Saturday, April 29, 2017

Propolis of Australian Stingless Bees Shows Radical Scavenging Activity

Natural products isolated from Tetragonula carbonaria cerumen modulate free radical-scavenging and 5-lipoxygenase activities in vitro

BMC Complement Altern Med. 2017 Apr 26;17(1):232

BACKGROUND:

Propolis and cerumen are plant-derived products found in honeybees and stingless bees, respectively. Although propolis is an ancient folk medicine, the bioactivities of cerumen obtained from Australian native stingless bees (Tetragonula carbonaria) have not been widely studied. Therefore, we investigated selected anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of T. carbonaria cerumen.

METHODS:

A methanolic extract was prepared from the combined cerumen of 40 T. carbonaria hives, and HPLC was used to screen for chemical constituents that scavenged 2,2-azobis(2-methylpropionamidine) dihydrochloride (AAPH). The ability of cerumen extracts to scavenge 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and to interfere with leukotriene B4 (LTB4) production in ionomycin-stimulated human neutrophils was also examined.

RESULTS:

The extract dose-dependently scavenged DPPH (EC50 = 27.0 ± 2.3 μg/mL); and inhibited the 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX)-mediated oxidation of linoleic acid (IC50 = 67.1 ± 9.6 μg/mL). Pre-treatment of isolated human neutrophils with the methanolic cerumen extract additionally inhibited the ionomycin-stimulated production of LTB4 from these cells (IC50 = 13.3 ± 5.3 μg/mL). Following multi-solvent extraction, the free radical-scavenging and 5-LOX-inhibiting activities of the initial cerumen extract were retained in a polar, methanol-water extract, which contained gallic acid and a range of flavonone and phenolic natural products.

CONCLUSIONS:

The findings identify free radical scavenging activity, and interference by extracts of T. carbonaria cerumen in 5-LOX-LTB4 signaling. Further investigation is needed to determine whether the extracts will provide therapeutic benefits for medical conditions in which oxidative stress and inflammation are implicated, including cardiovascular disease and impaired wound healing.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Understanding Biological Functions of Manuka Honey Post Ingestion

In vivo absorption and metabolism of leptosperin and methyl syringate, abundantly present in manuka honey

Molecular Nutrition & Food Research

Manuka honey, which shows strong non-peroxide-dependent antibacterial activity, contains unique components, such as methyl syringate 4-O-β-D-gentiobioside (leptosperin) and its aglycone, methyl syringate (MSYR). To determine the potential for biological activity evoked by the ingestion of leptosperin and MSYR, we investigated the absorption and metabolism of these components in manuka honey.

Methods and results

The incubation of MSYR with liver microsomes or S9 fractions in vitro resulted in the formation of MSYR-glucuronide (MSYR-GA), MSYR-sulfate (MSYR-S), and syringic acid as metabolites. Then, manuka honey (15 g) was fed to healthy human volunteers. MSYR-GA, MSYR-S, and MSYR were detected in both plasma and urine. Within plasma, their levels were highest within 0.5 h to 1 h post-ingestion, and most metabolites disappeared within 3 h. In conjunction with the disappearances, a significant amount of metabolites along with trace leptosperin was excreted in urine within 4 h. To elucidate the detailed metabolisms of leptosperin and MSYR, each compound was separately administered to mice. In each case, MSYR-GA, MSYR-S, and MSYR were detected in both plasma and urine.

Conclusion

This study shows the major molecular pathway for leptosperin and MSYR metabolism and could facilitate an understanding of biological functions of manuka honey post ingestion.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Black Seed Honey Can Help Treat Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus-Infected (MRSA) Wounds

In-vitro susceptibility of methicillin-resistant Stayphylococcus aureus to honey

Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2017 May;27:57-60

Wound infections caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is becoming much complicated and costly to treat as antimicrobial resistance is quite common.

Twenty five MRSA strains isolated from infected wounds and three ATCC reference strains were evaluated for their susceptibility to locally produced black seed (Nigella sativa), beri (ZiziphusJujuba) and shain honey (Plectranthus rugosus wall) by agar incorporation assay. Medically graded manuka honey (UMF 21+) was included as control.

Locally produced black seed honey inhibited all clinical isolates at mean MIC of 5.5% (v/v), whereas manuka honey at mean MIC of 4.4% (v/v). The other two locally produced honey; beri and shain honey inhibited these isolates at 6.4% and 10.4% (v/v) respectively.

The result of the study has demonstrated that indigenous black seed honey has comparable antibacterial activity to manuka honey and thus offers a good new addition to the existing honey resource for the treatment of wound infections.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Bee-Derived Molecular Shuttle is the Newest Venom Product

Discover, 4/19/2017

The mechanism for molecular Trojan horses is simple. Just as the infamous Trojan horse ferried hidden soldiers past Troy’s well-guarded gates to gain access to the vulnerable city, molecules that are already capable of passing the blood-brain barrier could theoretically be used to shuttle therapeutic ones to where they are needed most. Lots of research effort recently has gone into identifying potential molecular horses and testing their abilities to drag other compounds across the divide.

Of course, apamin itself is a toxin—not exactly the kind of compound we want a lot of in our brains. So simply shuttling drugs with apamin was out of the question. But a team of scientists, led by the Institute for Research in Biomedicine in Barcelona’s Ernest Giralt, believed they could modify the compound, removing its toxic nature while retaining its brain-accessing abilities.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Antibacterial Action of Polish Melilot Honey

Hydrogen peroxide-dependent antibacterial action of Melilotus albus honey

Lett Appl Microbiol. 2017 Apr 20

Honey originating from different floral sources exhibits the broad-spectrum of antibacterial activity as a result of the presence of hydrogen peroxide as well as non peroxide bioactive compounds. The mechanisms of antibacterial activity of Polish melilot honey were investigated for the first time.

Polish melilot honey samples (Melilotus albus biennal -3 and annual-5, Melilotus officinalis -1) were collected directly from beekeepers and analyzed for pollen profile, basic physicochemical parameters, antioxidant capacity, radical scavenging activity, total phenolics contents as well as antibacterial properties against pathogenic bacteria Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Salmonella spp.

The physicochemical properties of melilot honey were specific for light-colored unifloral honeys and were not dependent on its botanical and geographical origin (P > 0.05). All tested honey samples exhibited inhibitory activity (above 90%) against Gram positive bacteria in the concentration of 12.5 to 25%. Above 30-50% of antibacterial activity of melilot honey was connected with glucose-oxidase enzyme action and was destroyed in the presence of catalase.

Hydrogen peroxide-dependent antibacterial activity of honey was inversely correlated with its radical scavenging activity (r = -0.67) and phenolic compounds ( r = -0.61). Antibacterial action of melilot honey depends not only on hydrogen peroxide produced by glucose-oxidase but also on other non peroxide bioactive components of honey.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Honey Bees Prefer Fresh Bee Bread

Honey bees preferentially consume freshly-stored pollen

PLoS One. 2017 Apr 21;12(4):e0175933

Honey bees (Apis mellifera) collect and store both honey and pollen in preserved forms. Pollen storage involves the addition of honey or nectar and oral secretions to pollen granules. It is controversial whether the duration of pollen storage alters the palatability or nutritive value of the pollen storage medium.

