Saturday, November 30, 2013

Can Bee Venom Cure Lyme Disease?

Killer Bee Attack Saves a Woman’s Life and Inspires Amazing Product
WASHINGTON TIMES, November 23, 2013—What do Lyme disease, bees, and face cream have in common? This is the remarkable story of Ellie Lobel, how a killer bee attack cured her Lyme disease, saved her life and inspired the first U.S.-made bee venom beauty cream…
Ellie Lobel was one of the disease’s chronic victims, as she was initially misdiagnosed several times with lupus, MS, chronic fatigue, and fibromyalgia. The multiple misdiagnoses allowed the Lyme bacteria time to spread through her body.
Suffering from multiple organ failure, low cell counts, and doctors telling her they had done all they could for her, after 15 years Lobel moved to California for end of life care.
“I was ready to go,” Lobel says. “I was able to see my children into young adulthood and had made my peace with life.”
But life had other plans for Lobel.
During her first week in California, Lobel and her caretaker were attacked by killer bees while on a short walk. This terrified Lobel, as she had been stung once as a child and had a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis).
Her caretaker was forced to run and look for help, but Lobel was too weak to run or even walk away from the thousands of stinging insects.
“The pain was excruciating,” she told Communities. “I was terrified.”
The bees finally stopped when Lobel, accepting her fate, held her body completely still. “I thought I was going to die right there,” she said.
Blinded by pain, Lobel asked not to be taken to the hospital. She knew she was going to die and did not want to do it in an unfamiliar place. She was helped back to her room and quietly waited anaphylaxis—the body’s reaction to a large doses of bee venom—to take her life.
Instead of anaphylaxis, however, within a few hours of the attack she began to feel a familiar pain. Lobel was sure she was feeling the same pain associated with Lyme disease treatment, known as a Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction, that occurs when harmful bacteria inside the body die off and release endotoxins.
By the beginning of the third night, Lobel was sure she wasn’t going to die. In fact, she was doing things the disease had prevented her from doing for many years.
“For the first time in years I was online, laughing and watching funny videos,” she says. “By the next day, I could actually remember the words to an old song I’d heard the night before, something that I hadn’t been able to do for so long.”
In the days following the attack, Lobel began to feel significantly better. After living in a “mental fog” for years, where she could not concentrate, read a book, watch a movie, or even have a detailed conversation, Lobel began to regain her previously brilliant mind. Her mental changes were mirrored by a marked improvement in her physical health.
Two years after the attack, Lobel feels completely healthy. She believes that she is currently free of the disease that almost took her life two years ago…

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Video: Using Bee Stings to Relieve Pain

video

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM, 11/20/2013) -- Chronic pain costs Americans $635 billion a year. Pain from an injury or illness can be so debilitating, you might be willing to try anything to get rid of it.

But you probably wouldn't chose to get stung by 30 or 40 bees three times a week.
For thousands of years, honey bees have been busy making honey, pollinating and occasionally stinging. And while most of us would like to avoid that painful encounter, some actually want it.
"The components of the bee venom stimulates the body's immune system," says Kristine Jacobson, an Apitherpist. At her home in Grand Rapids, she studies the benefits of bee venom therapy.
The practice goes back to the Egyptians for use in managing pain with venom from the honey bee which stimulates the production of mellitinin in humans, an anti-inflammatory a hundred times stronger than cortisol. "It will stimulate the adrenal along with the cortical system to produce your own cortisol."
And in return, Jacobson says it gives you relief from your pain.
"No matter what you want to call it, label it, tag it - people have pain and it's the pain they want to get rid of, so they can enjoy their life and do the things they want to do."
A torn rotator cuff was preventing David Richmond from playing tennis. "I couldn't even pick up a coffee mug. My options were to have surgery or live with the pain," said Richmond.
Willing to try anything to make it stop, David asked his sister Kristine to sting him three times-a-week, 10 to 20 times. After six months, David was back playing tennis with no pain.
When his tennis partner Ken Schwallier told him a painful toe injury would require surgery and limit his time on the court, David immediately suggested he try bee venom therapy.
"Yeah, I'm a naysayer," said Schwallier. "My friend Dave was telling me about it and I'm rolling my eyes."
But Schwallier says after a few weeks of stinging every other day, six to eight times, the pain was gone.
"I'm telling you the pain was just gone. I've never felt like this since I was in high school and within a few short weeks I was back playing tennis. It's amazing."
So Ken began stinging himself several times a week and Schwallier says he's been doing it as a way to manage his pain for four and half years. "If it starts coming back, I just maintain it with a few stings and it keeps me on the court."
How many times you sting and how often depends on your source of pain.
"It can go anywhere from one bee sting to 30 bee stings three times a week and sometimes 50," says Jacobson.
Bee venom therapy can be used for arthritis, muscle tears, knee injuries, back pain and numerous other conditions. But Kristine cautions the first thing that must be done before beginning treatment is to make sure the person isn't allergic to bee stings.
"It's definitely a caution that you want to consider and be prepared for. You never want to be not prepared for that reaction."
Another important part of the practice of Apitherapy, Jacobson says, is honoring the lives of the bees.
"When we use the honeybees for our purposes I always ensure that we help them regenerate and make many, many more than what we would ever consider using. We want to teach people number one, respect these bees. Because they are absolutely phenomenal and they give us so much."
Bee venom therapy is widely used in Eastern Europe, Asia, and South America. In the U.S. many doctors are using bee venom, but it's in the form of a shot called Apitoxin.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Chestnut Bee Pollen Can Help Treat Liver Injuries Without Toxic Side Effects

