Friday, May 31, 2013

First Report of Prenylated Flavonoids in Brazilian Propolis and Schaftoside in Green Propolis

Comparative Chemistry of Propolis from Eight Brazilian Localities

Propolis is a complex honeybee product with resinous aspect, containing plant exudates and beeswax. Their color, texture, and chemical composition vary, depending on the location of the hives and local flora. The most studied Brazilian propolis is the green (alecrim-do-campo) type, which contains mainly prenylated phenylpropanoids and caffeoylquinic acids. Other types of propolis are produced in Brazil, some with red color, others brown, grey, or black. 
The aim of the present work was to determine the chemical profiles of alcohol and chloroform extracts of eight samples of propolis, corresponding to six Brazilian regions. Methanol and chloroform extracts were obtained and analyzed by HPLC/DAD/ESI/MS and GC/MS. Two chemical profiles were recognized among the samples analyzed: (1) black Brazilian propolis, characterized chiefly by flavanones and glycosyl flavones, stemming from Picos (Piauí state) and Pirenópolis (Goiás state); (2) green Brazilian propolis, characterized by prenylated phenylpropanoids and caffeoylquinic acids, stemming from Cabo Verde (Bahia state), Lavras and Mira Bela (Minas Gerais state), Pariquera-Açu and Bauru (São Paulo state), and Ponta Grossa (Paraná state). 
The present work represents the first report of prenylated flavonoids in Brazilian propolis and schaftoside (apigenin-8-C-glucosyl-6-C-arabinose) in green propolis.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Honey-Alginate Matrix Boosts Wound Healing

Assessment of Molecular Events During in vitro Re-Epithelialization Under Honey-Alginate Matrix Ambience
Mater Sci Eng C Mater Biol Appl, 2013 Aug 1;33(6):3418-3425
Re-epithelialization is one of the most important stages of cutaneous regeneration and its success requires supportive micro-ambience which may be provided with suitable bio-matrix. Biocompatibility and efficacy of such bio-matrix in re-epithelialization could be explored by multimodal analysis of structural and functional attributes of in vitro wound healing model including evaluation of prime molecular expressions of the epithelial cells during repair.
Present study examines the influence of honey-alginate and alginate matrices on re-epithelialization in keratinocyte (HaCaT) population in a 2-D wound model.
Cellular viability, proliferation and cell-cell adhesion status were assessed during wound closure using live/dead cell assay and by evaluating expressions of Ki67, p63 and E-cadherin along-with % change in cellular electrical impedance. Efficacy of honey-alginate matrix in comparison to only alginate one was demonstrated by a quicker reduction in wound gap, improved cellular viability, enhanced expressions of Ki67, p63 and its isoforms (TAp63, ΔNp63) as well as E-cadherin.

Faster restoration of electrical attribute (% of impedance change) after wounding also indicated better impact of honey-alginate matrix in re-epithelialization.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Bee Sting Banished Tremor

The Vindicator, 5/28/2013
Q. Within a week of having a reaction to a bee sting (the skin was hot, red, swollen and blistered), the tremors in my right hand and jaw disappeared. I’d had them for three years and had just gotten a referral to see a neurologist.
My mother and her mother had Parkinson’s disease, so I suspect that is where I was headed, though I hadn’t been officially diagnosed. Have you heard of this before?
A. There may be scientific support for your response to bee venom. We were somewhat surprised to discover research demonstrating that bee-venom injections have benefit against Parkinson’s disease (Parkinsonism and Related Disorders, September 2012). 
The Michael J. Fox Foundation funded a study of bee-venom therapy in a mouse model of Parkinson’s. The results were positive. French researchers are currently recruiting subjects for a clinical trial (MIREILLE) to assess the value of bee venom in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Apitherapy Day August 8 in Pennsylvania

Apitherapy Day Thursday Aug 8, 2013 With Frederique Keller L.Ac. AAS President And Craig Byer AAS Board Member
Join us and the Eastern Apicultural Society  for Apitherapy Day presented by the AmericanApitherapy Society, Inc. with  Frederique Keller L.Ac., President AAS,  and Craig Byer, Board Member AAS
Spend an entire day with us learning theory and practical applications of Apitherapy in conjunction with the Eastern Apicultural Society. To be held at West Chester University, West Chester, Pennsylvania. Register on the EAS website at www.easternapiculture.org
Apitherapy Workshop Schedule
Apitherapy Overview and Beekeeping
8:30-9:00
Pollen and Bee Bread
9:00-9:30
Propolis: Collection, Preparations, and indications
9:30-10:00
Break (Vendor Area)
10:00-12:00
Bee Venom Therapy: Applications & Technique (informed Consent Form for people participating in afternoon Bee Venom Workshop)
1:30-3:00
Bee Venom Therapy Practical Demonstration
Break (Vendor Area)
3:30-5:30
The Colors of Propolis & Salve-making Workshop