We examined how bees utilize different-aged stored pollen during an extended pollen flow. The deposition of pollen into wax cells and subsequent consumption were monitored daily on 18 brood frames from 6 colonies over an 8d observation period. Despite a greater abundance of older stored pollen cells on brood frames, bees showed a marked preference for the consumption of freshly-stored pollen.

Two to four day-old pollen cell contents were significantly more likely to be consumed, while pollen cell contents more than seven days old were eaten at much lower rates. Similar experiments that controlled for cell abundance and spatial effects using cage assays yielded the same result. One day-old stored pollen was consumed approximately three times more often than 10d-old stored pollen, and two times more often than 5d-old stored pollen. These consumption preferences for freshly-stored pollen occurred despite a lack of clear developmental advantages. Young adult workers reared for 7 days on 1d-, 5d-, or 10d-old stored pollen showed no difference in body mass, stored pollen consumption, hindgut fecal material accumulation, or hypopharyngeal gland (HPG) protein titers, suggesting that different-aged pollen stores did not vary in their nutritional value to adult bees.

These findings are inconsistent with the hypothesis promoting a period of microbially-mediated, "beebread maturation" that results in greater palatability or nutritive value for aged pollen stores. Rather, stored pollen that is not eaten in the first few days accumulates as excess stores preserved in a less preferred, but nutritionally-similar state.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Counterfeiters Stung with New Manuka Honey Authentication

Securing Industry, 4/21/2017

New Zealand is ensuring it maintains its sweet spot with the manuka honey market by devising a sophisticated scientific system to authenticate the spread's source.

The move comes after several overseas markets have questioned the authenticity of some honey labelled as New Zealand manuka honey.

Manuka honey, which is made from the nectar of the manuka plant or New Zealand tea tree (Leptospermum scoparium) that is native to New Zealand, has antibacterial properties and commands a high price tag, up to ten times the price of regular honey. The premium product has a growing export value but has also become the target for food fraud, with consumers duped into paying high prices for mislabelled regular honey.

Earlier this year, jars labelled as New Zealand manuka honey were removed from UK shelves, including Fortnum & Mason, after fakes were discovered that contained lower levels of the active ingredient...

Friday, April 21, 2017

Propolis Component May Help Treat Osteoporosis

Caffeic acid phenethyl ester protects against glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis in vivo: Impact on oxidative stress and RANKL/OPG signals

Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2017 Mar 29;324:26-35

Glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis (GIO) is one of the most common causes of secondary osteoporosis. Given that glucocorticoids are considered as a main component of the treatment protocols for a variety of inflammation and immune-mediated diseases besides its use as adjuvant to several chemotherapeutic agents, it is crucial to find ways to overcome this critical adverse effect. Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), which is a natural compound derived from honeybee propolis displayed promising antiosteoporotic effects against mechanical bone injury in various studies. The current work aimed at investigating the potential protective effect of CAPE against GIO in vivo with emphasis on the modulation of oxidative status and receptor activator of NF-kB ligand (RANKL)/osteoprotegrin (OPG) signaling.

The results showed that CAPE opposed dexamethasone (DEX)-mediated alterations in bone histology and tartarate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) activity. In addition, CAPE restored oxidative balance, Runt-related transcription factor 2 (RunX2) expression and reduced caspase-3 activity in femur tissues. Co-administration of CAPE with DEX normalized RANKL/OPG ratio and Akt activation indicating a reduction in DEX-osteoclastogenesis. In conclusion, concurrent treatment of CAPE with DEX exhibited promising effects in the protection against DEX-induced osteoporosis through opposing osteoclastogenesis and protecting osteoblasts. The potent antioxidant activity of CAPE is, at least in part, involved in its anti-apoptotic effects and modulation of RunX2 and RANKL/OPG signals.

The use of CAPE-enriched propolis formulas is strongly recommended for patients on chronic glucocorticoid therapy to help in the attenuation of GIO.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Manuka Honey Effectively Inhibits Biofilm Formation

Antimicrobial effects of Manuka honey on in vitro biofilm formation by Clostridium difficile

Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2017 Apr 18

Clostridium difficile is the cause of the nosocomial C. difficile infection (CDI). The conventional antibiotics used in CDI therapy are often unsuccessful, and recurrent infections may occur. Biofilm formation by C. difficile is associated with chronic or recurrent infections; biofilms may contribute to virulence and impaired antimicrobial efficacy.

Manuka honey, derived from the Manuka tree (Leptospermum scoparium), is known to exhibit antimicrobial properties that are associated with its significant content of methylglyoxal, a natural antibiotic.

The aim of the present study was to determine the antimicrobial effect of Manuka honey on clinical C. difficile strains belonging to four prominent polymerase chain reaction (PCR) ribotypes (RTs) (RT017, RT023, RT027 and RT046) and on their biofilm formation in vitro. Minimal inhibitory and bactericidal concentrations (MICs and MBCs, respectively) were determined using the broth dilution method. The biomass of the biofilm and the clearance of C. difficile biofilms by Manuka honey were determined using the crystal violet staining method.

The MIC and MBC of Manuka honey for C. difficile strains were equal at 6.25% (v/v). PCR RT027 strains produced more biofilm in vitro than the other examined strains. Manuka honey effectively inhibited biofilm formation by C. difficile strains of different PCR RTs.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Bee Venom Component May Help Treat Liver Disease

Apamin suppresses biliary fibrosis and activation of hepatic stellate cells

Int J Mol Med. 2017 May;39(5):1188-1194

Cholestatic liver disease is characterized by the progressive destruction of biliary epithelial cells (BECs) followed by fibrosis, cirrhosis and liver failure. Activated hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) and portal fibroblasts are the major cellular effectors of enhanced collagen deposition in biliary fibrosis. Apamin, an 18 amino acid peptide neurotoxin found in apitoxin (bee venom), is known to block Ca2+-activated K+ channels and prevent carbon tetrachloride-induced liver fibrosis. In the present study, we aimed to ascertain whether apamin inhibits biliary fibrosis and the proliferation of HSCs. Cholestatic liver fibrosis was established in mouse models with 3,5-diethoxycarbonyl-1,4-dihydrocollidine (DDC) feeding. Cellular assays were performed on HSC-T6 cells (rat immortalized HSCs). DDC feeding led to increased hepatic damage and proinflammtory cytokine levels. Notably, apamin treatment resulted in decreased liver injury and proinflammatory cytokine levels. Moreover, apamin suppressed the deposition of collagen, proliferation of BECs and expression of fibrogenic genes in the DDC-fed mice. In HSCs, apamin suppressed activation of HSCs by inhibiting the Smad signaling pathway. These data suggest that apamin may be a potential therapeutic target in cholestatic liver disease.


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Propolis Component Protects Against Osteoporosis

Caffeic acid phenethyl ester protects against glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis in vivo: Impact on oxidative stress and RANKL/OPG signals

Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2017 Mar 29;324:26-35

Glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis (GIO) is one of the most common causes of secondary osteoporosis. Given that glucocorticoids are considered as a main component of the treatment protocols for a variety of inflammation and immune-mediated diseases besides its use as adjuvant to several chemotherapeutic agents, it is crucial to find ways to overcome this critical adverse effect. Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), which is a natural compound derived from honeybee propolis displayed promising antiosteoporotic effects against mechanical bone injury in various studies.