Hepatoprotective potential of chestnut bee pollen on carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatic damages in rats
Bee pollen has been used as an apitherapy agent for several centuries to treat burns, wounds, gastrointestinal disorders, and various other diseases.
The aim of our study was to investigate the hepatoprotective effects of chestnut bee pollen against carbon tetrachloride (CCI4)-induced liver damage.
Total phenolic content, flavonoid, ferric reducing/antioxidant power, and DPPH radical activity measurements were used as antioxidant capacity determinants of the pollen. The study was conducted in rats as seven groups. Two different concentrations of chestnut bee pollens (200 and 400 mg/kg/day) were given orally and one group was administered with silibinin (50 mg/kg/day, i.p.) for seven days to the rats following the CCI4 treatment. The protective effect of the bee pollen was monitored by aspartate transaminase (AST) and alanine transaminase (AST) activities, histopathological imaging, and antioxidant parameters from the blood and liver samples of the rats. The results were compared with the silibinin-treated and untreated groups.
We detected that CCI4 treatment induced liver damage and both the bee pollen and silibinin-treated groups reversed the damage; however, silibinin caused significant weight loss and mortality due, severe diarrhea in the rats. The chestnut pollen had showed 28.87 mg GAE/g DW of total phenolic substance, 8.07 mg QUE/g DW of total flavonoid, 92.71 mg Cyn-3-glu/kg DW of total anthocyanins, and 9 mg β -carotene/100 g DW of total carotenoid and substantial amount of antioxidant power according to FRAP and DPPH activity.
The results demonstrated that the chestnut bee pollen protects the hepatocytes from the oxidative stress and promotes the healing of the liver damage induced by CCI4 toxicity. Our findings suggest that chestnut bee pollen can be used as a safe alternative to the silibinin in the treatment of liver injuries.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Bee Venom Could Be Used to Treat MS

Effect of honey bee venom on lewis rats with experimental allergic encephalomyelitis, a model for multiple sclerosis
Iran J Pharm Res, 2012 Spring;11(2):671-8
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive and autoimmune neurodegenerative disease of the central nervous system (CNS). This disease is recognized through symptoms like inflammation, demyelination and the destruction of neurological actions.
Experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE) is a widely accepted animal model for MS. EAE is created in animals by injecting the tissue of myelin basic protein (MBP), CNS, or myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) along with the adjuvant. EAE and MS are similar diseases.
Honey Bee venom (Apis mellifera) contains a variety of low and high molecular weight peptides and proteins, including melittin, apamin, adolapin, mast cell degranulating peptide and phospholipase A2. Bee venom (BV) could exert anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive effects on the inflammatory reactions.
The guinea pig spinal cord homogenate (GPSCH) is with the Complete Freund's Adjuvant (CFA), consisting of 1 mg/mL Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It was used for inducting EAE in Lewis rats for creating the MS model. The hematoxylin and eosin and luxol fast blue methods were used respectively in analyses of inflammation and detection of demyelination in the central nervous system. Furthermore, the ELISA and the high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) were used for the assessment of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and nitrate in rats serum.
In this study, we indicated that the treatment of EAE with Bee venom decreased the symptoms of clinical disorder, pathological changes, inflammatory cell infiltration, demyelination in the central nervous system, level of serum TNF-α, and the serum nitrates in rat EAE induced through GPSCH.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Honey May Help Treat Arrhythmias, Heart Attacks

Acute administration of natural honey protects isolated heart in normothermic ischemia
Iran J Pharm Res. 2012 Fall;11(4):1275-84.
This study intended to assess the efficacy of acute administration of natural honey on cardiac arrhythmias and infarct size when it is used during the normothermic ischemia in isolated rat heart.
During 30 min of regional normothermic ischemia followed by 120 min of reperfusion, the isolated hearts were perfused by a modified drug free Krebs-Henseleit solution (control) or the solution containing 0.125, 0.25, 0.5 and 1% of freshly prepared natural honey (test groups), respectively. Cardiac arrhythmias were analyzed and determined through the recorded ECGs. The infarct size was measured using computerized planimetry package.
At the ischemic phase, honey (0.25 and 0.5%) decreased the number and duration of ventricular tachycardia (VT), total number of ventricular ectopic beats (VEBs), duration and incidence of reversible ventricular fibrillation (VF) and total VF (p < 0.05 for all). During the reperfusion, concentrations of 0.125, 0.25 and 0.5% lowered the number of VT (p < 0.05), duration of reversible VF (p < 0.01) and total number of VEBs (p < 0.05). In addition, VT duration was reduced significantly with honey 0.125 and 0.25%. Moreover, the infarct size was 45.6 ± 3.4% in the control group, while the perfusion of honey (0.125, 0.25 and 0.5%) reduced it to 14.8 ± 5.1 (p < 0.001), 24.6 ± 7.3 (p < 0.01) and 31.4 ± 7.3% (p < 0.05), respectively.
Regarding the results, it is concluded that the acute administration of natural honey in normothermic ischemia conditions can protect the rat heart as the reduction of infarct size and arrhythmias. Conceivably, the antioxidant and free radical scavenging activity, the reduction of necrotized tissue and the providence of rich energy source are more important mechanisms in cardioprotective effects of natural honey.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

