticals and cosmetic preparations. As a potent ingredient, propolis oil extract from raw material harvested in Lithuania was analysed.

The rheological characteristics, content of phenolic compounds, major compounds and antimicrobial activity of the propolis oil extract are investigated here for the first time. The propolis oil extract was produced by maceration using different solvents, raw material was collected in Lithuania. Solvent mixture with 96% ethanol increased the rheological stability and extracted amount of phenolic compound. High-performance liquid chromatography identified the potent quality markers for Lithuanian propolis, phenylpropanoid vanillin, coumaric acid and ferulic acid.

Antimicrobial activity of propolis oil extract was evaluated in experimental studies in vitro, and the minimal concentration of phenolic compounds that inhibited respective microorganisms was determined.

The results demonstrate that phenolic compounds have effective antimicrobial activity in propolis oil extract; thus, it can be compatible with the semisolid preparation.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Propolis Component Could Help Prevent Darkening of Skin

Inhibition of Melanogenesis by 5,7-dihydroxyflavone (Chrysin) Via Blocking Adenylyl Cyclase Activity
Biochem Biophys Res Commun, 2011 Jun 23

Due to its multiple biological activities, 5,7-dihydroxyflavone (chrysin) in propolis has gained attention as potentially useful therapeutics for various diseases. However, the efficacy of chrysin for the use of dermatological health has not been fully explored.

To clarify the action mechanism of the skin protecting property of chrysin, we firstly investigated the molecular docking property of chrysin on the mammalian adenylyl cyclase, which is the key enzyme of cAMP-induced melanogenesis. We also examined the involvement of chrysin in alpha-MSH and forskolin-induced cAMP signaling within a cell based assay.

In addition, we inquired into the inhibitory effect of chrysin on melanogenesis and found that the pretreatment with chrysin inhibited the forskolin-induced melanin contents significantly without annihilating the cell viability.

These results strongly suggest that chrysin directly inhibits the activity of adenylyl cyclase, downregulates forskolin-induced cAMP-production pathway, consequently inhibiting melanogenesis. Thus, chrysin may also be used as an effective inhibitor of hyperpigmentation.

Friday, July 08, 2011

New Zealand Bee Venom Face Mask Goes Global

Kate Middleton and a long list of other celebrities are reported to be using Bee Venom Masks made from New Zealand Bee Venom. Hailed as 'natures alternative to Botox', the Abeeco Face Mask is now available globally.

(PRWEB) July 05, 2011 - New Zealand Bee product specialists Abeeco, have announced that their locally available Bee Venom Mask is now available for sale worldwide. Dubbed as the natural alternative to Botox, the Bee Venom contained in the mask is used to fool the skin into thinking it has been lightly stung, which in turn stimulates the production of the naturally occurring chemicals Collagen and Elastin, thereby creating a tightening and smoothing effect.

Having had much local success with their Bee Venom Mask, Abeeco has confirmed its intention to make the product available for sale worldwide.

The combination of natural ingredients contained in the mask, including the very best New Zealand Bee Venom & Manuka Honey, work in synergy to plump, lift, and firm the look of skin. You can feel a tautening effect upon application…

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Bee Venom Therapy Used to Treat Peripheral Neuropathy

Effects of Sweet Bee Venom Pharmacopuncture Treatment for Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy: A Case Series
Integr Cancer Ther, 2011 Jun 28

OBJECTIVE:

This is a case series reporting safety and degree of response to 1 dose level of sweet bee venom pharmacopuncture (SBVP) or melittin as a symptom-control therapy for chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN). Setting. All treatments were conducted at the East West Cancer Center (EWCC), Dunsan Oriental Hospital, Daejeon University, Republic of Korea, an institution that uses complementary therapies for cancer patients.

METHODS:

Five consecutive patients with CIPN were referred to the EWCC from March 20, 2010, to April 10, 2010. Patients with World Health Organization Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy (WHO CIPN) grade 2 or more were treated with SBVP for 3 treatment sessions over a 1-week period. Measures of efficacy and safety. Validated Visual Analog System (VAS) pain scale, WHO CIPN grade, and Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-General (FACT-G) were compared before and after the 1-week course of treatment. To ensure the safety of SBVP, pretreatment skin response tests were given to patients to avoid any potential anaphylactic adverse effects. All patients were closely examined for any allergenic responses following each treatment session.

RESULTS:

One patient discontinued treatment after the first session, and 4 patients completed all treatment sessions. Using each patient as their own comparator, marked improvements of VAS, WHO CIPN grade, and physical section scores of FACT-G were seen in 3 patients. Most important, there were no related adverse side effects found.