Monday, May 27, 2013

Bee Venom Facials Offered in UAE Spa

Unravelling the Buzz Around The Nail Spa's Bee Sting Facial
Sarah Ferguson, The National, 5/25/2013
…Also known as the bee venom facial, this anti-ageing treatment is billed as a natural, non-invasive alternative to Botox. The products contain venom which is extracted - humanely - from the stingers of bees. When the mask is applied, the venom supposedly tricks the skin into reacting as though it's been stung, which increases blood flow, collagen and elasticity. The bee venom products also contain manuka honey, which soothes and heals the skin.
Still a relatively new and exclusive treatment, The NailSpa, which has branches in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, is the only chain of salons in the UAE offering the Heaven facial. And so, with a little trepidation, I headed to the spa's branch in Al Wahda Mall to see what the buzz was all about…
After the mask had been removed, my skin was moisturised and the bee venom mask applied. The venom causes a mild tingling sensation, but no pain. A brief head massage later and I was back to the real world, after one of the more indulgent spa treatments I've experienced.
The immediate effect was glowing, soft, smooth and supple skin. A consultation with colleagues the next day confirmed that my skin did look smoother and suppler, but it's not quite the drastic change a few shots of Botox would have resulted in…

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Bee venom, a treatment for Parkinson’s disease?

An experimental strategy to protect our dopaminergic neurons
My Science Work, 5/22/2013

Sometimes, the unexpected leads to discoveries. A clinical observation has put researchers on the trail of a new treatment for Parkinson’s disease. Injecting bee venom seems to hold back the slow and progressive degeneration of dopaminergic neurons. A study [available on MyScienceWork] presents the first results of that technique and brings new hope to the fight against this neurodegenerative disorder...

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Propolis Can Help Prevent Skin Cancer

10 ways you can prevent and even reverse Skin Cancer
The Guardian, 5/21/2013
May is skin cancer awareness month, with this Friday, May 24th being “Don’t Fry Day”, supported by the EPA, the FDA and the National Cancer Association.  How can we take measures to avert over-exposure to damaging rays?  A recent article on Fox suggests that researchers are looking for a vaccine to help prevent skin cancer, but is a vaccine really what we need?  Another recent article states “holidaymakers are at risk…because their sunscreen is out of date”, claiming that people are lathering up with expired sunscreen that isn’t working.
Statistics say skin cancer is the most common form of cancer these days with 1 in 6 Americans diagnosed.  What can we do to remain healthy and cancer-free?
Here are 10 healthy suggestions to prevent and even reverse possible skin cancer…
Bee Propolis – With excellent results, more than 20 studies in experimental medicine and hospital settings used Bee Propolis internally and externally  to successfully prevent malignant cell growth, increase the aspects of the immune system that wards off cancer, bringing balance back into the body of one previously ravaged with cancer.  Bee Propolis in amounts of only 30-50 drops of a tincture 4x a day had these amazing results, reducing different types of cancer, including malignant melanoma.  (Other types of cancer that received benefits were breast, colon and genital cancer along with lung and liver metastases).  In Yugoslavia, the use of Propolis was found to reduce harmful side-effects of radiation therapy…

Friday, May 24, 2013

Honey an Alternative for Management of Drug Multiresistant Pathogens

Differences in Composition of Honey Samples and Their Impact on the Antimicrobial Activities against Drug Multiresistant Bacteria and Pathogenic Fungi
Arch Med Res, 2013 May 15. pii: S0188-4409(13)00110-0
BACKGROUND AND AIMS:
Antibiotic multiresistant microbes represent a challenging problem. Because honey has a potent antibacterial property, the antimicrobial effects of different honey samples against multiresistant pathogens and their compositions were investigated.
METHODS:
Five honey samples were used: Talah, Dhahian, Sumra-1, Sidr, and Sumra-2. Samples were analyzed to determine chemical composition such as fructose, glucose, sucrose, pH, total flavonoids, total phenolics, hydrogen peroxide concentration, minerals and trace elements. Antimicrobial activities of the samples against 17 (16 were multiresistant) human pathogenic bacteria and three types of fungi were studied. Specimens of the isolates were cultured into 10 mL of 10-100% (volume/volume) honey diluted in broth. Microbial growth was assessed on a solid plate media after 24 h and 72 h incubation.
RESULTS:
The composition of honey samples varied considerably. Sumra 1 and 2 contained the highest level of flavonoids and phenolics and the lowest level of hydrogen peroxide, whereas Dhahian honey contained the highest level of hydrogen peroxide. Sixteen pathogens were antibiotic multiresistant. A single dose of each honey sample inhibited all the pathogens tested after 24 h and 72 h incubation. The most sensitive pathogens were Aspergillus nidulans, Salmonella typhimurum and Staphylococcus epidermidis (S. epidermidis). Although there was no statistically significant difference in the effectiveness of honey samples, the most effective honey against bacteria was Talah and against fungi were Dhahian and Sumra-2.
CONCLUSIONS:
Various honey samples collected from different geographical areas and plant origins showed almost similar antimicrobial activities against multiresistant pathogens despite considerable variation in their composition. Honey may represent an alternative candidate to be tested as part of management of drug multiresistant pathogens.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