PHOTO: UK Celebrity Uses Gold, Bee Venom Face Mask

Lisa Snowdon's £1,000 gold mask: Star tweets terrifying photo of herself in facial (but what's more terrifying is the price tag!)
Daily Mail, 11/18/2013
It's not every day you see a celebrity lying prone in a towel with their face covered in gold. But it's not every day that a celebrity is offered a facial with a £1,000 price tag.
Lucky Lisa Snowdon, the face beneath the precious metal, is the latest recipient of the ultra-luxe Gold Bee Venom facial, performed at The May Fair Hotel in London.
The star tweeted a rather arresting photograph of herself mid-treatment, reclined on the spa bed with the glittering gold mask covering her face…

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Propolis Component May Help Treat Ear Infections

Caffeic acid phenethyl ester inhibits diesel exhaust particle-induced inflammation of human middle ear epithelial cells via NOX4 inhibition
Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol, 2013 Sep;122(9):595-600.
OBJECTIVES:
Otitis media is one of the most common diseases in pediatric populations. Recent research on its pathogenesis has focused on air pollution. Chronic exposure to particulate air pollution is associated with the impairment of middle ear function. However, the mechanisms and the underlying inhibitory pathways, especially in the human middle ear, remain unknown. Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) is a biologically active ingredient of propolis, a product of honeybee hives, which has anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory activities. The aim of this study was to evaluate the inhibitory effect of CAPE on diesel exhaust particle (DEP)-induced inflammation of human middle ear epithelial cells and to determine the underlying pathway of the action of CAPE.
METHODS:
The inflammatory damage caused by DEPs and the anti-inflammatory effects of CAPE were determined by measuring the levels of tumor necrosis factor alpha and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase (NOX) 4 with real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and Western blot analysis. The oxidative stress induced by DEPs and the anti-oxidative effects of CAPE were directly evaluated by measuring reactive oxygen species production by use of flow cytometric analysis of 2',7'-dichlorofluorescein diacetate. The effects of CAPE were compared with those of N-acetyl-L-cysteine, which has anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects.
RESULTS:
Use of CAPE significantly inhibited DEP-induced up-regulation of tumor necrosis factor alpha and NOX4 expression in a dose- and time-dependent manner. The accumulation of reactive oxygen species induced by DEPs was decreased by pretreatment with CAPE. The anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects of CAPE were similar to those of N-acetyl-L-cysteine.
CONCLUSIONS:
The inflammation induced by DEP is reduced by CAPE via the inhibition of NOX4 expression. These findings suggest that CAPE might be used as a therapeutic agent against DEP-induced inflammation of human middle ear epithelial cells.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Propolis from Australian Stingless Bees Relaxes Coronary Arteries

Effect of Australian Propolis from Stingless Bees (Tetragonula carbonaria) on Pre-Contracted Human and Porcine Isolated Arteries
PLOS One, Nov. 15, 2013
Bee propolis is a mixture of plant resins and bee secretions. While bioactivity of honeybee propolis has been reported previously, information is limited on propolis from Australian stingless bees (Tetragonula carbonaria).
The aim of this study was to investigate possible vasomodulatory effects of propolis in KCl-precontracted porcine coronary arteries using an ex vivo tissue bath assay. Polar extracts of propolis produced a dose-dependent relaxant response (EC50=44.7±7.0 μg/ml), which was unaffected by endothelial denudation, suggesting a direct effect on smooth muscle.
Propolis markedly attenuated a contractile response to Ca2+ in vessels that were depolarised with 60 mM KCl, in Ca2+-free Krebs solution. Propolis (160 µg/ml) reduced vascular tone in KCl pre-contracted vessels to near-baseline levels over 90 min, and this effect was partially reversible with 6h washout. Some loss in membrane integrity, but no loss in mitochondrial function was detected after 90 min exposure of human cultured umbilical vein endothelial cells to 160 µg/ml propolis.
We conclude that Australian stingless bee (T. carbonaria) propolis relaxes porcine coronary artery in an endothelial-independent manner that involves inhibition of voltage-gated Ca2+ channels. This effect is partially and slowly reversible upon washout. Further studies are required to determine the therapeutic potential of Australian stingless bee propolis for conditions in which vascular supply is compromised.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Iranian Alfalfa and Thyme Honeys Show Antifungal Activity