The current work aimed at investigating the potential protective effect of CAPE against GIO in vivo with emphasis on the modulation of oxidative status and receptor activator of NF-kB ligand (RANKL)/osteoprotegrin (OPG) signaling. The results showed that CAPE opposed dexamethasone (DEX)-mediated alterations in bone histology and tartarate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) activity. In addition, CAPE restored oxidative balance, Runt-related transcription factor 2 (RunX2) expression and reduced caspase-3 activity in femur tissues. Co-administration of CAPE with DEX normalized RANKL/OPG ratio and Akt activation indicating a reduction in DEX-osteoclastogenesis.

In conclusion, concurrent treatment of CAPE with DEX exhibited promising effects in the protection against DEX-induced osteoporosis through opposing osteoclastogenesis and protecting osteoblasts. The potent antioxidant activity of CAPE is, at least in part, involved in its anti-apoptotic effects and modulation of RunX2 and RANKL/OPG signals.

The use of CAPE-enriched propolis formulas is strongly recommended for patients on chronic glucocorticoid therapy to help in the attenuation of GIO.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Review of Geographical Origins and Compositions of Propolis

Biological properties of propolis extracts: Something new from an ancient product

Chem Phys Lipids. 2017 Apr 11. pii: S0009-3084(17)30025-7

Natural products are an interesting source of new therapeutics, especially for cancer therapy as 70% of them have botany origin. Propolis, a resinous mixture that honey bees collect and transform from tree buds, sap flows, or other botanical sources, has been used by ethnobotany and traditional practitioners as early in Egypt as 3000 BC.

Enriched in flavonoids, phenol acids and terpene derivatives, propolis has been widely used for its antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties. Even though it is a challenge to standardize propolis composition, chemical analyses have pointed out interesting molecules that also present anti-oxidant and anti-proliferative properties that are of interest in the field of anti-cancer therapy.

This review describes the various geographical origins and compositions of propolis, and analyzes how the main compounds of propolis could modulate cell signaling. A focus is made on the putative use of propolis in prostate cancer.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Urease Inhibition by Manuka Honey Mainly Due to MGO and DHA

Manuka honey (Leptospermum scoparium) inhibits jack bean urease activity due to methylglyoxal and dihydroxyacetone

Food Chem. 2017 Sep 1;230:540-546

Manuka honey (Leptospermum scoparium) exerts a strong antibacterial effect. Bacterial enzymes are an important target for antibacterial compounds. The enzyme urease produces ammonia and enables bacteria to adapt to an acidic environment.

A new enzymatic assay, based on photometric detection of ammonia with ninhydrin, was developed to study urease activity. Methylglyoxal (MGO) and its precursor dihydroxyacetone (DHA), which are naturally present in manuka honey, were identified as jack bean urease inhibitors with IC50 values of 2.8 and 5.0mM, respectively. Urease inhibition of manuka honey correlates with its MGO and DHA content. Non-manuka honeys, which lack MGO and DHA, showed significantly less urease inhibition. MGO depletion from manuka honey with glyoxalase reduced urease inhibition.

Therefore, urease inhibition by manuka honey is mainly due to MGO and DHA. The results obtained with jack bean urease as a model urease, may contribute to the understanding of bacterial inhibition by manuka honey.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Combination of Cinnamon Bark Extract and Honey may Help Treat Acne

Antibacterial Activity of Ethanolic Extract of Cinnamon Bark, Honey, and Their Combination Effects against Acne-Causing Bacteria

Sci Pharm. 2017 Apr 11;85(2)

Propionibacterium acnes and Staphylococcus epidermidis are the major skin bacteria that cause the formation of acne. The present study was conducted to investigate antibacterial activity of ethanolic extract of cinnamon bark, honey, and their combination against acne bacteria. The antibacterial activity of extract of cinnamon bark and honey were investigated against P. acnes and S. epidermidis using disc diffusion. Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) and minimum bactericidal concentrations (MBCs) were attained using Clinical and Laboratory Standard Institute (CLSI) methods. The interaction between cinnamon bark extract and honey was determined using a checkerboards method.

The results showed that the MICs of cinnamon bark extract and honey against P. acne were 256 µg/mL and 50% v/v, respectively, while those against S. epidermidis were 1024 µg/mL and 50% v/v, respectively. The MBC of cinnamon bark extract against P. acnes and S. epidermidis were more than 2048 µg/mL, whereas the MBC for honey against P. acnes and S. epidermidis were 100%. The combination of cinnamon bark extract and honey against P. acnes and S. epidermidis showed additive activity with a fractional inhibitory concentration index (FICI) value of 0.625.

Therefore, the combination of cinnamon bark extract and honey has potential activity against acne-causing bacteria.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Bee Products Used to Treat Cancer, Rheumatoid Arthritis


Honey bee products used as medicine

Guardian, 4/13/2017

Bee products such as honey, venom have been used in folk medicine for thousands of years for treating wounds, ulcers, inflammation, infections, pain, allergies and cancer.

Bee venom therapy, the therapeutic application of bee venom have been used in traditional medicine to treat diseases, such as arthritis, rheumatism, pain, cancerous tumors and kin diseases. Bee venom contains a variety of peptides including melittin, apamin, adolapin, the mast – cell-degranulating peptide, enzymes (phospolipase A2), biologically active amines (that is histamine and epinephrine) and nonpeptide components with a variety of pharmaceutical properties.

Cancer treatment

Bee venom has been widely used in the treatment of tumours. Several cancer cells, including renal, lung, liver, prostate, mammary gland as well as leukemia cells can be targets of bee venom peptides such as melittin and phospholipase A2.

In recent study scientists reported that bee venom can induce apoptosis in cancer cells (in human leukemic U937cells) the key regulators in bee venom induced apoptosis are Bcl-2 and caspase-3 through down regulation of the ERK and Akt signal pathway. Melittin, a water-soluble toxic peptide derived from bee venom of Apis mellifera was reported to have inhibitory effects on hepatocellular carcinoma. Melittin inhibits tumor cell metastasis by reducing motility and migration via the suppression of Rac-1 dependent pathway, suggesting that melittin is a potent therapeutic agent for hepatocellular carcinoma. Melittin prevents liver cancer cells metastasis through inhibition of the Rac-1-dependent pathway.

Treatment for rheumatoid arthritis

Bee venom induces apoptosis in rheumatoid synovial cells through a decrease in BCL2 expression and an increase in BAX and caspase-3 expression. Bee venom induces apoptosis through caspase-3 activation in synovial fibroblasts of patients with rheumatoid arthritis...

