Monday, April 30, 2012

Bee Venom Component May Help Prevent Hardening of the Arteries

Apamin Inhibits THP-1-Derived Macrophage Apoptosis Via Mitochondria-Related Apoptotic Pathway 
Exp Mol Pathol, 2012 Apr 17
The development of atherosclerotic lesions is mainly due to macrophage death. The oxidative stresses of monocytes/macrophages play a vital role in the initiation and amplification of atherosclerosis.
Apamin, a component of bee venom, exerts an anti-inflammatory effect, and selectively inhibits the Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels. The mechanisms involved in the inhibition of macrophage apoptosis have been fully elucidated.
We induced oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL) in THP-1-derived macrophage and studied the effect of apamin on intercellular lipid levels, mitochondria-related apoptotic pathway and numbers of apoptotic cells. Oil-red O staining indicates that the inhibition of apamin in the condition significantly prevents intracellular lipid deposition.
Treatment with apamin significantly decreased the apoptotic macrophages by decreasing the expression of pro-apoptotic genes Bax, caspase-3 and PARP protein levels, as well as through increasing expression of anti-apoptotic genes Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL protein levels in the absence and presence of oxLDL. In vivo, with apamin treatment reduced apoptotic cells death by TUNEL staining.
These results indicate that apamin plays an important role in monocyte/macrophage apoptotic processing, which may provide a potential drug for preventing atherosclerosis.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Propolis Boosts Wound Healing


Propolis Standardized Extract (EPP-AF®), an Innovative Chemically and Biologically Reproducible Pharmaceutical Compound for Treating Wounds
Int J Biol Sci 2012; 8(4):512-521
The aim of this study was to develop a formulation, containing the propolis standardized extract (EPP-AF®), which can assist in the healing of skin lesions.
To achieve this objective the antimicrobial activity and chemical composition of the propolis extract was determined. The final product was subjected to in vitro and in vivo pre-clinical evaluation. The broth macrodilution method was used to determine the antimicrobial activity of the extracts and formulations against the microorganisms most commonly found in burns, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis.
Wistar rats with puncture wounded skin were used to evaluate the wound healing properties of propolis. The results of chemical and biological characterization demonstrated the batch-to-batch reproducibility of the standardized extract which is an unprecedented result.
The antimicrobial and wound healing activity of the pharmaceutical studied showed the best results when samples contain 3.6% propolis, suggesting that this is the most promising composition.

Malaysian Gelam Honey Dressing Accelerates Wound Healing


The Efficacy of Gelam Honey Dressing Towards Excisional Wound Healing
Honey is one of the oldest substances used in wound management. Efficacy of Gelam honey in wound healing was evaluated in this paper. [Gelam honey is a local monofloral honey produced by Apis mellifera bees from the flora source of Gelam (Melaleuca spp.) tree.] 
Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into four groups of 24 rats each (untreated group, saline group, Intrasite Gel group, and Gelam honey group) with 2 cm by 2 cm full thickness, excisional wound created on neck area. Wounds were dressed topically according to groups. Rats were sacrificed on days 1, 5, 10, and 15 of treatments. Wounds were then processed for macroscopic and histological observations.
Gelam-honey-dressed wounds healed earlier (day 13) than untreated and saline treated groups, as did wounds treated with Intrasite Gel. Honey-treated wounds exhibited less scab and only thin scar formations. Histological features demonstrated positive effects of Gelam honey on the wounds.
This paper showed that Gelam honey dressing on excisional wound accelerated the process of wound healing.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Korean Bee Venom Collector

Chung Jin Biotech – New Opportunities for Bee-Farmers
Korea IT Times, 4/26/2012

The exact date when people began to use bee venom is unknown, but it has been passed down as folk remedies for thousands of years. As far back as 400 B.C., Hippocrates – the Great physician, used bee venom to treat joint pain and swelling. Bee venom is now used in the treatment of many diseases. It is known to have many effects including accelerating blood circulation, hormone secretion from the pituitary gland, pain relief, reduces fever, and anti-bacterial. In 2005, together with Rural Development Administration, Chung Jin Biotech succeeded in developing the Bee Venom Collector which extracts bee venom through the administration of an electrical shock to a live bee. Since this collector has no substantial impact on basic bee-farming (collecting honey or pollen), or on the condition of the bees themselves, the death rate of bees are significantly lower than that of other devices...