Antifungal Activity of Iranian Honeybees Against Candida, Aspergillus Species and Trichophyton Rubrum
Due to limited available antifungal agents, searching for new antifungal agents stimulated research on new chemotherapeutic agents in natural products. The current study was carried out to assess the antifungal activity of different Iranian honeys with different botanical origin against some important fungi, such as azoles-resistant Candida species. Seven types of honey samples including Thymus vulgaris, Alfalfa, Citrus, Zizyphus, Astragalus, Chamaemelum nobile and multiflora honey were collected. Minimum inhibitory concentrations microdilution broth method was used for assessing antifungal activity of honeys. The results revealed variations in the antifungal activity of the examined honey samples. Alfalfa and Thymus honeys were significantly more effective than other honeys and Zizyphus and Chamaemelum honeys exhibited lowest antifungal activity. Trichophyton rubrum and C. krusei had the highest and lowest sensitivity to the honey's antifungal activity among fungal species, respectively. No statistically significant differences in susceptibility to honey samples were determined among fluconazole resistance and susceptible Candida species.
Practical Applications
In the present study, the antifungal properties of honeys with different botanical origin against pathogenic fungal species were examined. Furthermore, the inhibitory properties of the honeys against fungal strains resistant to existing antifungal drugs were assessed. Antimicrobial properties of plants which were the origin of honeys in this study were also investigated. Results showed a direct correlation between the type of nectar for honeys and antifungal properties. More importantly, inhibitory effects of honeys against several fungal species and Trichophyton rubrum, particularly resistant Candida species was shown. It seems that appropriate concentrations of honey can be used for controlling and treating of dermatophytosis and dermatomycosis.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Bee Products Relatively Free of Contamination in Former Mining Area

Minor and trace-elements in apiary products from a historical mining district (Les Malines, France)
Food Chem, 2014 Mar 1;146:455-9
The trace-elements (TE) contents of honey, royal-jelly and beeswax from a historical Zn-Pb mining district have been investigated to assess potential contamination.
In spite of high levels of heavy metal (As, Cd, Tl, Pb) in wastes left after mining stopped, apiary products appear to be relatively free of TE contamination. For honey, the following average levels (±standard error) were observed: Zn 571±440μgkg(-1), Pb 26±20μgkg(-1), Tl 13±10μgkg(-1), Cd 7±6μgkg(-1) and As 3±4μg.kg(-1).
These results bring additional data to the potential impact of brownfields left after mining on apiary products. They also bring new data to assess potential risks linked with honey consumption and discuss legal TE contents in honey and other food products from apiaries.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Honey May Help Treat Vaginitis

Comparison of the effect of honey and miconazole against Candida albicans in vitro
Adv Biomed Res, 2013 Jul 30;2:57
BACKGROUND:
One of the most common causes of vaginitis is candidiasis. The aim of this study is to compare the effect of honey and miconazole against Candida albicans, in vitro.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
The different W/V concentrations of honey were prepared at 20, 40, 60, 80, and 95% and different dilutions of miconazole were prepared in 0.05, 5, and 50 μg/ml. A microdilution of 100/000 cells per ml of a two-day old culture of Candida albicans was prepared in normal saline, after culturing the strain of PTCC 5027 in RPMI 1640 medium. Ten microliters of this dilution was added to 1 ml of the RPMI 1640 medium containing different concentrations of honey and to 1 ml of the RPMI 1640 medium containing different dilutions of miconazole. The cultures were incubated at 35°C for 12, 24, and 48 hours.
RESULTS:
The growth rate of Candida albicans was determined in the cultures. The results indicated that the honey prevented the growth of C. albicans greatly only at an 80% concentration, whereas, miconazole inhibited it completely.
CONCLUSIONS:
As Candida albicans is a normal vaginal flora, the inhibitory effect of honey without the fungicide effect is a very good trend in the treatment of vaginal candidiasis.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Do-It-Yourself Honey Facial

The DIY (And Budget-Friendly) Facial We Can't Stop Talking About...
By Mandy Jhamat, Marie Claire, 11/15/2013
The health benefits of manuka honey are well known, but have you ever thought about incorporating it into your beauty regime?...
1. Start with cleansed skin - my favourite is Bioderma Cleanser (also in Sensibio for sensitive skin).
2. Pick a premium manuka honey which is 100% raw with a bio active 12+ or above (this strength relates to its anti-bacterial effects). This means that honey has been cold pressed rather than fine filtered and so is closer to its natural state and retaining more of its health benefits.
3. Lightly wet the skin as it makes the application easier.
4. One tablespoon of honey should be enough to spread on the whole face.
5. Leave on for around 15-20 mins - this is where the anti-bacterial effects take place.
6. Wash off with warm water, pat dry. Your face should feel great after so only moisturise if absolutely necessary.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Royal Jelly from Western China Has Significantly Higher 10-HDA level