CONCLUSION:

This safety results of the SBVP therapy merits further investigations in a larger size trial for it to develop into a potential intervention for managing CIPN symptoms. This study will be extended to a dose-response evaluation to further establish safety and response, prior to a randomized trial.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

New Method for Detecting Counterfeit Propolis

Development and Validation of HPLC Method for Determination of Salicin in Poplar Buds: Application for Screening of Counterfeit Propolis
Food Chemistry, Volume 127, Issue 1, 1 July 2011, Pages 345-350

The main plant origins of propolis are the populus species and their hybrids, both located in China. Poplar tree gum, the extract of populus buds, has been widely used as counterfeit propolis, but no efficient method was known for detecting the counterfeit.

Salicin is a characteristic marker of the genus populus, which may be hydrolysed by β-glucosidase during propolis collection and processing. A simple, sensitive and specific reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) method was developed and validated for the rapid assay of salicin, which was aimed at distinguishing poplar tree gum from propolis. Isocratic elution at a flow rate of 1.0 mL/min was employed on a Sepax HP-C18 column (150 × 4.6 mm, 5 μm) and the column temperature was 30 °C. The mobile phase consisted of acetonitrile and 0.5% aqueous phosphoric acid (5:95, v/v). The UV detection wavelength was 213 nm.

Following this method, salicin was detected in populus buds and leaves and 11 poplar tree gum samples, but not in any of the 40 propolis samples, which indicates that salicin was hydrolysed in propolis collection and processing but was stable in the production process of poplar tree gum.

The proposed method could be an effective technique for routine analysis of salicin and monitoring the quality of propolis as possible counterfeit poplar tree gum. 

Research highlights

• A simple, sensitive and specific reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) method was developed and validated for distinguishing poplar tree gum from propolis.
• Salicin as a marker for HPLC fingerprint was proposed for the first time.
• The proposed method could be an effective technique for routine analysis of salicin and monitoring the quality of propolis as possible counterfeit poplar tree gum.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Honey May Help Prevent Atherosclerosis

REPORT: Effect of Natural Honey on Human Platelets and Blood Coagulation Proteins
Pak J Pharm Sci, 2011 Jul;24(3):389-97

Present study was conducted to determine the effects of honey on blood hemostasis, in-vitro effect of honey was observed on platelet aggregation and blood coagulation employing, activated partial prothrombin time (aPTT), prothrombin time (PT), thrombin time (TT) and fibrinogen levels in blood.

Honey samples showed moderate inhibition of platelet aggregation with IC(50) 5-7.5%. The coagulation assays showed that at higher concentrations (>15%) honey samples increased whole blood clotting time. When assayed in platelet poor plasma (PPP), honey samples significantly (P>0.005) prolonged aPTT, PT, and TT. The honey samples (at 3.75% and 7.5% concentrations) cause mean increment of aPTT = 19±10% and 62±10%; PT 6±5% and 40±5%; TT 35±15% and 112±30% respectively. Moreover, PPP isolated from whole blood pre-incubated with honey samples (9.0% for 10 minutes) showed mean prolongation of aPTT, PT and TT of 45±21%, 26±9% and 105±24% respectively.

Interestingly, incubation of honey at 6.25% and 11.75% concentrations in PPP considerably (P≥0.005) reduced fibrinogen levels i.e. 13±4% and 86±30% respectively.

The present study outlines the inhibitory effect of natural honey on platelet aggregation and blood coagulation. These observations provide first line data for modulatory role(s) of honey on process of hemostasis…

On the basis of present and previous results, it can assumed that honey might interfere at several steps in the formation of atherosclerotic disease this effect finally translates into the prevention of vascular disorders such as cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disorders.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Malaysian Tualang Honey Heals Wounds Faster Than Other Treatments

Evaluations of Bacterial Contaminated Full Thickness Burn Wound Healing in Sprague Dawley Rats Treated with Tualang Honey
Indian J Plast Surg, 2011 Jan;44(1):112-7.

AIM: The effect of Tualang honey on wound healing in bacterial contaminated full-thickness burn wounds was evaluated in 36 male Sprague Dawley rats.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The rats were randomly divided into three groups (n = 12/group). Three full-thickness burn wounds were created on each rat. Each group of rats was inoculated with a different organism in the burn wounds: Group A was inoculated with Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Group B was inoculated with Klebsiella pneumoniae and Group C was inoculated with Acinetobacter baumannii. One wound on each rat was dressed with either Tualang honey, Chitosan gel or Hydrofibre silver. Each wound size was measured on day 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18 and 21 of the study.