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Propolis an Alternative Treatment for Denture Soreness

Efficacy of Propolis on the Denture Stomatitis Treatment in Older Adults: A Multicentric Randomized Trial

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2017;2017:8971746

Our hypothesis tested the efficacy and safety of a mucoadhesive oral gel formulation of Brazilian propolis extract compared to miconazole oral gel for the treatment of denture stomatitis due to Candida spp. infection in older adults. Forty patients were randomly allocated in a noninferiority clinical trial into two groups. The control group (MIC) received 20 mg/g miconazole oral gel and the study group (PROP) received mucoadhesive formulation containing standardized extract of 2% (20 mg/g) propolis (EPP-AF®) during 14 days. Patients were examined on days 1, 7, and 14. The Newton's score was used to classify the severity of denture stomatitis. The colony forming unity count (CFU/mL) was quantified and identified (CHROMagar Candida®) before and after the treatment. Baseline characteristics did not differ between groups. Both treatments reduced Newton's score (P < 0.0001), indicating a clinical improvement of the symptoms of candidiasis with a clinical cure rate of 70%. The microbiological cure with significant reduction in fungal burden on T14 was 70% in the miconazole group and 25% in the EPP-AF group. The EPP-AF appears to be noninferior to miconazole considering the clinical cure rate and could be recommended as an alternative treatment in older patients.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Bee Venom Therapy for Skin Care, Athletic Injuries

BEE SKIN THERAPY: ARE YOU BRAVE ENOUGH TO TRY IT?

BY ASHLEY JIMENEZ • APRIL 10, 2017

Well, there's been quite a buzz around a beauty remedy that involves bee venom. Mexican women are using it to keep a youthful look, while the men use bee stings to cure athletic injuries as a form of natural acupuncture. Even Jennifer Lopez, Kate Middleton and more A-listers are swearing by it.

We did some homework for you around this beauty procedure. Here's some background around the beehive craze.

What is Bee Venom Therapy and how does it work?

Bee venom therapy is an odorless liquid that’s injected into the skin when a bee stings you. It consists of many compounds, the most prominent being melittin, a protein that boasts anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and antiviral properties to the skin. In the venom, there is apitoxin, which helps boost blood circulation and cure inflammation.This then firms and plumps the skin, which is what you'd want in an anti-aging product. Bee venom has been labelled an alternative to Botox since the venom extracts have a relaxing effect on the muscles that make fine lines appear less defined, since collagen strengthens body tissue, while elastin is the protein that helps the skin to remain nice and tight. It helps your skin look younger, fresher and lighter instantly...

What are the pros and cons of bee venom treatment?

The "Bee-tox" is known to stimulate cell restoration, increase blood flow to the skin and trigger the skin to produce natural collagen. Though the skincare industry has been fixated on apitherapy, known as bee venom therapy, it can be extremely painful. Here’s a little background on this all-natural treatment: There have been claims of people using bee venom having fewer swollen joints, tender joints and less morning stiffness. The bee venom procedure can be harmful to those who are allergic. Also, since bee therapy is seen as an alternative medicine, many Western doctors believe it is not always the right answer...

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Brazilian Green Propolis Promotes Weight Loss


Brazilian Green Propolis Promotes Weight Loss and Reduces Fat Accumulation in C57BL/6 Mice Fed A High-Fat Diet

Biol Pharm Bull. 2017;40(4):391-395

Propolis is a bee product with various biological properties. C57BL/6 mice were fed a high-fat diet and treated with propolis for 14 weeks. Body weight in mice treated with 2% propolis was less than that in control mice from 3 weeks after the start of treatment until 14 weeks except for the 7th week. Mice treated with propolis showed significantly lower epididymal fat weight and subcutaneous fat weight. Infiltration of epididymal fat by macrophages and T cells was reduced in the propolis group. Supplementation of propolis increased feces weight and fat content in feces, suggesting that mechanisms of weight reduction by propolis partly include a laxative effect and inhibition of fat absorption.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Propolis Equal to Tradition Dental Treatment


Comparative Evaluation of Clinical and Radiographic Success of Formocresol, Propolis, Turmeric Gel, and Calcium Hydroxide on Pulpotomized Primary Molars: A Preliminary Study

Int J Clin Pediatr Dent. 2017 Jan-Mar;10(1):18-23

AIMS:

Despite various advents in technology, the present era marks a shift to phytotherapeutics and alternative modalities to conventional endodontic treatments. Newer endodontic modalities have been developed inculcating the ancient system of medicine. The present study was done to compare and evaluate the clinical pulp response and radiographic signs after pulpotomy in four groups of primary molar teeth treated with formocresol (control), propolis extract, turmeric gel, and calcium hydroxide respectively.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Following ethical clearance, 90 primary molar teeth in 45 pediatric patients, aged between 4 and 9 years, were selected for pulpotomy. These were then randomly divided by split-mouth technique into two groups as experimental (propolis extract/turmeric gel/calcium hydroxide) and control (formocresol) groups. The patients were followed up for 6 months for clinical and radiographic signs and symptoms to evaluate the success of treatment.

RESULTS:

A comparable clinical and radiographic success rate was seen with all experimental groups as compared to the control (formocresol) group.

CONCLUSION:

With concerns about the safety of formocresol appearing in the dental and medical literature for more than 20 years, the materials used in this study can be considered as promising alternatives for formocresol in pediatric endodontic treatment.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Honey Flavonoid May Help Heal Wounds

The Effect of Chrysin Loaded Nanofiber on Wound Healing Process in Male Rat

Chem Biol Drug Des. 2017 Apr 7

AIM:

Wound healing is an inflammatory process. Chrysin, a natural flavonoid found in honey, has been recently investigated to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. In the current work, the effects of Chrysin loaded nanofiber on the expressions of genes that are related to wound healing process such as P53, TIMPs, MMPs, iNOS and IL-6 in an animal model study were evaluated.

MATERIAL AND METHODS:

The electrospinning method was used for preparation the different concentrations of Chrysin-loaded PCL-PEG nanofiber (5%, 10%, and 20% (w/w)) and characterized by FTIR and SEM. The wound healing effect of Chrysin-loaded PCL-PEG nanofiber were in vivo investigated in rats, and the expressions of genes related to wound healing process were evaluated by real-time PCR RESULTS: The study results showed Chrysin-loaded PLC-PEG compared to Chrysin ointment and control groups significantly increase IL-6, MMP-2, MMP-8, MMP-9, TIMP-1 and TIMP-2 (P < 0.05). On the other hand nanofibers containing Chrysin significantly decreased p53 and iNOS expression compared to Chrysin ointment and control groups (P < 0.05).

CONCLUSION:

According to the results, Chrysin-loaded PCL-PEG-PCL nanofiber have positive effects on the expression of the genes that have pivotal role in wound healing.

Friday, April 07, 2017

Honey Boosts Growth of Preterm Infants

Medically-graded honey supplementation formula to preterm infants as a prebiotic: A randomized controlled trial

J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2017 Apr 5

OBJECTIVES:

To assess the effect of medically-graded enteral honey supplementation on the intestinal microbiota, immune response, and somatic growth of preterm infants.

METHODS:

A prospective randomized controlled trial was conducted on preterm infants with gestational age ≤ 34 weeks and postnatal age > 3 days. After reaching 1/2 goal enteral feeds, medically-graded bee honey was added to milk at a dose of 5, 10, 15, and 0 g/day for two weeks in groups A, B, C and D respectively. Anthropometric measurements, CD4 and CD8 cytokines, stool cultures, and stool PCR assays for molecular detection of microbiomes were performed at 0, 7 and 14 days of intervention. ANOVA test was used to detect differences among the 4 groups.