Geographical influences on content of 10-hydroxy-trans-2-decenoic acid in royal jelly in China
J Econ Entomol, 2013 Oct;106(5):1958-63
The content of 10-hydroxy-trans-2-decenoic acid (10-HDA), a marker compound in royal jelly (RJ), is the most important criterion in grading RJ for commercial trade and varies with its origin. To identify the effect of geographical origin on 10-HDA content in RJ, 138 samples were collected from 19 provinces of China (divided into three groups) produced by either Apis mellifera ligustica Spinola, 1806 or a hybrid of A. m. ligustica and Apis mellifera carnica Pollman, 1879 and analyzed for moisture, sugar, crude protein, ash, acid, and 10-HDA concentration.
The results show that RJ from western China has a significantly higher 10-HDA level (2.01 +/- 0.05%) than those from northeastern (1.87 +/- 0.05%) and eastern (1.75 +/- 0.03%) China. RJ secreted by hybrid bees contained more 10-HDA (1.89 +/- 0.03%) than that secreted by A. m. ligustica (1.78 +/- 0.03%). The 10-HDA content of RJ produced during flowering of rape (Brassica campestris L.), lime (Tilia amurensis Ruprecht), and vitex (Vitex negundo L. variety heterophylla (Franch.) Rehder) was 1.92, 1.80, and 1.68%, respectively.
The results would be helpful during the process of price determination of RJ by providing some basis of geographical, bee strain, and botanical information for commercial trade.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Manuka Health Seals China Deal

Voxy, 11/14/2013
Leading food science company Manuka Health has taken a major step forward to expand sales in China with the signing of a strategic agreement in Shanghai with Chinese company Sunjoy Marketing and Trading.
Manuka Health’s Chief Executive Officer Kerry Paul says the China deal is very exciting for the company as it moves into its next major growth and development phase.
"The agreement with Sunjoy gives us access to a full range of sales channels with national distribution, not just in traditional consumer channels but the health sector as well," he said…
Later the company plans to introduce the recently launched CycloPower MGOManuka Honey range to China, and other skin and oral care products. CycloPower delivers the active anti-bacterial ingredient in manuka honey, methylglyoxal, in capsule and chewable tablet form…

Friday, November 15, 2013

Honey Bees Make Discrete Choices Among Many Resinous Plant Species

Metabolomics reveals the origins of antimicrobial plant resins collected by honey bees
PLoS One, 2013 Oct 18;8(10):e77512
The deposition of antimicrobial plant resins in honey bee, Apis mellifera, nests has important physiological benefits. Resin foraging is difficult to approach experimentally because resin composition is highly variable among and between plant families, the environmental and plant-genotypic effects on resins are unknown, and resin foragers are relatively rare and often forage in unobservable tree canopies. Subsequently, little is known about the botanical origins of resins in many regions or the benefits of specific resins to bees.
We used metabolomic methods as a type of environmental forensics to track individual resin forager behavior through comparisons of global resin metabolite patterns. The resin from the corbiculae of a single bee was sufficient to identify that resin's botanical source without prior knowledge of resin composition. Bees from our apiary discriminately foraged for resin from eastern cottonwood (Populus deltoides), and balsam poplar (P. balsamifera) among many available, even closely related, resinous plants. Cottonwood and balsam poplar resin composition did not show significant seasonal or regional changes in composition. Metabolomic analysis of resin from 6 North American Populus spp. and 5 hybrids revealed peaks characteristic to taxonomic nodes within Populus, while antimicrobial analysis revealed that resin from different species varied in inhibition of the bee bacterial pathogen, Paenibacillus larvae.
We conclude that honey bees make discrete choices among many resinous plant species, even among closely related species. Bees also maintained fidelity to a single source during a foraging trip. Furthermore, the differential inhibition of P. larvae by Populus spp., thought to be preferential for resin collection in temperate regions, suggests that resins from closely related plant species many have different benefits to bees.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Potentially Toxic Compounds in Honey

J Appl Toxicol, 2013 Nov 11
There is a wealth of information about the nutritional and medicinal properties of honey. However, honey may contain compounds that may lead to toxicity. A compound not naturally present in honey, named 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), may be formed during the heating or preservation processes of honey. HMF has gained much interest, as it is commonly detected in honey samples, especially samples that have been stored for a long time. HMF is a compound that may be mutagenic, carcinogenic and cytotoxic.
It has also been reported that honey can be contaminated with heavy metals such as lead, arsenic, mercury and cadmium.
Honey produced from the nectar of Rhododendron ponticum contains alkaloids that can be poisonous to humans, while honey collected from Andromeda flowers contains grayanotoxins, which can cause paralysis of limbs in humans and eventually leads to death. In addition, Melicope ternata and Coriaria arborea from New Zealand produce toxic honey that can be fatal.
There are reports that honey is not safe to be consumed when it is collected from Datura plants (from Mexico and Hungary), belladonna flowers and Hyoscamus niger plants (from Hungary), Serjania lethalis (from Brazil), Gelsemium sempervirens (from the American Southwest), Kalmia latifolia, Tripetalia paniculata and Ledum palustre.
Although the symptoms of poisoning due to honey consumption may differ depending on the source of toxins, most common symptoms generally include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, convulsions, headache, palpitations or even death. It has been suggested that honey should not be considered a completely safe food.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Venom Extracted Through Electrical Stimulation Has Higher Protein Content