Friday, April 27, 2012

Apitherapy Symposium and Workshop April 28-29 in Maine

Learn About Medicinal Benefits of Honey Bees
Seacoast, 4/25/2012

YORK HARBOR — The American Apitherapy Society and the York County Beekeepers Association will present a community apitherapy symposium and workshop, "Honey Bees for Health," on April 28-29 at the York Harbor Inn.

Three experienced Apitherapists — Allen Dennison, MD of Rhode Island, Theo Cherbuliez, MD of Maine, and Frederique Keller, L.ac, DOM of New York, will speak. This ancient form of medicine with products of the beehive (honey, pollen, propolis, bee venom, and royal jelly) is used for health and healing throughout the world. The use of these products to maintain health is currently becoming well recognized in mainstream as well as in scientific publications. Conditions such as arthritis, MS, pain, scars and wounds are known to respond well to Apitherapy and will be addressed at this symposium. The cost for this event is from $85 to $125…

Examples of material to be covered are: adverse reactions, informed consent and legal issues, treatment of scars, veterinary Apitherapy, and Apitherapy for pain, arthritis, and accidents. The AAS is a nonprofit membership organization that educates about Apitherapy…

For information, visit www.apitherapy.org or http://mainebeekeepers.org.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Honey may Help Prevent Post-Operative Eye Infections


Honey Prophylaxis Reduces the Risk of Endophthalmitis During Perioperative Period of Eye Surgery
Phytother Res, 2012 Apr;26(4):613-6

Endophthalmitis following eye surgery remains a rare but serious complication. Topical fluoroquinolones have been used as prophylactic agents against endophthalmitis. However, the emerging resistance of ocular pathogens to fluoroquinolones may preclude their routine use.

Honey, a natural antimicrobial product with wound healing properties, is a promising candidate for the prophylaxis of endophthalmitis. The goal of this study was to determine whether 25% (w/v) honey solution is effective in eradicating bacterial ocular pathogens in the perioperative period in patients scheduled for cataract surgery or vitrectomy, and to compare its efficacy to 0.3% ofloxacin.

In this pilot study, 101 patients were randomized to honey (n = 49) or ofloxacin (n = 52) treatment. In both groups, eye drops were administered five times a day for 7 days before and 5 days after surgery. Before administration of the antibacterial agents, 18 and 25 isolates were detected in the ofloxacin and honey group, respectively.

After 7 days of administration, four isolates (coagulase-negative Staphylococcus) were detected in each therapeutic group. No significant difference in antibacterial effect was found between groups. These results indicate that honey may act as a prophylactic agent of endophthalmitis; however, further studies are needed to characterize its ocular penetration properties.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Jordanian Cancer Patients Use Honey as Complementary medicine


Complementary Alternative Medicine Use Among a Sample of Muslim Jordanian Oncology Patients
Complement Ther Clin Pract, 2012 May;18(2):121-6 

PURPOSE:

The purpose of this study was to assess the frequency of use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) therapies among a sample of Muslim Jordanian patients diagnosed with cancer. 

METHOD:

Interviews using a modified structured questionnaire from Lengacher et al. survey with a convenient sample of 123 patients diagnosed with cancer. 

RESULT:

Of 123 participants, 54.5% were men, with a mean age of 44.5 years (26.8%) had some college education and 82.9% were living in urban areas. The mean number of the therapies used was 6.6 (SD = 4.3, R = 0-17). There was a significant positive moderate correlation between the time since diagnosis and the number of CAM therapies used. There was a positive correlation between chemotherapy as a treatment modality and the number of CAM therapies used.

The highest usage of dietary and nutritional supplements occurred with honey, olive oil, black seeds, and dates. The highest stress reducing CAM techniques included reading the Holy Qur'ãn, praying, and Ruqya. Other CAM treatments involved ZamZam water, cinnamon, black seeds oil, and the use of a plant called Zaamtoot (primrose). 

CONCLUSION:

Even though a range of CAM therapies are used by Jordanian oncology patients it is suggested that both patients and medical staff be educated about the possible benefits or harmful effects of using these treatments.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

New Method to Reduce Propolis Allergens While Maintaining Antimicrobial Activity


A Biotransformation Strategy to Reduce Allergens in Propolis
Appl. Environ. Microbiol, Published ahead of print 20 April 2012.