RESULTS:

A total of 40 subjects were enrolled; 10 in each arm of the study. Compared to group D, All 3 intervention groups demonstrated significant increase in weight (p  <  0.0001). Head circumference increased in groups B and C (p  =  0.0056). There were no changes in CD4 or CD8 cytokines (p = 0.24 and P  =  0.11, respectively). Enterobacter stool colonization decreased in groups A and B (p  =  0.002), whereas Bifidobacterium bifidumcolony counts increased in groups A, B and C (p = 0.002) and Lactobacilli colony counts increased in group B (p  <  0.0001). Applying RT- PCR, B. bifidum and Lactobacilli increased in group C (p  <  0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS:

Supplementation of milk formula with medically-graded honey was associated with changes in physical growth and colonic microbiota of preterm infants. Further studies are needed to examine the sustainability of these effects and associated long term outcomes.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Royal Jelly Improves Memory

Effect of Major Royal Jelly Proteins on Spatial Memory in Aged Rats: Metabolomics Analysis in Urine

J Agric Food Chem. 2017 Mar 31

Royal jelly (RJ) produced by worker honeybees is the sole food for the queen bee throughout her life as well as the larvae of worker bees for the first three days after hatching. Supplementation of RJ in the diet has been shown to increase spatial memory in rodents. However, the key constituents in RJ responsible for improvement of cognitive function are unknown.

Our objective was to find out if the major royal-jelly proteins (MRJPs) extracted from RJ can improve the spatial memory of aged rats. The spatial memory assay using the Morris Water Maze test was administrated once to all the rats after 14-week feeding. Metabolomics analysis based on quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry was conducted to examine the differences in compounds from urine. Aged male rats fed MRJPs were improved for spatial memory up to 48.5% when compared to the control male aged rats fed with distilled water. Metabolite pattern of the MRJPs-fed aged rats was regressed to that of the young rats. Compounds altered by MRJPs were mapped to nicotinate and nicotinamide metabolism, cysteine taurine metabolism and energy metabolism pathways.

In summary, MRJPs may improve spatial memory and possess the potential for prevention of cognitive impairment via the cysteine and taurine metabolism and energy metabolism pathways in aged rats.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Apitherapy in Indiana


Your Green Valley: Bees for better health

Tribune Star, 4/4/2017
   
Shellie Kemerly of Brownsburg has been a beekeeper for 21 years. She ranges from having anywhere from 150 to 180 hives. Throughout life, she has suffered various ailments that have prevented her from living life to the fullest, from asthma to migraines. “I had migraines seven days a week. I was throwing up, and wanted to be put in the dark, and for people to shut up and not say a word to me,” Kemerly explained. That was until Roger Graham of Graham’s Bee Works of Morgantown suggested she use her bees for better health.

At the annual Indiana Beekeeping Conference, Kemerly spoke of her experience to a room of about 50 eager attendees on the topic of Apitherapy. Graham encouraged Kemerly to start using the venom from her bees to help with her headaches. “Roger started showing me my trigger points so I could start working on myself. We went home, started getting bees out of the hive and started working on myself. I would say within two weeks my headaches just quit. I have not had a migraine in eight to 10 years, and I had them every day,” Kemerly said.

Headaches were not the only thing bee venom helped Kemerly with. She also suffered from asthma. She recalled her mother putting her in the shower when she was a child to help her breathe better. Then she met Jim Higgens of Hillsboro, Ohio, known as “Dr. Sting.” At one of his meetings, he put his hand in a box full of bees, grabbed one out at a time and began to sting Kemerly. Her asthma went away and she only relapsed once after exposure to black mold.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Iranian Honey Decreases Cell Damage

Honey improves spermatogenesis and hormone secretion in testicular ischaemia-reperfusion-induced injury in rats

Andrologia. 2017 Mar 28

This study was conducted to survey the protective effect of pre-treatment with Persian honey during post-ischaemia reperfusion on ischaemia-reperfusion (IR)-induced testis injury.

Animals were divided into four groups of IR, honey + ischaemia- reperfusion (HIR), vitamin C + ischaemia- reperfusion (VIR) and carbohydrates + ischaemia- reperfusion (CIR). The testes were examined for spermatogenesis index. Detection of single- and double-stranded DNA breaks at the early stages of apoptosis was performed. Total serum concentration of FSH, LH and testosterone was measured using ELISA. All data were expressed as mean ± SD in each group, and significance was set at p ≤ .05. Spermatogenesis index was significant in the HIR group (p < .001).

Serum levels of FSH and LH were significantly higher in the CIR and HIR groups. Serum levels of testosterone were significantly higher in VIR and HIR groups. Apoptotic cells in IR and CIR groups increased significantly statistically (p < .001), while in HIR and VIR groups, the number of apoptotic cells decreased and the positive cells of TUNEL staining were detected in spermatocytes and spermatid.

The present study indicates that honey decreases the cellular damage and apoptosis during testicular I/R injury, with significant protective effects on reproductive hormone production.

Monday, April 03, 2017

Bioactivity of Desert Honeys

Bioactivity of arid region honey: an in vitro study

BMC Complement Altern Med. 2017 Mar 29;17(1):177

BACKGROUND:

Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of honey have been largely recognized by various studies. Almost all of the potential benefits are associated with polyphenol content. Honey varieties from the arid region are reported to be rich in polyphenols, but data related to its bioactivity in vitro is greatly lacking. This study aimed at establishing the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of arid region honey. Four honey varieties from arid region (H1, H2, H3, and H4) and two popular non-arid region honey (H5 and H6) were tested in vitro in this study.

METHODS:

The erythrocyte membrane protection effect of honey varieties were measured by hemolysis assay after exposing erythrocytes to a peroxide generator. The subsequent production of MDA (malondialdehyde) content in erythrocytes was measured. Immunomodulatory effect of the honey varieties was tested in prostate cancer cells PC-3 and PBMC (peripheral blood mononuclear cells) by measuring the IL-6 (interleukin 6) and NO (nitric oxide) levels in cell culture supernatant after incubation with the honey varieties. PC-3 cell viability was assessed after incubation with honey varieties for 24 h.

RESULTS:

Arid region honey exhibited superior erythrocyte membrane protection effect with H4 measuring 1.3 ± 0.042mMTE/g and H2 measuring 1.122 ± 0.018mMTE/g. MDA levels were significantly reduced by honey samples, especially H4 (20.819 ± 0.63 nmol/mg protein). We observed a significant decrease in cell population in PC-3 after 24 h in culture on treatment with honey. A moderate increase in NO levels was observed in both cultures after 24 h at the same time levels of IL-6 were remarkably reduced by honey varieties.

CONCLUSION:

The results demonstrate the antioxidant effect of arid region honey due to its erythrocyte membrane protection effect and subsequent lowering of oxidative damage as evident from lower levels of lipid peroxidation byproduct MDA. Arid region honey varieties were as good as non-arid region types at decreasing cell viability of prostate cancer cells. The moderate increase in NO levels in PC-3 and PBMCs were not significant enough to elicit any pro-inflammatory response. However, IL-6 secretion was remarkably reduced by all honey varieties in a comparable level indicating the potential anti-inflammatory property of arid region honey.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Chitosan-Propolis Nanoformulation a Potential Anti-Biofilm Agent

Chitosan-propolis nanoparticle formulation demonstrates anti-bacterial activity against Enterococcus faecalis biofilms

PLOS One: March 31, 2017

Propolis obtained from bee hives is a natural substance with antimicrobial properties. It is limited by its insolubility in aqueous solutions; hence ethanol and ethyl acetate extracts of Malaysian propolis were prepared. Both the extracts displayed antimicrobial and anti-biofilm properties against Enterococcus faecalis, a common bacterium associated with hospital-acquired infections. High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis of propolis revealed the presence of flavonoids like kaempferol and pinocembrin.