Proteome and phosphoproteome analysis of honeybee (Apis mellifera) venom collected from electrical stimulation and manual extraction of the venom gland
BMC Genomics, 2013 Nov 7;14(1):766
BACKGROUND:
Honeybee venom is a complicated defensive toxin that has a wide range of pharmacologically active compounds. Some of these compounds are useful for human therapeutics. There are two major forms of honeybee venom used in pharmacological applications: manually (or reservoir disrupting) extracted glandular venom (GV), and venom extracted through the use of electrical stimulation (ESV). A proteome comparison of these two venom forms and an understanding of the phosphorylation status of ESV, are still very limited. Here, the proteomes of GV and ESV were compared using both gel-based and gel-free proteomics approaches and the phosphoproteome of ESV was determined through the use of TiO2 enrichment.
RESULTS:
Of the 43 proteins identified in GV, < 40% were venom toxins, and > 60% of the proteins were non-toxic proteins resulting from contamination by gland tissue damage during extraction and bee death. Of the 17 proteins identified in ESV, 14 proteins (>80%) were venom toxic proteins and most of them were found in higher abundance than in GV. Moreover, two novel proteins (dehydrogenase/reductase SDR family member 11-like and histone H2B.3-like) and three novel phosphorylation sites (icarapin (S43), phospholipase A-2 (T145), and apamin (T23)) were identified.
CONCLUSIONS:
Our data demonstrate that venom extracted manually is different from venom extracted using ESV, and these differences may be important in their use as pharmacological agents. ESV may be more efficient than GV as a potential pharmacological source because of its higher venom protein content, production efficiency, and without the need to kill honeybee. The three newly identified phosphorylated venom proteins in ESV may elicit a different immune response through the specific recognition of antigenic determinants. The two novel venom proteins extend our proteome coverage of honeybee venom.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Honey a Potential Treatment for Wounds Infected with Multidrug-Resistant Bacteria

Honey: a sweet solution to the growing problem of antimicrobial resistance?
Future Microbiology, November 2013, Vol. 8, No. 11, Pages 1419-1429
Resistance to antibiotics continues to rise and few new therapies are on the horizon. Honey has good antibacterial activity against numerous microorganisms of many different genera and no honey-resistant phenotypes have yet emerged. The mechanisms of antimicrobial activity are just beginning to be understood; however, it is apparent that these are diverse and often specific for certain groups or even species of bacteria.
Manuka honey has been most thoroughly characterized and is commercially available as a topical medical treatment for wound infections. Furthermore, since most data are available for this honey, there is a considerable focus on it in this review. It is becoming evident that honeys are more than just bactericidal, as they impact on biofilm formation, quorum sensing and the expression of virulence factors.
With this in mind, honey represents an attractive antimicrobial treatment that might have the potential to be used alongside current therapies as a prophylactic or to treat wound infection with multidrug-resistant bacteria in future.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Honey Enhances Intestinal Villi Growth

Comparative effect of cane syrup and natural honey on abdominal viscera of growing male and female rats
Indian J Exp Biol, 2013 Apr;51(4):303-12
The high intake of refined sugars, mainly fructose has been implicated in the epidemiology of metabolic diseases in adults and children. With an aim to determine whether honey can substitute refined sugars without adverse effect, the long-term effects of natural honey and cane syrup have been compared on visceral morphology in growing rats fed from neonatal age.
Honey increased the caecum and pancreas weights in male rats, which could enhance enzymatic activities of pancreas and digestive functions by intestinal microflora of caecum.
Unlike honey, cane syrup caused fatty degenerations in the liver of both male and female rats. Honey enhanced intestinal villi growth, and did not cause pathology in the rodents' abdominal viscera, suggesting potential nutritional benefit as substitution for refined sugars in animal feed.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

UK Doc Recommends Manuka Honey for Wound Healing

Dr Le Fanu's Online Health Clinic
The Telegraph, 11/8/2013
Dear Dr Le Fanu,
The article by Mrs Sanai, on the same page of the Telegraph, as your article on 28/10/2013, ends by saying "Please let that wound heal."
I met an old lady, who had received a wound from a rose thorn, which refused to heal, even with three separate courses of Antibiotics. Manuka healed, or allowed the wound to heal, quite quickly, she said.
To my surprise, my local NHI practice stocks wound dressings, with Manuka built in.
Do you think you could suggest it, in the distressing circumstances of Mrs Sanai ?
Clearly, the Data Protection Act, would not allow me to get in touch, and I think the standard medical reaction ( of which you seem to be clear, judging from your articles ) would have anything I wrote, ruled, inadmissible / lay mans ignorance / JUJU Superstition, or otherwise useless.
Yours Sincerely, Edward P
Honey, Lena Koller
Dear Edward P,
Thanks for being in touch and I am pleased to hear that Manuka honey healed your acquaintance’s rose thorn wound. It is, as you say, an excellent idea to incorporate the honey into a dressing.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Phytochemical Markers of Different Types of Red Propolis

Food Chem, 2014 Mar 1;146:174-80

Propolis is a resin that bees collect from different plant sources and use in the defense of the bee community. The intricate composition of propolis varies depending on plant sources from different geographic regions and many types have been reported. Red coloured propolis found in several states in Brazil and in other countries has known antimicrobial and antioxidant activity.