Propolis (bee glue) is a resinous, sticky, dark-coloured material produced by honeybees. Propolis today, due to its medicinal properties, is increasingly popular and extensively used in food, beverages and cosmetic products.

Besides the numerous positive properties, propolis may also have adverse effects such as, principally, allergic eczematous contact dermatitis in apiarists and in consumers with an allergic predisposition.

In this study, we found appropriate conditions for removing from raw propolis the caffeate esters, which are the main allergenic components. The proposed method consists of the resuspension of propolis in a food-grade solvent followed by a biotransformation based on the cinnamoyl esterase activity of Lactobacillus helveticus.

We showed that the reduction of caffeate esters operated by L. helveticus did not affect the content of flavonoids, which are the main bioactive molecules of propolis. Furthermore, we verified that the biotransformation of propolis did not cause a loss of antimicrobial activity. We finally demonstrated that the ability of L. helveticus to hydrolyze caffeate esters in propolis is strain specific.

In conclusion, the proposed strategy is simple, food-grade and effective to selectively remove allergenic molecules without affecting the bioactive fraction of propolis. This is the first study demonstrating that the allergenic caffeate esters of propolis can be eliminated by means of a bacterial biotransformation procedure.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Honey’s Antibacterial Activity Result of Both Bactericidal Components, Disruption of Bacterial Quorum Sensing


Honey's Ability to Counter Bacterial Infections Arises from Both Bactericidal Compounds and QS Inhibition
Front Microbiol, 2012;3:144. Epub 2012 Apr 11

The ability of honey to kill bacterial pathogens in vitro and quickly clear even chronic or drug-resistant infections has been demonstrated by several studies. Most current research is focused on identifying the bactericidal compounds in honey, but the action of the compounds discovered is not sufficient to explain honey's activity.

By diluting honey to sub-inhibitory levels, we were able to study its impact on bacterial coordinated behavior, and discovered that honey inhibits bacterial quorum sensing (QS). Experiments to characterize and quantify honey's effect on the QS networks of Pseudomonas aeruginosa revealed that low concentrations of honey inhibited the expression of MvfR, las, and rhl regulons, including the associated virulence factors.

This research also establishes that inhibition of QS is associated with honey's sugar content. Therefore, honey combats infections by two independent mechanisms acting in tandem: bactericidal components, which actively kill cells, and disruption of QS, which weakens bacterial coordination and virulence.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Video: Bee Venom Therapy Used to Treat Back Pain

video
A patient with arthritis and back pain explains how bee-sting treatments and acupuncture relieve her symptoms. Michael McCulloch, L.A.C., talks about why bee venom is helpful in treating arthritis.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Bee-Collected Corn Pollen Shows Higher Free Radical Scavenging Activity Than Floral Corn Pollen

Chemical Constituents and Free Radical Scavenging Activity of Corn Pollen Collected from Apis mellifera Hives Compared to Floral Corn Pollen at Nan, Thailand
BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Published: 18 April 2012

Background

Bee pollen is composed of floral pollen mixed with nectar and bee secretion that is collected by foraging honey (Apis sp.) and stingless bees. It is rich in nutrients, such as sugars, proteins, lipids, vitamins and flavonoids, and has been ascribed antiproliferative, anti-allergenic, anti-angiogenic and free radical scavenging activities. This research aimed at a preliminary investigation of the chemical constituents and free radical scavenging activity in A. mellifera bee pollen.

Methods

Bee pollen was directly collected from A. mellifera colonies in Nan province, Thailand, in June, 2010, whilst floral corn (Zea mays L.) pollen was collected from the nearby corn fields. The pollen was then sequentially extracted with methanol, dichloromethane (DCM) and hexane, and each crude extract was tested for free radical scavenging activity using the DPPH assay, evaluating the percentage scavenging activity and the effective concentration at 50% (EC50). The most active crude fraction from the bee pollen was then further enriched for bioactive components by silica gel 60 quick and adsorption or Sephadex LH-20 size exclusion chromatography. The purity of all fractions in each step was observed by thin layer chromatography and the bioactivity assessed by the DPPH assay. The chemical structures of the most active fractions were analyzed by nuclear magnetic resonance.