This study investigated the role of propolis developed into nanoparticles with chitosan for its antimicrobial and anti-biofilm properties against E. faecalis. Bacteria that grow in a slimy layer of biofilm are resistant to penetration by antibacterial agents. The use of nanoparticles in medicine has received attention recently due to better bioavailability, enhanced penetrative capacity and improved efficacy. A chitosan-propolis nanoformulation was chosen based on ideal physicochemical properties such as particle size, zeta potential, polydispersity index, encapsulation efficiency and the rate of release of the active ingredients.

This formulation inhibited E. faecalis biofilm formation and reduced the number of bacteria in the biofilm by ~90% at 200 μg/ml concentration. When tested on pre-formed biofilms, the formulation reduced bacterial number in the biofilm by ~40% and ~75% at 200 and 300 μg/ml, respectively. The formulation not only reduced bacterial numbers, but also physically disrupted the biofilm structure as observed by scanning electron microscopy. Treatment of biofilms with chitosan-propolis nanoparticles altered the expression of biofilm-associated genes in E. faecalis.

The results of this study revealed that chitosan-propolis nanoformulation can be deemed as a potential anti-biofilm agent in resisting infections involving biofilm formation like chronic wounds and surgical site infections.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Brazilian Red Propolis May Help Treat Chagas Disease, Some Types of Cancer


Antioxidant, antimicrobial, antiparasitic, and cytotoxic properties of various Brazilian propolis extracts

PLOS One: March 30, 2017

Propolis is known for its biological properties and its preparations have been continuously investigated in an attempt to solve the problem of their standardization, an issue that limits the use of propolis in food and pharmaceutical industries.

The aim of this study was to evaluate in vitro antioxidant, antimicrobial, antiparasitic, and cytotoxic effects of extracts of red, green, and brown propolis from different regions of Brazil, obtained by ethanolic and supercritical extraction methods.

We found that propolis extracts obtained by both these methods showed concentration-dependent antioxidant activity. The extracts obtained by ethanolic extraction showed higher antioxidant activity than that shown by the extracts obtained by supercritical extraction. Ethanolic extracts of red propolis exhibited up to 98% of the maximum antioxidant activity at the highest extract concentration. Red propolis extracts obtained by ethanolic and supercritical methods showed the highest levels of antimicrobial activity against several bacteria. Most extracts demonstrated antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus. None of the extracts analyzed showed activity against Escherichia coli or Candida albicans.

An inhibitory effect of all tested ethanolic extracts on the growth of Trypanosoma cruzi Y strain epimastigotes was observed in the first 24 h. However, after 96 h, a persistent inhibitory effect was detected only for red propolis samples. Only ethanolic extracts of red propolis samples R01Et.B2 and R02Et.B2 showed a cytotoxic effect against all four cancer cell lines tested (HL-60, HCT-116, OVCAR-8, and SF-295), indicating that red propolis extracts have great cytotoxic potential.

The biological effects of ethanolic extracts of red propolis revealed in the present study suggest that red propolis can be a potential alternative therapeutic treatment against Chagas disease and some types of cancer, although high activity of red propolis in vitro needs to be confirmed by future in vivo investigations.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Honey Boosts Healing From Dental Procedure

Effects of honey in the management of alveolar osteitis: A study

Natl J Maxillofac Surg. 2016 Jul-Dec;7(2):136-147

INTRODUCTION:

Alveolar osteitis (AO) is a complication of tooth extraction which indicates inflammation of alveolar bone of either maxilla or mandible. This study uses Apitherapy where honey catalyses biological reactions to improve immune system, makes local environment unbearable for microorganisms in the affected socket and enhances healing.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

50 patients of AO were included in the study. After cleansing of the affected socket, honey dressing was applied. Dressings were changed daily for first 2 days and then altenatively. In biochemical investigations, CRP levels in the body were measured using Nephelometry method. Microbiological examination was done for the identification of microorganism and semi quantitative count of colony forming units.

RESULT:

Results were assessed from clinical, microbiological, biochemical and radiological findings at 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 7th day based on VAS score, erythema, pus discharge, swelling, lymphadenitis, fever, bleeding on probing, exposed bone and necrotic debris. Pre-Treatment CRP was 2.08 ± 1.62 which significantly (P = 0.0001) decreased to 0.82 ± 0.48. Mean change and average percentage change were 1.25 ± 1.51 and 44.1% respectively.

CONCLUSION:

Majority of the patients with exposed bone got healed socket with evidance of granulation tissue and healing gingiva in about one week. CRP levels at the completion of treatment of AO with honey dressing showed a significant decrease from the pre-treatment values indicating fast recovery.

Microbiological examination showed presence of normal commensal flora at AO sites like Streptococcus, Staphyloccocus and Enterococcus. So, the role of bacteria in the genesis of AO, if any, appears unclear.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Saudi Arabian Honey shows Antibacterial Activity


Potential antibacterial activity of some Saudi Arabia honey

Vet World. 2017 Feb;10(2):233-237

AIM:

The aim of this study was to investigate the potential antibacterial activity of some Saudi Arabia honey against selected bacterial strains of medical importance.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

A total of 10 Saudi Arabia honey used to evaluate their antimicrobial activity against some antibiotic-resistant pathogenic bacterial strains. The bacterial strains were Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pyogenes, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Escherichia coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

RESULTS:

The antibacterial activity of Saudi honey against five bacterial strains showed different levels of inhibition according to the type of honey. The overall results showed that the potential activity was differing according to the pathogen and honey type.

CONCLUSION:

It could be concluded that the Saudi honey inhibit the growth of bacterial strains and that honey can be used as complementary antimicrobial agent against selected pathogenic bacteria.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Chinese See Brazilian Green Propolis as Effective Health Care Product

China Daily, 3/26/2017

Almost every week between December and March, Guilherme Almeida, who lives in Belo Horizonte, the capital city of Minhas Gerais, drives more than 125 miles into the mountainous area.

Once renowned for being rich in gold, gems and diamonds, the region in southeastern Brazil is where honey bees produce green propolis, which is gaining greater popularity among Chinese people as an effective healthcare product.

Guilherme oversees a large apiary where besides producing honey, the bees are basically chemists, producing the best grade of green propolis.

The bees are a hybrid of European bees and African killer bees, and are efficient producers of propolis and immune to diseases. The bees use propolis as a cement or sealant in the construction of their hives to keep them relatively sterile.

Though there are other types of propolis – dark brown, red and black and with white hues – the bees at this apiary produce green propolis because they have access to the resin of the rosemary tree, which can only be found in certain parts of Minhas Gerais.

The substance can only be harvested in the December-March time period, so Guilherme must seize the opportunity to increase his business with his Chinese clients...

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Chinese Propolis May Help Prevent Heart Damage

Potential Protective Effects of Bioactive Constituents from Chinese Propolis against Acute Oxidative Stress Induced by Hydrogen Peroxide in Cardiac H9c2 Cells

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2017;2017:7074147

Chinese propolis (CP) is known as a health food but its beneficial effects in protecting cardiomyocytes remain elusive. Here, we investigated the effects of CP and its active compounds on hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) induced rats cardiomyocytes (H9c2) oxidative injury.

