Raw Drone Milk of Honeybees Elicits Uterotrophic Effect in Rats: Evidence for Estrogenic Activity
J Med Food, 2013 Apr 30
Numerous honeybee products are used in medicine, but the literature furnishes no information concerning the effects of the drone milk (DM), although drone brood, which is similar to DM, was reported to elicit a hormone-like strengthening effect. In certain countries, DM is traditionally used to treat infertility and to promote vitality in both men and women.
The aim of this study was to determine the putative estrogen hormone-like effect of raw DM in rats and to identify the effective compounds. Uterotrophic assays revealed that DM increased the relative weight of the immature rat uterus. This effect was confirmed by reverse transcription polymerase chain-reaction and Western blot methods, in which the mRNA and protein expression of the estrogen-dependent peptide complement component C3 was determined. Column chromatography and uterotrophic assays were used to fractionate and check bioactivity, respectively.
The active compound after the last fractionation was identified by the nuclear magnetic resonance and mass spectrometry techniques as E-dec-2-enedioic acid, which is very similar to the fatty acids with estrogenic activity that were previously isolated from royal jelly.
These results lead us to suppose that E-dec-2-enedioic acid is responsible for the estrogen-like effect of DM. This appears to be the first report on the pharmacological effects of DM and E-dec-2-enedioic acid in mammals.