Results

The crude DCM extract of both the bee corn pollen and floral corn pollen provided the highest active free radical scavenging activity of the three solvent extracts, but it was significantly (over 28-fold) higher in the bee corn pollen (EC50 = 7.42 +/- 0.12 mug/ml), than the floral corn pollen (EC50 = 212 +/- 13.6% mug/ml). After fractionation to homogeneity, the phenolic hydroquinone and the flavone 7-O-R-apigenin were found as the minor and major bioactive compounds, respectively. Bee corn pollen contained a reasonably diverse array of nutritional components, including biotin (56.7 mug/100 g), invert sugar (19.9 g/100 g), vitamin A and beta carotene (1.53 mg/100 g).

Conclusions

Bee pollen derived from corn (Z. mays), a non-toxic or edible plant, provided a better free radical scavenging activity than floral corn pollen.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Malaysian Tualang Honey Protects Against UVB Damage

Tualang Honey Protects Keratinocytes from Ultraviolet Radiation-Induced Inflammation and DNA Damage
Photochemistry and Photobiology, Early View

Malaysian tualang honey possesses strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Here, we evaluated the effect of tualang honey on early biomarkers of photocarcinogenesis employing PAM212 mouse keratinocyte cell line. Keratinocytes were treated with tualang honey (1.0%, v/v) before a single UVB (150 mJ cm−2) irradiation. We found that the treatment of tualang honey inhibited UVB-induced DNA damage, and enhanced repair of UVB-mediated formation of cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers and 8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2′-deoxyguanosine. Treatment of tualang honey inhibited UVB-induced nuclear translocation of NF-κB and degradation of IκBα in murine keratinocyte cell line.

The treatment of tualang honey also inhibited UVB-induced inflammatory cytokines and inducible nitric oxide synthase protein expression. Furthermore, the treatment of tualang honey inhibited UVB-induced COX-2 expression and PGE2 production.

Taken together, we provide evidence that the treatment of tualang honey to keratinocytes affords substantial protection from the adverse effects of UVB radiation via modulation in early biomarkers of photocarcinogenesis and provide suggestion for its photochemopreventive potential.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Honey an Effective Treatment Option for Professional Wound Care

Multicentre Prospective Observational Study on Professional Wound Care Using Honey (Medihoney™).
Int Wound J, 2012 Apr 11

In recent years, the treatment of wounds with honey has received an increasing amount of attention from healthcare professionals in Germany and Austria.

We conducted a prospective observational multicentre study using Medihoney™ dressings in 10 hospitals - nine in Germany and one in Austria.

Wound-associated parameters were monitored systematically at least three times in all patients. Data derived from the treatment of 121 wounds of various aetiologies over a period of 2 years were analysed. Almost half of the patients were younger than 18 years old, and 32% of the study population was oncology patients.

Overall, wound size decreased significantly during the study period and many wounds healed after relatively short time periods. Similarly, perceived pain levels decreased significantly, and the wounds showed noticeably less slough/necrosis.

In general, our findings show honey to be an effective and feasible treatment option for professional wound care. In addition, our study showed a relationship between pain and slough/necrosis at the time of recruitment and during wound healing.

Future comparative trials are still needed to evaluate the extent to which the positive observations made in this and other studies can definitely be attributed to the effects of honey in wound care.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sicilian Black Bee Honey Shows Broad Antimicrobial Activity

Nutraceutical Potential of Monofloral Honeys Produced by the Sicilian Black Honeybees (Apis mellifera ssp. sicula)
Food Chem Toxicol, 2012 Apr 1

In the light of the growing interest in food and food products obtained through organic and environmentally friendly techniques, the present work represents the first approach to the evaluation of the biological profile of some Sicilian honeys produced in purity by the local black honeybees.

Samples exhibited up to 10times more total phenolics and higher antioxidant capacity than what already reported for the same variety of honeys produced by other honeybee subspecies from Sicily, other Italian regions and abroad.

Noteworthy, the gallic acid contents in medlar and almond honeys represented the highest level of single phenolic acid reported in honey so far. A broad antimicrobial spectrum was showed by all of the honey samples and a good correlation between their inhibition capacity and polyphenolic contents was measured.