Different analytical methods have been applied to studies regarding the chemical composition and plant origins of red propolis. In this study samples of red propolis from different regions have been characterised using direct infusion electrospray ionisation mass spectrometry (ESI(-)-MS) fingerprinting. Data from the fingerprints was extracted and analysed by multivariate analysis to group the samples according to their composition and marker compounds.

Despite similar colour, the red coloured propolis samples were divided into three groups due to contrasting chemical composition, confirming the need to properly characterise the chemical composition of propolis.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Methylglyoxal Suppresses Hydrogen Peroxide Generation in Manuka Honey

Methylglyoxal May Affect Hydrogen Peroxide Accumulation in Manuka Honey Through the Inhibition of Glucose Oxidase
J Med Food, 2013 Nov 5
Although hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is one of the major antibacterial factors in most honeys, it does not accumulate in medical-grade manuka honey. The goal of this study was to investigate the effect of artificially added methylglyoxal (MGO) on H2O2 accumulation in natural non-manuka honeys.
H2O2 concentrations in the honey solutions were determined using a fluorimetric assay. Two, the most potent H2O2 producers honeydew honeys were mixed with MGO at final concentrations of 250, 500, and 1000 mg/kg, and incubated for 4 days at 37°C. Subsequently, H2O2 concentrations were determined in 50% (wt/vol) MGO supplemented honey solutions. In vitro crosslinking of the enzyme glucose oxidase (GOX) after incubation with MGO was determined by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis.
Tested honeys at a concentration of 50% (wt/vol) accumulated up to 495.8±9.1 μM H2O2 in 24 h. The most potent producers were the two honeydew honeys, whose 50% solutions accumulated 306.9±6.8 and 495.8±9.1 μM H2O2, respectively. Levels of H2O2 increased significantly over time in both honey solutions. Contrary to this, the MGO-treated honeys generated significantly lower amounts of H2O2 (P < .001), and this reduction was dose dependent. In addition, MGO-treated GOX formed high molecular weight adducts with increasing time of incubation accompanied by loss of its enzymatic activity.
High levels of MGO in manuka honey, by modifying the enzyme GOX, might be responsible for suppressing H2O2 generation. These data highlight the detrimental effect of MGO on significant proteinaceous components of manuka honey.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Malaysian Tualang Honey Helps Treat Hay Fever

Ingestion of honey improves the symptoms of allergic rhinitis: evidence from a randomized placebo-controlled trial in the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia
Ann Saudi Med, 2013 Sep-Oct;33(5):469-75
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES:
The role of honey in the treatment of allergic rhinitis (AR) is controversial. We studied the complementary effect of ingestion of a high dose of honey, in addition to standard medications, on AR.
DESIGN AND SETTINGS:
Prospective randomized placebo-controlled study. Subjects were recruited from an otolaryngology clinic in 2 tertiary referral centers in the East coast of Peninsular Malaysia. The study period ranged from April 2010-April 2011.
METHODS:
Forty AR patients were divided equally into a case group and a control group. All the subjects received a daily dose of 10 mg of loratadine for 4 weeks. The case group ingested 1 g/kg body weight of honey daily in separate doses for the 4-week period. The control group ingested the same dose of honey-flavored corn syrup as placebo. AR symptoms were scored at the start, week 4, and week 8 of the study.
RESULTS:
There were no significant differences between the mean total symptom score of the case and the control groups at the start of the study. At week 4, both groups showed progressive improvement in the symptoms; at week 8, only the case group showed a continuous improvement in the symptom score. Only the group that ingested honey showed a significant improvement in individual AR symptoms. The improvement persisted for a month after the cessation of the treatment
CONCLUSION:
Honey ingestion at a high dose improves the overall and individual symptoms of AR, and it could serve as a complementary therapy for AR.
The type of honey used in this study was Tualang honey, a raw, unprocessed, multifloral honey harvested from beehives of the giant honey bee (Apis dorsata) built on the branches of giant trees named Tualang in the Malaysian rainforest.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Pakistani Honeys Have Excellent Antioxidant, Antitumour Potential

Antitumour and antioxidant potential of some selected Pakistani honeys
Food Chem, 2014 Jan 15;143:362-6
Antitumour potential of honey is attributed to its excellent antioxidant activity which in turn depends on the geographical origin.
The present study focuses on exploration of antioxidant and antitumour potential as well as total phenolic contents (TPC) of 58 Pakistani honeys involving spectrochemical techniques and potato disk assay.
Agrobacterium tumefaciens was used to induce tumours in potato disks...
It was concluded that Pakistani honeys possessed excellent antioxidant and antitumour potential overall.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Manuka Honey Decreases Virulence of Super Bug MRSA