Cell viability decreases induced by H2O2 were mitigated by different CP extracts using various solvents. From these active fractions, six active compounds were separated and identified. Among tested isolated compound, the cytoprotective activities of three caffeates, caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), benzyl caffeate (BZC), and cinnamyl caffeate (CNC), exerted stronger effects than chrysin, pinobanksin, and 3,4-dimethoxycinnamic acid (DMCA). These three caffeates also increased H9c2 cellular antioxidant potential, decreased intracellular calcium ion ([Ca2+]i) level, and prevented cell apoptosis.

Overall, the cardiovascular protective effects of the CP might be attributed to its caffeates constituents (CAPE, BZC, and CNC) and provide evidence for its usage in complementary and alternative medicine.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Rape Bee Pollen Extract May Protect Against Skin Cancer

Antioxidant and Anti-tyrosinase Activities of Phenolic Extracts from Rape Bee Pollen and Inhibitory Melanogenesis by cAMP/MITF/TYR Pathway in B16 Mouse Melanoma Cells

Front Pharmacol. 2017 Mar 9;8:104

Rape bee pollen possesses many nutritional and therapeutic properties because of its abundant nutrimental and bioactive components.

In this study, free (FPE) and bound (BPE) phenolic extracts of rape bee pollen were obtained, phenolic and flavonoid contents were determined, and composition of phenolic acids was analyzed.

In vitro antioxidant and anti-tyrosinase (TYR) activities of FPE and BPE were compared, and inhibitory melanogenesis of FPE was further evaluated. Results showed FPE and BPE contain total phenolic contents of 11.76 and 0.81 mg gallic acid equivalents/g dry weight (DW) and total flavonoid contents of 19.24 and 3.65 mg rutin equivalents/g DW, respectively. Phenolic profiling showed FPE and BPE fractions contained 12 and 9 phenolic acids, respectively. FPE contained the highest rutin content of 774.87 μg/g. FPE and BPE showed the high antioxidant properties in vitro and high inhibitory activities for mushroom TYR. Higher activities of FPE than those of BPE can be attributed to difference in their phenolic compositions. Inhibitory melanogenesis activities of FPE against B16 were further evaluated.

Results showed suppressed intracellular TYR activity, reduced melanin content, and promoted glutathione synthesis (p < 0.05) in FPE-treated cells. FPE reduced mRNA expression of TYR, TYR-related protein (TRP)-1 and TRP-2, and significantly suppressed cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) levels through down-regulation of melanocortin 1 receptor gene expression (p < 0.05). FPE reduced mRNA expression of microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF), significantly inhibiting intracellular melanin synthesis (p < 0.05).

Hence, FPE regulates melanogenesis of B16 cells involved in cAMP/MITF/TYR pathway. These results revealed that FPE can be used as pharmaceutical agents and cosmetics to protect cells from abnormal melanogenesis.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Propolis Component Inhibits Cancer Cell Growth

Direct interaction between caffeic acid phenethyl ester and human neutrophil elastase inhibits the growth and migration of PANC-1 cells

Oncol Rep. 2017 Mar 21

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the most lethal malignant tumors of the digestive system, but the mechanisms of its development and progression are unclear. Inflammation is thought to be fundamental to pancreatic cancer development and caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) is an active component of honey bee resin or propolis with anti-inflammatory and anticancer activities.

We investigated the inhibitory effects of CAPE on cell growth and migration induced by human neutrophil elastase (HNE) and report that HNE induced cancer cell migration at low doses and growth at higher doses. I

n contrast, lower CAPE doses inhibited migration and higher doses of CAPE inhibited the growth induced by HNE. HNE activity was significantly inhibited by CAPE (7.5-120 µM). Using quantitative real-time PCR and western blotting, we observed that CAPE (18-60 µM) did not affect transcription and translation of α1-antitrypsin (α1-AT), an endogenous HNE inhibitor. However, in an in silico drug target docking model, we found that CAPE directly bound to the binding pocket of HNE (25.66 kcal/mol) according to CDOCKER, and the residue of the catalytic site stabilized the interaction between CAPE and HNE as evidenced by molecular dynamic simulation. Response unit (RU) values of surface plasmon resonance (SPR) significantly increased with incremental CAPE doses (7.5-120 µM), indicating that CAPE could directly bind to HNE in a concentration-dependent manner.

Thus, CAPE is an effective inhibitor of HNE via direct interaction whereby it inhibits the migration and growth of PANC-1 cells in a dose-dependent manner.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

A Comparison of Tissue Engineering Scaffolds Incorporated with Manuka Honey of Varying UMF

Biomed Res Int. 2017;2017:4843065

Purpose. Manuka honey (MH) is an antibacterial agent specific to the islands of New Zealand containing both hydrogen peroxide and a Unique Manuka Factor (UMF). Although the antibacterial properties of MH have been studied, the effect of varying UMF of MH incorporated into tissue engineered scaffolds have not.

Therefore, this study was designed to compare silk fibroin cryogels and electrospun scaffolds incorporated with a 5% MH concentration of various UMF. Methods. Characteristics such as porosity, bacterial clearance and adhesion, and cytotoxicity were compared. Results. Pore diameters for all cryogels were between 51 and 60 µm, while electrospun scaffolds were 10 µm. Cryogels of varying UMF displayed clearance of approximately 0.16 cm for E. coli and S. aureus. In comparison, the electrospun scaffolds clearance ranged between 0.5 and 1 cm. A glucose release of 0.5 mg/mL was observed for the first 24 hours by all scaffolds, regardless of UMF. With respect to cytotoxicity, neither scaffold caused the cell number to drop below 20,000.

Conclusions. Overall, when comparing the effects of the various UMF within the two scaffolds, no significant differences were observed. This suggests that the fabricated scaffolds in this study displayed similar bacterial effects regardless of the UMF value.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Propolis From Two Native Bees in Brazil Shows Anti-Tumor Activity

Antioxidant, Cytotoxic, and Toxic Activities of Propolis from Two Native Bees in Brazil: Scaptotrigona depilis and Melipona quadrifasciata anthidioides

Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 1038153, 12 pages

Propolis is a natural mixture of compounds produced by various bee species, including stingless bees. This compound has been shown to exhibit antioxidant, antiproliferative, and antitumor activities.

The present study aimed to determine the chemical constituents as well as the antioxidant, cytotoxic, and toxic activities of ethanol extracts of propolis obtained from the stingless bees Scaptotrigona depilis and Melipona quadrifasciata anthidioides, which are found in Brazil. Phytosterols, terpenes, phenolic compounds, and tocopherol were identified in the ethanol extracts of propolis (EEPs) in different concentrations. The compounds stigmasterol, taraxasterol, vanilic acid, caffeic acid, quercetin, luteolin, and apigenin were found only in EEP-M. The EEPs were able to scavenge the free radicals 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl and 2,2′-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) and protected human erythrocytes against lipid peroxidation, with the latter effect being demonstrated by their antihemolytic activity and inhibition of malondialdehyde formation.

The EEPs showed cytotoxic activity against erythroleukemic cells and necrosis was the main mechanism of death observed. In addition, the concentrations at which the EEPs were cytotoxic were not toxic against Caenorhabditis elegans.