Experimental results highlighted samples among the honeys characterised by the highest nutraceutical added value and most excellent quality.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Honey May Help Management of Chronic Diseases Associated with Oxidative Stress

Honey: A Novel Antioxidant
Molecules, 2012, 17(4), 4400-4423

The global prevalence of chronic diseases such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension, atherosclerosis, cancer and Alzheimer's disease is on the rise. These diseases, which constitute the major causes of death globally, are associated with oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress is defined as an “imbalance between oxidants and antioxidants in favor of the oxidants, potentially leading to damage”. Individuals with chronic diseases are more susceptible to oxidative stress and damage because they have elevated levels of oxidants and/or reduced antioxidants. This, therefore, necessitates supplementation with antioxidants so as to delay, prevent or remove oxidative damage.

Honey is a natural substance with many medicinal effects such as antibacterial, hepatoprotective, hypoglycemic, reproductive, antihypertensive and antioxidant effects.

This review presents findings that indicate honey may ameliorate oxidative stress in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT), liver, pancreas, kidney, reproductive organs and plasma/serum. Besides, the review highlights data that demonstrate the synergistic antioxidant effect of honey and antidiabetic drugs in the pancreas, kidney and serum of diabetic rats.

These data suggest that honey, administered alone or in combination with conventional therapy, might be a novel antioxidant in the management of chronic diseases commonly associated with oxidative stress. In view of the fact that the majority of these data emanate from animal studies, there is an urgent need to investigate this antioxidant effect of honey in human subjects with chronic or degenerative diseases.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Manuka Honey Can Help Treat Chronic Rhinosinusitis, MRSA

Chronic Rhinosinusitis, MRSA, Biofilms and Manuka Honey
Vincent Giuliano, Aging Sciences, 4/11/2012

…Manuka honey can dissolve biofilms created by S. aureus and pseudomonas aeruginosa and kill those microbes, including MRSA. It might be the basis for a topical irrigation treatment for chronic rhinosinusitis.

My first reaction when I heard about honey treatment for chronic rhinosinusitis was “This sounds like another new-age treatment and shady marketing pitch.” But I found an impressive amount of research which backs up the above statements. I will lay that research out here. The studies are all by otolaryngology physicians and researchers situated in Western hospital and university research institutions, many in Canada and Australia.

The antimicrobial properties of manuka honey are attributed to the nature of the nectar obtained by the bees from manuka flowers which grows on manuka bushes, a scrub species that grows only in New Zeeland. The Maori natives of New Zeeland used parts of the plant as natural medicine(ref). It is also known as the Tea Tree….

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Asian Apicultural Association Conference in Malaysia to Discuss Apitherapy

11th Asian Apicultural Association (AAA) International Conference to Be Held in Terengganu

Organising Committee of 11th Asian Apicultural Association (AAA) takes a great pleasure in extending invitation to all those interested in the

11th Asian Apicultural Association (AAA) Conference to be held at the Primula Hotel, Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu from 28th September 2012 until 2nd October 2012.

Asian Apicultural Association (AAA) assists communication and the exchange of information between bee scientists and beekeepers in Asia. The Asian Apicultural Association chooses Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, Malaysia to be the next venue of the 11th Asian Association Apicultural Conference in Sept-Oct 2012.Appropriately, the eventing of the NBSE 2011 by the organizing committee is in preparation to the eventual hosting of the 11th AAA Conference in 2012.

11th Asian Apicultural Association (AAA) Conference

There is a need to coordinate the myriads of efforts on bee research, extension and diversity of beekeeping promotions and to make those efforts relevant to the business community and the people at large.

Special Topics of Interests

The conference committee has identified the following areas as special areas of focus for the scientific presentation and discussion.

1. Bee Biology, Behaviour, Diseases and Pests
2. Bee Pollination and Bee Plants
3. Bee By-products (honey, pollen, propolis, royal jelly, etc.)
4. Beekeeping/Honeyhunting Equipment and Technologies
5. Apitherapy & Pharmaceuticals
6. Environment and Conservation
7. Others

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Propolis May Help Treat High Blood Pressure

Role of Propolis on Tyrosine Hydroxylase Activity and Blood Pressure in Nitric Oxide Synthase-Inhibited Hypertensive Rats
Clinical and Experimental Hypertension, Posted online on April 3, 2012

Reduction in the synthesis or bioavailability of nitric oxide plays a significant role in the development of hypertension. Propolis is a resinous product collected by honeybees from various plant sources. Tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) is the rate-limiting enzyme in the biosynthesis of catecholamines.