‘Promising Role’ for Honey in Cancer Treatment

Therapeutic Implications of the Warburg Effect Assessing the Survival of MRC5 and A549 Cell Lines Upon Exposure to Honey and D Glucose
Biomed Sci Instrum, 2013 Apr 5;49:101-108
Lung cancer is a one of the most prevalent and deadly cancers in United States. Experimental evidence support that cancer cells do exhibit higher glycolytic rates than normal cells. To exploit this unique cancer-dependent ATP generation phenomenon, we hypothesize that exposure of cancer cells to organic inhibitors of glycolysis would negatively impact their survival and alter their growth and viability resulting from the vast decrease in their essential glycolytic ATP production; no negative consequences will be seen on normal lung cells.
The human lung fibroblast cell line MRC-5 and the human lung alveolar epithelial cancer cell line A549 were used in this study as models for normal lung and lung cancer respectively. Using standard methods, both cell lines were maintained and exposed to honey and D-glucose reagents at concentration levels ranging from 31.3-2,000 µg/ml in 96 well plates in quadruplets and experiments repeated at least three times using MTT (3-(4, 5-dimethylthiazolyl-2)-2, 5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide), and cell counting (T4 Cellometer; automated cell counting system) assays as well as phase-contrast photo-imaging.
Our results indicate that exposure of both cell lines to these organics lead to concentration dependent cell destruction/cell survival depending on the cell line exposed. Honey and D-glucose showed statistically significant (p < 0.05) differential negative effects on the A549 line in comparison to its unexposed control as well as to their effects on the MRC-5 cell line.
These findings show a promising role for honey and D-glucose as biotherapeutic metabolites of interest for selective management of cancerous cells.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Video: Māori Invest in Bee Venom Anti-Ageing Product

video

A Māori financed cosmetic product made from bee venom is being released today. Kānu is an anti-ageing serum developed by Professor Shaun Holt, an expert in complementary medicines. Kānu bee venom products are from the Honey Lab and they have secured private Māori investors.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Spanish Propolis Shows High Scavenging Activity

Chemical and Functional Characterisation of Propolis Collected from East Andalusia (Southern Spain)
Phytochem Anal, 2013 May 14
INTRODUCTION:
Propolis is a complex mixture of natural sticky, gummy and resinous components produced by honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) from plant materials. However, phytochemical data of the Andalusian (southern Spain) propolis are scant.
OBJECTIVE:
The primary objectives of this study were to chemically characterise the compounds and evaluate the anti-oxidant activity found in 28 Andalusian propolis samples.
METHODS:
Ethanol extracts of propolis (EEP) were prepared and examined for their anti-oxidant activity by 2,2'-azinobis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid) and 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl assays. To characterise the phenolic composition, the presence of 11 compounds was identified by HPLC analysis with photodiode array and mass spectrometric detection.
RESULTS:
All propolis samples had strong anti-oxidant activity, accompanied by high total phenolic content. The most abundant compounds were flavonoids. Concerning the phenolic compounds content, our results showed that the 75% of the samples analysed contained at least 80 mg/g of flavonoids, primarily pinobanksin 3-acetate, pinocembrin, chrysin, galangin and pinobanksin. Caffeic acid phenethyl ester was detected in almost all EEP samples but in smaller proportions (mean 12.9 ± 2.8 mg/g).
CONCLUSION:
The present investigation constitutes the first comprehensive report on the phenolics identified in southern Spanish propolis. The results revealed that the samples tested showed a high scavenging activity and therefore indicate the possible use of Andalusian propolis as an important source of natural anti-oxidants.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Propolis Used to Produce Water Repellant, UV Protected Antibacterial Cloth

Propolis Induced Antibacterial Activity and Other Technical Properties of Cotton Textiles

Int J Biol Macromol, 2013 May 8

Propolis is a gum gathered by honey bees from various plants; the honey bees use propolis to seal holes in their honey combs, smooth out the internal wall and protect the entrance against intruders. It is composed of 50% resin (flavonoids and related phenolic acid), 30% wax, 10% essential oils., 5% pollen and 5% various organic components. As a natural mixture, propolis is widely used in medicine and cosmetics and food. So far no attempts have been yet made to make use of propolis in the realm of textile finishing .

