Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Physicochemical Differences Between Brazilian Melipona and Apis Honey

Honey Physicochemical Properties of Three Species of the Brazilian Melipona
An Acad Bras Cienc, 2012 Jul 24
Physicochemical analyses were carried out to evaluate 27 samples of honeys from three species of the Brazilian genus Melipona (M. capixaba, M. rufiventris and M. mondury) from Espírito Santo and Minas Gerais States. 
The parameters water activity (Aw), percentage of soluble solids (Brix %), pH, acidity (meq/Kg) and moisture (%) were evaluated. The honey characteristics obtained from these samples were very similar to the ones from other Melipona species. However, regarding the honey from Apis (honey bee), only the pH values were similar. The low pH value and the high acidity detected in Melipona honey are potential factors for increasing the honey shelf life because they do not provide favorable conditions for the microbial development. On the other hand, the high level of water activity favors the growth of microorganisms, especially yeast, which demands a more careful handled and storage.
The observed differences between Melipona and Apis honey reinforce the need for specific quality settings for stingless bee honey.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Propolis Protects Cells from Damage by Toxins

Propolis Suppresses CdCl-Induced Cytotoxicity of COS7 Cells through the Prevention of Intracellular Reactive Oxygen Species Accumulation
Biol Pharm Bull, 2012;35(7):1126-31
Propolis is a natural product made by honeybees and contains various compounds, including flavonoids, amino acids and fatty acids. These compounds are considered to have antiviral, antibacterial and antioxidative properties. On the other hand, cadmium (Cd), an industrial and environmental pollutant, preferentially accumulates in the kidney and induces kidney injury.
We previously reported that exposure to CdCl-induced cell death though intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation in kidney tubule epithelial COS7 cells. Here, we investigated whether propolis extracts suppress CdCl-induced cytotoxicity.
Predictably, pretreatment with propolis extracts significantly suppressed CdCl-induced cytotoxicity and intracellular ROS generation. Propolis extracts not only showed superoxide dismutase and antioxidative activities, but also increased the expression of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), an antioxidative enzyme. Moreover, we determined the involvement of hypoxia inducible factor-1α in propolis extract-derived HO-1 induction.
We demonstrate for the first time the utility of propolis for Cd-related COS7 cytotoxicity, and these novel findings are considered to contribute to the control of ROS-derived disorders.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Propolis May Help Treat Mastitis

Bactericidal Activity of Ethanolic Extracts of Propolis Against Staphylococcus aureus Isolated from Mastitic Cows
World J Microbiol Biotechnol, 2012 Feb;28(2):485-91. Epub 2011 Jul 17.
Staphylococcus aureus is an important pathogen for both humans and animals, and it has been an ubiquitous etiological agent of bovine mastitis in dairy farms worldwide.
Elimination of S. aureus with classic antibiotics is difficult, and the current study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of ethanolic extracts of propolis (EEP) against S. aureus cultivated in complex media or milk. EEP (0-0.5 mg ml(-1)) decreased growth of S. aureus in BHI media and 1 mg ml(-1) was bactericidal against washed cell suspensions (10(7) CFU ml(-1)). Propolis extracts also killed S. aureus cells resuspended in milk, but the bactericidal dose was at least 20-fold greater. Cultures that were transferred for at least 60 generations with sub-lethal doses of propolis did not change much their sensibility to EEP. Atomic force microscopy images revealed changes in morphology and cell size of S. aureus cells exposed to EEP (0.5 mg ml(-1)). 
Our results indicate that propolis extracts might be effective against mastitis-causing S. aureus strains in vivo, but milk constituents affect the inhibitory activity of propolis.
Considering that propolis-resistance appears to be a phenotype not easily selected, the use of EEP combined or not with other antimicrobial agents might be useful for mastitis control in vivo.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Propolis May Cause Fixed Drug Eruption Allergic Reaction

Fixed Drug Eruption to Ingested Propolis
Dermatitis, 2012 Jul;23(4):173-5.
Fixed drug eruptions (FDEs) are a unique type of drug allergy in which skin lesions recur in the same location after each ingestion of the offending agent. More than 100 drugs have been implicated in causing FDEs. More recently, herbal medications and food additives have been implicated.
Propolis is an important contact allergen, but has not previously been reported to cause FDE. 
We present the case of a patient with a 1-year history of a recurrent lesion on the shaft of his penis. He tested strongly positive to propolis and had been using a herbal supplement. A trial off this supplement was initiated, and his penile lesion cleared. The patient then rechallenged himself with his powder and developed the same reaction, biopsy-proven to be consistent with FDE.
This case illustrates the utility of systemic (rechallenge) and topical (patch-testing) testing to identify the causative agent. It is interesting to note that our patient developed a reaction at the site of the patch test for propolis itself, rather than at the former reaction site. Our patient also illustrates the necessity of considering new causes for FDE when typical lesions are present.

Friday, July 27, 2012

5th Romanian Apitherapy Congress, 21 to 23 September 2012, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

The 5th Romanian Apitherapy Congress will take place in Cluj-Napoca, Romania from 21 to 23 September.  The theme of the Congress is “Apitherapy in the Clinical practice". The congress is also open to participants from outside Romania and will be held in English and Romanian.
For more information: http://www.apiterapie.ro/ or write an email to Dr Stefan Stangaciu: drstangaciu@gmail.com
The deadline for the submission of abstracts is 21 August 2012.
Event date: Friday, September 21, 2012 to Sunday, September 23, 2012
Country: Romania
Contact email: drstangaciu@gmail.com
Contact name: Dr Stefan Stangaciu

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Honey May Help Treat Shingles

In vitro Antiviral Activity of Honey Against varicella zoster virus (VZV): A Translational Medicine Study for Potential Remedy for Shingles
Transl Biomed, 2012;3(2)
The aim of this study was to determine the in vitro anti-viral effect of honey on varicella zoster virus.
Manuka and clover honeys were used at concentrations ranging from 0-6% wt/vol. A clinical VZV isolate was obtained from a zoster vesicle and used at low passage. Various concentrations of manuka and clover honey were added to the tissue culture medium of VZV-infected human malignant melanoma (MeWo) cells.
Both types of honey showed antiviral activity against varicella zoster virus with an approximate EC50 = 4.5 % (wt/vol).
Our results showed that honey has significant in vitro anti-VZV activity. As, honey is convenient for skin application, is readily available and inexpensive, honey may be an excellent remedy to treat zoster rash in developing countries where antiviral drugs are expensive or not easily available.