The aim of this study was to examine the effect of propolis on blood pressure (BP), TH, and total RNA levels in the adrenal medulla, heart, and hypothalamus tissues in chronic nitric oxide synthase (NOS)-inhibited rats by Nw-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME).

Rats received NOS inhibitor (L-NAME) for 15 days to produce hypertension and propolis for the last 5 days.

TH activity and total RNA levels significantly increased in adrenal medulla, heart, and hypothalamus tissues in L-NAME-treated groups. TH activity and total RNA levels of L-NAME+propolis-treated rats reduced compared with L-NAME-treated groups. TH activity in propolis-treated rats was reduced to the control values. L-NAME led to a significant increase in BP compared with the control group. Propolis administration to L-NAME-treated rats reduced BP but this was not statistically significant compared to L-NAME-treated groups.

These results suggest that propolis decreases TH activity in NOS-inhibited hypertensive rats and thereby may modulate the synthesis of catecholamine and BP.

Friday, April 13, 2012

International Apitherapy Conference to Be Held in China Oct. 22-25

Bee Products Safety and Human Health
Apimondia Apimedica-Apiquality International Forum(2012)
Date: Oct.22-25, 2012
Place: Mingdu Hotel, Zhenjiang, China

Apimondia Apimedica-Apiquality International Forum (2012) are going to be held in Zhenjiang, a beautiful ancient city of China, between 22 to 25 Oct.,2012. Friends and experts from the apicultural industry across the world are warmly welcomed to participate the Forum, share the achievements, exchange the views and face the challenges together. We expect to meet you in Zhenjiang, China, where you can visit Jiangsu University with over 100 years’ history, walk on the ancient street of over 1000 years, investigate the prosperous apicultral industry and witness the magic of apitherapy. China is the largest beekeeping country in the world with over 8.2 million beehives. With its development and achievement, we still need to learn from you, our friends in the same industry over the world. You are warmly welcomed to China. The Apicultural Science Association of China (ASAC) is the unique academic social organization for apiculture in China. It has over 1380 individual members and more than 400 organizational members. It focuses on the development of China’s beekeeping industry, such as manufacturing, processing, R&D, sales, teaching and management of bee products.

ASAC is the representative of the member states in APIMONDIA and AAA. In 1993 and 2008, we successfully hosted the 33rd APIMONDIA Congress and the 9th AAA conference. So I’m confident that this Forum will be another splendid and characteristic event. Every participant will benefit from series of professional activities, academic exchanges, product exhibition and industry communications.

Dear friends, you are warmly welcomed!

Looking forward to meeting you in Zhenjiang, China!

Prof. Zhang Fuxing
President of Apicultural Science Association of China (ASAC)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Honey Boosts Healing of Chemotherapy-Induced Oral Mucositis

Honey and a Mixture of Honey, Beeswax, and Olive Oil-Propolis Extract in treatment of Chemotherapy-Induced Oral Mucositis: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Study
Pediatr Hematol Oncol, 2012 Apr;29(3):285-92

In spite of being one of the most investigated subjects among supportive care in cancer, no therapy has been found effective in treatment of chemotherapy-induced oral mucositis.

Based on the observations that honey bees products have anti-inflammatory and wound healing effects, the present study tried to evaluate the effect of topical application of honey and a mixture of honey, olive oil-propolis extract, and beeswax (HOPE) in treatment of oral mucositis.

This was a randomized controlled clinical trial conducted on 90 patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and oral mucositis grades 2 and 3. The mean age of enrolled patients was 6.9 years. The patients were assigned into 3 equal treatment groups: Honey, HOPE, and control groups.

Topical treatment for each patient consists of honey, HOPE, and benzocaine gel for honey, HOPE, and control groups, respectively.