Current work presents the first systemic study targeted to build up a scientific basis for production of cotton textiles having antibacterial activity and other useful properties by making use of propolis as eco-friendly finish within the scope of green strategy.
Propolis extract solution (70/30 ethanol/water) of 10% concentration was prepared as the stock. Different amounts of the latter were used along with a crosslinking agent and catalyst for treatment of cotton fabrics as per pad-dry-cure technique. Antibacterial activity of the so treated fabrics was obtained through monitoring the efficiency of the interaction of propolis with cotton cellulose. This interaction was expressed as inhibition zone diameter after the treated fabrics were exposed to (G +ve) and (G-ve) bacteria .
Other properties include crease recovery, tensile strength and elongation at break. Factors affecting these properties such as type, nature and concentration of the crosslinking agent, concentration, of propolis, and conditions of curing were investigated. In addition characterization of the propolis containing modified cotton fabrics including demonstration of the antibacterial activity, SEM, FTIR, durability to washing, UV protection and water repellency were performed.

Based on results obtained It is concluded that application of propolis along with glyoxal and Al2(SO4)3 catalyst using pad-dry (3min./80°C), cure(5/140°C) bring about cotton textile with superior antibacterial activity, water repellent and ease of care characteristics as well as UV. Protection .Tentative mechanism of the reaction of propolis with cotton in presence of glyoxal was also reported.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Egyptian Bee Pollen, Propolis Show Anti-Mutagenic and Antioxidant Effects

Assessment of Anti-Mutagenic, Anti-Histopathologic and Antioxidant Capacities of Egyptian Bee Pollen and Propolis Extracts
Cytotechnology, 2013 May 16
Bee pollen and propolis are popular, traditional health foods. The objective of the current study was to investigate the anti-mutagenic, anti-histopathologic and antioxidant effects among water extracts of Egyptian bee pollen (WEBP) and brown powder of water-soluble derivative propolis (WSDP) on cisplatin (CDDP) induced hepatic, renal, testicular and genotoxicity in male albino mice (Mus muscullus), in addition to their effects on the oxidant/antioxidant status in the tested organs.
Hepatic, renal and testicular dysfunctions were evaluated histologically; while genotoxicity and cytotoxicity were evaluated by the bone marrow chromosomal aberration assay and mitotic index, respectively. Moreover, oxidative stress was explored via determination of lipid peroxidation, catalase activity and the concentration of the reduced form of glutathione.
The treatment of mice with WEBP and WSDP at doses 140 and 8.4 mg/kg b. wt./day, respectively for 14 days simultaneously with CDDP (2.8 mg/kg b. wt.) resulted in significant protection. The positive control animals taken CDDP alone showed toxic histological and genetical manifestations (at P < 0.05) accompanied with an elevated content of peroxidized lipid and lowered catalase activity and glutathione concentration in the homogenate of liver, kidney and testis tissues (at P < 0.001). These toxic side effects in all tested organs were greatly ablated with a significant reduction in lipid peroxidation level and elevation in catalase activity and glutathione concentration (P < 0.001) when using both WEBP and WSDP.
On the basis of the present assays, Bee pollen appears more potent in exerting an ameliorative effect and this effect was more pronounced in testis.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Different Honeys Showed Similar Antimicrobial Activities Against Multiresistant Pathogens