Proteomic and genomic analysis of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) exposed to manuka honey in vitro demonstrated down-regulation of virulence markers
OBJECTIVES:
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is an important pathogen. Its resistance to multiple antibiotics and its prevalence in healthcare establishments make it a serious threat to human health that requires novel interventions. Manuka honey is a broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent that is gaining acceptance in the topical treatment of wounds. Because its mode of action is only partially understood, proteomic and genomic analysis was used to investigate the effects of manuka honey on MRSA at a molecular level.
METHODS:
Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis with dual-channel imaging was combined with matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry to determine the identities of differentially expressed proteins. The expression of the corresponding genes was investigated by quantitative PCR. Microarray analysis provided an overview of alterations in gene expression across the MRSA genome.
RESULTS:
Genes with increased expression following exposure to manuka honey were associated with glycolysis, transport and biosynthesis of amino acids, proteins and purines. Those with decreased expression were involved in the tricarboxylic acid cycle, cell division, quorum sensing and virulence. The greatest reductions were seen in genes conferring virulence (sec3, fnb, hlgA, lip and hla) and coincided with a down-regulation of global regulators, such as agr, sae and sarV. A model to illustrate these multiple effects was constructed and implicated glucose, which is one of the major sugars contained in honey.
CONCLUSIONS:
A decreased expression of virulence genes in MRSA will impact on its pathogenicity and needs to be investigated in vivo.

Monday, November 04, 2013

New Zealand Ministry Under Pressure Over Manuka Honey Quality Assurance

By Ruth Grundy, Otago Daily Times, 11/1/2013

Work is continuing to determine what guidelines should be used to define manuka honey so it can be true to label.
Last month, the Ministry for Primary Industries produced a discussion document asking the industry and scientists to help it come up with guidelines for the whole industry.
It had received 71 submissions from individuals and representatives from the New Zealand honey industry by September 30 when submissions closed.
Earlier this month, it met manuka honey scientists to discuss the available scientific evidence and has commissioned an independent review of the literature.
The ministry expected to publish an analysis of the submissions and a draft interim labelling guideline by about the end of October.
But it has now said it might need to commission further research to be able to finalise a suitably robust science-based definition.
There is no international standard specifically for manuka honey and the New Zealand honey industry has been unable to agree on a standard despite decades of discussion…

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Allergic Reaction To Bee Stings May Be Protective Mechanism

RTT, 10/31/2013

The common allergic reaction associated with bee stings could be a protective mechanism in the body, according to a new study from researchers at Stanford.
Researchers examined a group of mice by injecting some with bee venom and some with a salt solution. They found that some those mice injected with the salt solution developed a larger number of immune cells immediately following the injection than those who had the salt injection. A blood analysis also showed that those mice also had higher levels of antibodies…

Saturday, November 02, 2013

New Method for Detecting Irradiated Royal Jelly

Electron spin resonance spectral analysis of irradiated royal jelly
Food Chem, 2014 Jan 15;143:479-83
The analysis of unpaired electron components in royal jelly was carried out using electron spin resonance (ESR) with the aim to develop a detection method for irradiated royal jelly.
The ESR spectrum of royal jelly had natural signals derived from transition metals, including Fe(3+) and Cu(2+), and a signal line near g=2.00. After irradiation, a new splitting asymmetric spectrum with overall spectrum width ca. 10mT at g=2.004 was observed. The intensities of the signals at g=2.004 increased in proportion to the absorbed dose in samples under different storage conditions: fresh frozen royal jelly and dried royal jelly powder at room temperature. The signal intensity of the fresh frozen sample was stable after irradiation.
One year after 10kGy irradiation of dried powder, the signal intensity was sevenfold greater than before irradiation, although the intensity continued to steadily decrease with time.
This stable radiation-induced radical component was derived from the poorly soluble constituent of royal jelly.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Bee Products May Help Treat Depression, Parkinson's Disease and Alzheimer's

Total monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibition by chestnut honey, pollen and propolis
Abstract Monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors are generally used in the treatment of depressive disorders and some neurodegenerative illnesses, such as Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease.
The aim of this preliminary study was to investigate the MAO [MAO (E.C.1.4.3.4)] inhibiting effect of various apitherapeutic products, such as chestnut honey, pollen and propolis.
Extracts' MAO inhibition was measured using peroxidase-linked spectrophotometric assay in enzyme isolated from rat liver microsomes, and the values are expressed as the inhibition concentration (IC50) causing 50% inhibition of MAO. The antioxidant activity of the bee products was also determined in terms of total phenolic content (TPC) and ferric reducing/antioxidant power in aquatic extracts.
All samples exhibited substantial inhibition of MAO, propolis having the highest. Inhibition was related to samples' TPCs and antioxidant capacities.
These results show that bee products possess a sedative effect and may be effective in protecting humans against depression and similar diseases.