Recovery time in grade 2 mucositis was significantly reduced in the honey group as compared with either HOPE or controls. In grade 3 mucositis, recovery time did not differ significantly between honey and HOPE (P = 0.61) but compared with controls, healing was faster with either honey or HOPE.

Generally, in both grades of mucositis, honey produced faster healing than either HOPE or controls.

Based on our results that showed that honey produced faster healing in patients with grade 2/3 chemotherapy-induced mucositis, we recommend using honey and possibly other bee products and olive oil in future therapeutic trials targeting chemotherapy-induced mucositis.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Propolis Products Used to Treat Neurofibromatosis

Effective Neurofibromatosis Therapeutics Blocking the Oncogenic Kinase PAK1
Drug Discov Ther, 2011 Dec;5(6):266-78

Neurofibromatosis (NF) is a family of genetic diseases which are caused by dysfunction of either NF1 gene or NF2 gene. One in 3,000 people suffer from this tumor-carrying NF. NF1 gene product is a RAS GTPase activating protein (GAP) of 2,818 amino acids, which normally attenuates the GTP-dependent signal transducing activity of the G protein RAS.

Dysfunction of this GAP leads to the abnormal activation of RAS, and eventually an oncogenic kinase called PAK1 as well. NF2 gene product is ''Merlin'' which directly inactivates PAK1. Thus, dysfunction of Merlin causes the abnormal activation of PAK1. In other words, dysfunction of NF1 gene (causing type 1 NF) is basically the same as dysfunction of NF2 gene (causing type 2 NF). In fact the growth of both NF1 and NF2 tumors requires PAK1, and all PAK1 blockers, synthetic chemicals or natural products, suppress the growth of these NF tumor cells both in vitro (cell culture) and in vivo (mice).

However, until recently, no FDA-approved effective NF therapeutics is available on the market. Here a series of anti-PAK1 products shall be introduced, which would be potentially useful for the life-long treatment of NF patients in the future. These include the most potent HDAC (histone deacetylase) inhibitor FK228 (IC50: around 1 nM), that eventually blocks PAK1, the direct PAK1 inhibitor PF3758309 (IC50: around 10 nM), a CAPE (caffeic acid phenethyl ester)-based propolis extract called ''Bio 30'' from NZ (New Zealand), and an ARC (artepillin C)-based green propolis extract (GPE) from Brazil.

Although the first two drugs are potent, none of them is available on the market as yet. The last two natural (bee-made) products are available on the market, and have been used for the therapy of NF and tuberous sclerosis (TSC) as well as many PAK1-dependent solid cancers such as breast and pancreatic cancers as well as glioma, which altogether represent more than 70% of all human cancers.

Since PAK1 is not essential for the normal cell growth, propolis extracts cause no side effects.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Royal Jelly May Protect Against Skin Aging

Royal Jelly Increases Collagen Production in Rat Skin After Ovariectomy
J Med Food, 2012 Apr 2

Royal jelly (RJ) is a honeybee product that contains proteins, carbohydrates, fats, free amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. RJ has been reported to have antitumor, antibacterial, and wound-healing activities.

We previously reported that RJ enhanced the migration of human dermal fibroblasts and altered the levels of cholesterol and sphinganine in an in vitro wound-healing model in addition to regulating skin photoaging following exposure to ultraviolet-B radiation.

We established an animal model of skin aging in the context of estrogen deficiency and assessed the antiaging effects of RJ on skin.

To establish an in vivo model of skin aging, bilateral ovariectomies were performed in 12-week-old virgin female Sprague-Dawley rats. Induction of osteoporosis was confirmed through two-dimensional images of the trabecular bone in the left femoral necks using microcomputed tomography. The protective effects of RJ ovariectomy-induced skin aging were examined by determining the protein expression of type I procollagen and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1. The collagen content and epidermal thickness of skin tissue were measured by staining techniques. There was a significant difference in weight between sham-operated and ovariectomized groups. Food efficiency ratio did not differ significantly among the groups.

The level of procollagen type I protein was increased in the dorsal skin of ovariectomized rats fed with a dietary supplement containing 1% RJ extract, but the level of MMP-1 was not altered. In particular, the amount of collagen recovered was close to the normal level.

RJ may protect against skin aging by enhancing collagen production in rats with ovariectomy-induced estrogen deficiency.