Differences in Composition of Honey Samples and Their Impact on the Antimicrobial Activities against Drug Multiresistant Bacteria and Pathogenic Fungi
Archives of Medical Research, Available online 15 May 2013
Background an Aims
Antibiotic multiresistant microbes represent a challenging problem. Because honey has a potent antibacterial property, the antimicrobial effects of different honey samples against multiresistant pathogens and their compositions were investigated.
Methods
Five honey samples were used: Talah, Dhahian, Sumra-1, Sidr, and Sumra-2. Samples were analyzed to determine chemical composition such as fructose, glucose, sucrose, pH, total flavonoids, total phenolics, hydrogen peroxide concentration, minerals and trace elements. Antimicrobial activities of the samples against 17 (16 were multiresistant) human pathogenic bacteria and three types of fungi were studied. Specimens of the isolates were cultured into 10 mL of 10–100% (volume/volume) honey diluted in broth. Microbial growth was assessed on a solid plate media after 24 h and 72 h incubation.
Results
The composition of honey samples varied considerably. Sumra 1 and 2 contained the highest level of flavonoids and phenolics and the lowest level of hydrogen peroxide, whereas Dhahian honey contained the highest level of hydrogen peroxide. Sixteen pathogens were antibiotic multiresistant. A single dose of each honey sample inhibited all the pathogens tested after 24 h and 72 h incubation. The most sensitive pathogens were Aspergillus nidulans, Salmonella typhimurum and Staphylococcus epidermidis (S. epidermidis). Although there was no statistically significant difference in the effectiveness of honey samples, the most effective honey against bacteria was Talah and against fungi were Dhahian and Sumra-2.
Conclusions
Various honey samples collected from different geographical areas and plant origins showed almost similar antimicrobial activities against multiresistant pathogens despite considerable variation in their composition. Honey may represent an alternative candidate to be tested as part of management of drug multiresistant pathogens.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Royal Jelly Prevents Age-Related Loss of Muscle Mass


Royal Jelly Prevents the Progression of Sarcopenia in Aged Mice In Vivo and In Vitro
Sarcopenia is characterized by the age-related loss of muscle mass and strength. One of the mechanisms of sarcopenia is the loss in the function and number of muscle satellite cells.
Royal jelly (RJ) is a health food used worldwide. To obtain better digestion and absorption than RJ, protease-treated RJ (pRJ) has been developed. RJ and pRJ have been suggested to have potential pharmacological benefits such as prolonging the life span and reducing fatigue. Because these effects may improve sarcopenia and the functions of satellite cells, we examined the effects of RJ or pRJ treatment on the skeletal muscles in an animal model using aged mice.
In vivo, RJ/pRJ treatment attenuated the decrease in the muscle weight and grip strength and increased the regenerating capacity of injured muscles and the serum insulin-like growth factor-1 levels compared with controls. In vitro, using isolated satellite cells from aged mice, pRJ treatment increased the cell proliferation rate, promoted cell differentiation, and activated Akt intracellular signaling pathway compared with controls.
These findings suggest that RJ/pRJ treatment had a beneficial effect on age-related sarcopenia.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Royal Jelly Helps Alleviate Itching


Topical Royal Jelly Alleviates Symptoms of Pruritus in a Murine Model of Allergic Contact Dermatitis
Pharmacogn Mag, 2013 Jan;9(33):9-13
BACKGROUND:
Royal jelly is widely used as a health tonic, especially in Asia. Royal jelly is commonly used in cosmetics as well as in dietary supplements and beverages. Little is known, however, about the pharmacologic efficacy of topical royal jelly. Therefore, we investigated the antipruritic activity of topical royal jelly on chronic pruritus in experimental allergic contact dermatitis in mice.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
HAIRLESS MICE (HOS: HR-1), with chronic allergic contact dermatitis induced by 5 weeks of repeated application of 2,4,6-trinitro-1-chlorobenzene (TNCB) to the entire back skin were treated topically with royal jelly (0.01% or 1%) for 5 weeks after sensitization with TNCB. The effects of royal jelly on pruritus and inflammation were evaluated by measurement of scratching behavior and skin inflammation score, respectively.
RESULTS:
Repeated application of TNCB to the back skin of mice elicited frequent scratching behavior immediately and 24h after challenge. Topical royal jelly (0.01% or 1%) and betamethasone (0.01%) significantly ameliorated this chronic pruritus throughout the experimental period. The level of nerve growth factor mRNA in back skin was increased in the mice with dermatitis and reduced by betamethasone, but not by royal jelly.
CONCLUSION:
The inhibitory effect of royal jelly on chronic pruritus may occur through different mechanisms from those of betamethasone. Topical application of royal jelly, as used in cosmetics, might be beneficial for the alleviation of chronic pruritus.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Propolis Component Inhibits Growth of Pancreatic Cancer Cells


Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester Inhibits Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition of Human Pancreatic Cancer Cells
Evid Based Complement Alternat Med, 2013;2013:270906, Epub 2013 Apr 4
Background. This study aimed to investigate the effect of propolis component caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) on epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) of human pancreatic cancer cells and the molecular mechanisms underlying these effects.
Methods. The transforming growth factor β (TGF-β-) induced EMT in human pancreatic PANC-1 cancer cells was characterized by observation of morphology and the expression of E-cadherin and vimentin by western blotting. The migration potential was estimated with wound closure assay. The expression of transcriptional factors was measured by quantitative RT-PCR and immunocytochemistry staining. The orthotopic pancreatic cancer xenograft model was used for in vivo assessment.
Results. The overexpression of vimentin was attenuated by CAPE, and the alteration in morphology from polygonal to spindle shape was partially reversed by CAPE. Furthermore, CAPE delayed the TGF-β-stimulated migration potential. CAPE treatment did not reduce the expression levels of Smad 2/3, Snail 1, and Zeb 1 but inhibited the expression of transcriptional factor Twist 2. By using an orthotopic pancreatic cancer model, CAPE suppressed the expression of Twist 2 and growth of PANC-1 xenografts without significant toxicity.
Conclusion. CAPE could inhibit the orthotopic growth and EMT of pancreatic cancer PANC-1 cells accompanied by downregulation of vimentin and Twist 2 expression.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Polish Propolis Reduces Bacterial Biofilm Formation


In Vitro Antimicrobial Activity of Ethanolic Extract of Polish Propolis against Biofilm Forming Staphylococcus epidermidis Strains
Evid Based Complement Alternat Med, 2013;2013:590703, Epub 2013 Apr 10
The aim of the presented study was to examine the antimicrobial activity of ethanol extract of Polish propolis (EEPP) against biofilm-forming CoNS strains in vitro.
Our results revealed that EEPP displayed varying degrees of activity against CoNS with MIC values ranging from 1.56 to 0.78 mg/mL. The average MIC was 1.13 ± 0.39 mg/mL while calculated MIC50 and MIC90 values were 0.78 mg/mL and 1.56 mg/mL, respectively. The biofilm formation ability by all tested S. epidermidis strains was inhibited at EEPP concentrations ranging from 0.39 to 1.56 mg/mL.
The degree of reduction of AlamarBlue was directly associated with the proliferation of S. epidermidis strains. The increased proliferation of S. epidermidis strains was observed after 12 and 24 hours of incubation in the presence of EEPP concentrations ranging from 0.025 to 0.39 mg/mL.
These results suggest that antimicrobial activities of EEPP against S. epidermidis expressed as the reduction of bacterial growth, reduction of biofilm formation ability, and the intensity of proliferation were significantly affected by incubation time and EEPP concentration used as well as the interactions between these factors.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Propolis Ointment Boosts Healing of Leg Ulcers

Topical Treatment of Nonhealing Venous Leg Ulcer with Propolis Ointment
An investigation of effectiveness of topical treatment of nonhealing chronic venous leg ulcers with propolis ointment was conducted. 56 patients were included in the study and randomized into two groups.
In group 1, there were 28 patients (ulceration area: 6.9-9.78 cm(2)) treated by means of topical propolis ointment application and short stretch bandage compression. In group 2, there were 29 patients (ulceration area: 7.2-9.4 cm(2)) treated by means of Unna boot leg compression without topical propolis treatment. In the study, the efficacy of both treatment methods in patients with resistive venous leg ulcers was compared.
The ulceration of patients from group 1 healed completely after 6 weeks of therapy in all cases. In all patients from group 2, the process of healing was longer but successfully completed after 16 weeks of the therapy.
We found that an adjunctive propolis ointment treatment increases the efficacy of the short stretch bandage compression stocking, and this combined treatment is more effective than Unna's boot compression alone.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

New Insight Into Use of Bee Venom Component as Anti-Inflammatory Agent


Comparative Proteome Analysis of Tumor Necrosis Factor Alpha-Stimulated Human Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells in Response to Melittin
Proteome Sci, 2013 May 7;11(1):20
BACKGROUND:
Bee venom has been used to relieve pain and to treat inflammatory diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, in humans. To better understand the mechanisms of the anti-inflammatory and anti-atherosclerosis effect of bee venom, gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry were used to identify proteins whose expression was altered in human Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells (hVSMCs) stimulated by tumor necrosis factor alpha after 12 h in the presence of melittin.
RESULTS:
To obtain valuable insights into the anti-inflammatory and anti-atherosclerosis mechanisms of melittin, two-dimensional (2-D) gel electrophoresis and MALDI-TOF/TOF were used. The proteome study, we showed 33 significant proteins that were differentially expressed in the cells treated with tumor necrosis factor alpha and melittin. Thirteen proteins were significantly increased in the cells treated with tumor necrosis factor alpha, and those proteins were reduced in the cells treated with melittin. Five of the proteins that showed increased expression in the cells treated with tumor necrosis factor alpha are involved in cell migration, including calreticulin, an essential factor of development that plays a role in transcription regulation. The proteins involved in cell migration were reduced in the melittin treated cells. The observed changes in the expression of GRP75, prohibitin, and a select group of other proteins were validated with reverse transcribed-PCR. It was confirmed that the observed change in the protein levels reflected a change in the genes level. In addition, the phosphorylation of EGFR and ERK was validated by analyzing the protein pathway. 
CONCLUSION:
Taken together, these data established that the expression of some proteins was significantly changed by melittin treatment in tumor necrosis factor alpha stimulated the cells and provided insights into the mechanism of the melittin function for its potential use as an anti-inflammatory agent.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Manuka Honey May Help Treat Clostridium difficile Infections