RESULTS: The mean wound size of the Tualang honey-treated wounds was not statistically different than that of the Chitosan gel or Hydrofibre silver-treated wounds when the wounds were compared throughout the entire experiment (P > 0.05). However, comparing the mean wound size on day 21 alone revealed that the Tualang honey-treated wounds were smaller in comparison to that of the Chitosan gel and Hydrofibre silver-treated groups.

CONCLUSIONS: This study shows that topical application of Tualang honey on burn wounds contaminated with P. aeruginosa and A. baumannii gave the fastest rate of healing compared with other treatments.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Honey Helps Heal Horses' Wounds, Researchers Find

UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY - A simple application of honey to horses' leg wounds results in smaller wound sizes and faster healing time, University of Sydney researchers have found.

Honey has been used to treat wounds in humans since ancient Egypt, but this study, using manuka honey from New Zealand, is the first time in the world a clinical trial has been conducted in horses.

"Wounds in horses, particularly leg wounds, have long healing periods. But we found applying a manuka honey gel throughout healing led to 27 percent faster healing times," said lead researcher Dr. Andrea Bischofberger.

"Wounds in horses which received no treatment took an average of 64 days to heal, while those treated with manuka honey gel took 47 days to heal," said Dr. Bischofberger, who will present her findings this Friday 1 July at a veterinary science conference.

"In our pilot study we used pure honey, but in our second study we used a water-based manuka honey gel of 66 percent honey. When applied for 12 days we found these wounds healed just as well as those treated with pure honey."

Using a manuka honey gel means expensive bandages can be avoided, Dr Bischofberger explained. "With its faster wound healing times and its bandage-free application, the manuka honey gel solution is an extremely versatile and affordable topical wound product."

In a third study Dr. Bischofberger and colleagues investigated how manuka honey actually worked to speed up wound healing. While it seems to have an anti-bacterial effect and immune-modifying effect on the key initial healing phase, the inflammatory stage, the honey's exact healing mechanism is still unclear…

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Two Cases of Allergic Reaction to Royal Jelly Reported in Japan


Two Cases of Royal Jelly Allergy Provoked the Symptoms at the Time of Their First Intake
Arerugi, 2011 Jun 30;60(6):708-713

Two young women suffered from several symptoms after the intake of royal jelly for the first time.

According to the positive skin prick test reactions of raw royal jelly, royal jelly allergy was diagnosed. As the reasons why the symptoms appeared at the time of their first intake, we guessed the possibility that 1) they had been sensitized for royal jelly formerly, or 2) their symptoms were induced by the cross-reactivity between royal jelly and other allergens such as bee, honey and pollens.

As to our cases, no related allergens were found in one case, but in another case co-existance of mugwort allergy was suspected from the results of both skin prick test and specific IgE titers.

Originally royal jelly allergy has been regarded as class 1 allergic reaction developed by the sensitization of itself. But we speculated the possibility that there can also be cases of class 2 royal jelly allergy by the mechanism of cross-reaction with pollens.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Bee Venom Enzyme May Help Treat Neurodegenerative Disorders Caused by Prion Peptides

Bee Venom Phospholipase A2 Prevents Prion Peptide Induced-Cell Death in Neuronal Cells
Int J Mol Med, 2011 Jun 23

Bee venom phospholipase A2 (bvPLA2) is a prototypic group III enzyme which consists of unique N-terminal and C-terminal domains and a central secretory PLA2 (sPLA2) domain. This sPLA2 domain is highly homologous with human group III sPLA2.

Current evidence suggests that group III sPLA2 may affect some neuronal functions, such as neuritogenesis, neurotransmitter release and neuronal survival. The prion diseases are neurodegenerative disorders characterized by the conversion of the normal cellular prion (PrPC) to the misfolded isoform scrapie prion protein (PrPSc).

PrPSc accumulation in the central nervous system (CNS) leads to neurotoxicity by inhibition of the PI3K/AKT pathway or activation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways. In the present study, we found that bvPLA2 inhibited prion protein (PrP) fragment (106-126)-induced neuronal cell death. PrP(106-126)-mediated increase of p-p38 MAPK and cleaved caspases and decrease of p-AKT were blocked by bvPLA2 treatment.

These results indicate that increasing PLA2, including the group III sPLA2 is key to regulating PrP(106-126)-mediated neurotoxicity.

Taken together, the results of this study suggest that specific modulation of PLA2 appears to prevent neuronal cell death caused by prion peptides.