Antibacterial Effect of Manuka Honey on Clostridium difficile

BMC Research Notes 2013, 6:188, Published: 7 May 2013
Background
Manuka honey originates from the manuka tree (Leptospermum scoparium) and its antimicrobial effect has been attributed to a property referred to as Unique Manuka Factor that is absent in other types of honey. Antibacterial activity of Manuka honey has been documented for several bacterial pathogens, however there is no information on Clostridium difficile, an important nosocomial pathogen. In this study we investigated susceptibility of C. difficile to Manuka honey and whether the activity is bactericidal or bacteriostatic.
Methods
Three C. difficile strains were subjected to the broth dilution method to determine minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentrations (MBC) for Manuka honey. The agar well diffusion method was also used to investigate sensitivity of the C. difficile strains to Manuka honey.
Results
The MIC values of the three C. difficile strains were the same (6.25% v/v). Similarly, MBC values of the three C. difficile strains were the same (6.25% v/v). The activity of Manuka honey against all three C. difficile strains was bactericidal. A dose--response relationship was observed between the concentrations of Manuka honey and zones of inhibition formed by the C. difficile strains, in which increasing concentrations of Manuka honey resulted in increasing size of zone of inhibition formed. Maximum zone of inhibition was observed at 50% (v/v) Manuka honey and the growth inhibition persisted over 7 days.
Conclusion
C. difficile is appreciably susceptible to Manuka honey and this may offer an effective way of treating infections caused by the organism.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Bee Venon Acupuncture Helps Relieve Post-Stroke Pain


Bee Venom Acupuncture Point Injection for Central Post Stroke Pain: A Preliminary Single-Blind Randomized Controlled Trial
Complement Ther Med, 2013 Jun;21(3):155-7
OBJECTIVE:
We investigated apipuncture, or acupuncture point injection with diluted bee venom, as a promising new treatment for central post stroke pain (CPSP).
METHODS:
Bee venom, diluted to 0.005% in normal saline, was administered to the treatment group, and normal saline given to control group as twice-weekly injections for three weeks. The points were LI15, GB21, LI11, GB31, ST36 and GB39 of the affected side and the amount of injection was 0.05ml at each point.
RESULTS:
Eight patients in each group were included in the analysis. After three weeks there were significant decreases in visual analogue pain scores compared with baseline in both groups and the treatment group improved more significantly than the control group (p=0.009).
CONCLUSION:
Apipuncture significantly improved CPSP in this pilot trial. Further studies of its mechanisms and a larger and long-term follow-up trial will be needed to determine more definitely the efficacy of apipuncture and to elucidate duration of improvement.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Brazilian Red Propolis Isoflavonoids Have Strong Anti-Inflammatory and Antimicrobial Properties


Anti-Inflammatory and Antimicrobial Evaluation of Neovestitol and Vestitol Isolated from Brazilian Red Propolis
J. Agric. Food Chem, Article ASAP
The objective of this study was to evaluate anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial activities of neovestitol and vestitol isolated from Brazilian red propolis (BRP).
BRP ethanolic extract (EEP), neovestitol, and vestitol were evaluated by anti-inflammatory properties using a neutrophil migration assay. The antimicrobial activity was evaluated by minimal inhibitory and bactericidal concentrations (MIC and MBC) against Streptococcus mutans, Streptococcus sobrinus, Staphylococcus aureus, and Actinomyces naeslundii. Neovestitol, vestitol, and EEP inhibited neutrophil migration at a dose of 10 mg/kg. Regarding antimicrobial activity, neovestitol showed MICs ranging from < 6.25 to 25–50 μg/mL and MBCs ranging from 25–50 to 50–100 μg/mL, while vestitol showed MICs ranging from 25–50 to 50–100 μg/mL and MBCs ranging from 25–50 to 50–100 μg/mL.
Both isoflavonoids neovestitol and vestitol are consistent bioactive compounds displaying anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial activities that can strongly act in a low dose and concentration and have a promising potential to be applied in the pharmaceutical and food industries.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

The Immunomodulatory and Anticancer Properties of Propolis


Clinical Reviews in Allergy & Immunology
June 2013, Volume 44, Issue 3, pp 262-273
Propolis, a waxy substance produced by the honeybee, has been adopted as a form of folk medicine since ancient times. It has a wide spectrum of alleged applications including potential anti-infection and anticancer effects. Many of the therapeutic effects can be attributed to its immunomodulatory functions. The composition of propolis can vary according to the geographic locations from where the bees obtained the ingredients.
Two main immunopotent chemicals have been identified as caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) and artepillin C. Propolis, CAPE, and artepillin C have been shown to exert summative immunosuppressive function on T lymphocyte subsets but paradoxically activate macrophage function. On the other hand, they also have potential antitumor properties by different postulated mechanisms such as suppressing cancer cells proliferation via its anti-inflammatory effects; decreasing the cancer stem cell populations; blocking specific oncogene signaling pathways; exerting antiangiogenic effects; and modulating the tumor microenvironment.
The good bioavailability by the oral route and good historical safety profile makes propolis an ideal adjuvant agent for future immunomodulatory or anticancer regimens. However, standardized quality controls and good design clinical trials are essential before either propolis or its active ingredients can be adopted routinely in our future therapeutic armamentarium.

Melipona and Apis Honey Characteristics Compared

Comparative Study of the Physicochemical and Palynological Characteristics of Honey from Melipona subnitida and Apis mellifera
International Journal of Food Science & Technology, Article first published online: 2 MAY 2013
Twenty-four samples of Apis mellifera honey and twenty-four samples of Melipona subnitida (Jandaira) honey were collected in the northeast of Brazil. Moisture, hydroxymethylfurfural, free acidity, insoluble solids in water, diastase activity, ashes, electrical conductivity, proteins, lipids, total carbohydrates, energy and sugars were the parameters analysed.
The efficiency of the qualitative tests (Fiehe's test, Lugol's reaction, Lund's reaction) was tested. Pollen types and the corresponding plant species were identified in all samples (3 in Apis and 1 in Melipona).
Apis mellifera honey samples demonstrated parameters in accordance with the Brazilian Legislation, while the Melipona subnitida honey samples displayed moisture (24.80%) and diastase activity (null) in discordance with the established by the regulation for Apis mellifera honeys. Apis honey samples presented higher values of electric conductivity (284.00 μS cm−1) than the obtained from the Jandaira honey samples (102.77 μS cm−1) as well as a darker colour (26.67 mmPfund) when compared with Jandaira honey (7.00 mmPfund).
The concentration of the glucose, fructose and sucrose was higher in the Apis honeys than in the Jandaira honey. The characteristics of the two types of honey were very different, highlighting the need of developing specific legislation for stingless bees' honey.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Propolis Component May Help Boost Cancer Cell Death

Chrysin Overcomes TRAIL Resistance of Cancer Cells Through Mcl-1 Downregulation by Inhibiting STAT3 Phosphorylation
Int J Oncol, 2013 May 1
Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) selectively kills various types of cancer cells without harming normal cells, but TRAIL resistance has been frequently observed in cancer cells.
Propolis (bee glue) is a material collected from various plants by honeybees and is a rich source of bioactive compounds, including the natural flavonoid chrysin, which possesses multiple anticancer effects.
We investigated the mechanism underlying the TRAIL sensitization effect of chrysin, which is a major constituent of Thai propolis, in human lung and cervical cancer cell lines.
Propolis extract and chrysin sensitizes A549 and HeLa human cancer cell lines to TRAIL-induced apoptosis. The TRAIL sensitization effect of chrysin is not mediated by inhibition of TRAIL-induced NF-κB activation or by glutathione depletion. Immunoblot analysis using a panel of anti-apoptotic proteins revealed that chrysin selectively decreases the levels of Mcl-1 protein, by downregulating Mcl-1 gene expression as determined by qRT-PCR. The contribution of Mcl-1 in TRAIL resistance was confirmed by si-Mcl-1 knockdown. Among signaling pathways that regulate Mcl-1 gene expression, only constitutive STAT3 phosphorylation was suppressed by chrysin. The proposed action of chrysin in TRAIL sensitization by inhibiting STAT3 and downregulating Mcl-1 was supported by using a STAT3specific inhibitor, cucurbitacin-I, which decreased Mcl-1 levels and enhanced TRAIL-induced cell death, similar to that observed with chrysin treatment.
In conclusion, we show the potential of chrysin in overcoming TRAIL resistance of cancer cells and elucidate its mechanism of action.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Drone Larvae Homogenate Has Estrogen-Like Effect



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.