In this context, it is concluded that EEP-S and EEP-M show antioxidant and cytotoxic activities and are promising bioactive mixtures for the control of diseases associated with oxidative stress and tumor cell proliferation.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Health Benefits of Propolis

Extracting phenolic compounds from bee propolis

Propolis phenols

Propolis is a glue made by honey bees from a mixture of saliva, beeswax, and tree resin or plant sap, which the bees use to fix up the hive. Humans have found an alternative use for it: as a treatment for a wide range of medical conditions, including minor infections and dry skin.

Even though humans have used propolis as a medical treatment for thousands of years, scientists are still working to identify the active ingredients responsible for its medicinal properties. What makes this process so difficult is that not only is propolis a highly complex substance, comprising many different compounds, but its composition can differ substantially between different hives and seasons. This is because bees produce it using resin or sap from whatever trees or plants are growing near their hive.

One specific class of organic molecules that scientists are focusing on is phenols, as they are known to have medicinal properties and are abundant in propolis. Because of the complexity of propolis, scientists first need to extract the phenolic compounds from any samples before they can identify them with a technique such as liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS). Existing methods for doing this are slow and not particularly environmentally friendly, because they tend to involve extracting the phenolic compounds with large volumes of organic solvents...

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Bee Venom: What is it?


Refinery 29, 3/20/2017

Honey bee venom, or apitoxin, is – without sounding too obvious – what bees sting you with. So those who are allergic to bee-stings, stay away, this isn’t for you. According to our trusty friend Wikipedia, when you get stung by a bee, it injects around 0.1mg of venom, which is made up of histamine, the element that causes the allergic reaction, and dopamine, which raises your heart rate...

Monday, March 20, 2017

Chilean Ulmo Honey Shows Anti-Cancer Activity

Food Res Int. 2017 Apr;94:20-28

Volatile and non-volatile/semi-volatile compounds and in vitro bioactive properties of Chilean Ulmo (Eucryphia cordifolia Cav.) honey

Ulmo honey originating from Eucryphia cordifolia tree, known locally in the Araucania region as the Ulmo tree is a natural product with valuable nutritional and medicinal qualities. It has been used in the Mapuche culture to treat infections. This study aimed to identify the volatile and non-volatile/semi-volatile compounds of Ulmo honey and elucidate its in vitro biological properties by evaluating its antioxidant, antibacterial, antiproliferative and hemolytic properties and cytotoxicity in Caco-2 cells. Headspace volatiles of Ulmo honey were isolated by solid-phase microextraction (SPME); non-volatiles/semi-volatiles were obtained by removing all saccharides with acidified water and the compounds were identified by GC/MS analysis.

Ulmo honey volatiles consisted of 50 compounds predominated by 20 flavor components. Two of the volatile compounds, lyrame and anethol have never been reported before as honey compounds. The non-volatile/semi-volatile components of Ulmo honey comprised 27 compounds including 13 benzene derivatives accounting 75% of the total peak area. Ulmo honey exhibited weak antioxidant activity but strong antibacterial activity particularly against gram-negative bacteria and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), the main strain involved in wounds and skin infections. At concentrations >0.5%, Ulmo honey reduced Caco-2 cell viability, released lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in a dose dependent manner in the presence of foetal bovine serum (FBS). The wide array of volatile and non-volatile/semi-volatile constituents of Ulmo honey rich in benzene derivatives may partly account for its strong antibacterial and antiproliferative properties important for its therapeutic use.

Our results indicate that Ulmo honey can potentially inhibit cancer growth at least partly by modulating oxidative stress.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Stingless Bee Honey Promotes Wound Healing


Stingless Bee Honey, the Natural Wound Healer: A Review


Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2017 Mar 15;30(2):66-75

BACKGROUND:

The stingless bee is a natural type of bee that exists in almost every continent. The honey produced by this bee has been widely used across time and space. The distinctive feature of this honey is that it is stored naturally in the pot (cerumen), thus contributing to its beneficial properties, especially in the wound healing process.

METHODS:

In this article, several studies on stingless bee honey that pointed out the numerous therapeutic profiles of this honey in terms of its antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, as well as moisturizing properties are reviewed. All of these therapeutic properties are related to wound healing properties.

RESULTS:

Antioxidant in stingless bee honey could break the chain of free radicals that cause a detrimental effect to the wounded area. Furthermore, the antimicrobial properties of stingless bee honey could overcome the bacterial contamination and thus improve the healing rate. Moreover, the anti-inflammatory attribute in this honey could protect the tissue from highly toxic inflammatory mediators. The moisturizing properties of the honey could improve wound healing by promoting angiogenesis and oxygen circulation.

CONCLUSION:

The application of honey to the wound has been widely used since ancient times. As a result, it is essential to understand the pharmacological mechanism of the honey towards the physiology of the wounded skin in order to optimize the healing rate in the future.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Buckwheat Honey Effective Against Antibiotic-Resistant Hospital Acquired Pathogens


Effect of United States buckwheat honey on antibiotic-resistant hospital acquired pathogens

Pan Afr Med J. 2016 Dec 6;25:212

INTRODUCTION:

Due to an upsurge in antibiotic-resistant infections and lack of therapeutic options, new approaches are needed for treatment. Honey may be one such potential therapeutic option. We investigated the susceptibility of hospital acquired pathogens to four honeys from Wisconsin, United States, and then determined if the antibacterial effect of each honey against these pathogens is primarily due to the high sugar content.

METHODS:

Thirteen pathogens including: four Clostridium difficile, two Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, two Pseudomonas aeruginosa, one Methicillin-Susceptible Staphylococcus aureus, two Vancomycin-resistance Enterococcus, one Enterococcus faecalis and one Klebsiella pneumoniae were exposed to 1-50% (w/v) four Wisconsin honeys and Artificial honey to determine their minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) using the broth dilution method.

RESULTS:

Buckwheat honey predominantly exhibited a bactericidal mode of action against the tested pathogens, and this varied with each pathogen. C. difficile isolates were more sensitive to the Wisconsin buckwheat honey as compared to the other pathogens. Artificial honey at 50% (w/v) failed to kill any of the pathogens. The high sugar content of Wisconsin buckwheat honey is not the only factor responsible for its bactericidal activity.

CONCLUSION:

Wisconsin buckwheat honey has the potential to be an important addition to therapeutic armamentarium against resistant pathogens and should be investigated further.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Health Benefits of Bee Sting Therapy


How bee sting therapy works

The Alternative Daily, 3/17/2017

Bee sting therapy is the medicinal use of products made by honeybees such as honey, pollen, royal jelly, propolis, beeswax and bee venom. Therapies involving the honeybee have existed for thousands of years. Bee venom therapy was even practiced in ancient Egypt, Greece and China. Ancient civilizations recognized the healing properties of bee venom for treating arthritis and other joint problems. Today, growing scientific evidence suggests that bee products promote healing by improving circulation, decreasing inflammation and stimulating a healthy immune response according to The American Apitherapy Society Inc...

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Propolis May Help Treat Diabetes

Effects of bee propolis supplementation on glycemic control, lipid profile and insulin resistance indices in patients with type 2 diabetes: a randomized, double-blind clinical trial

J Integr Med. 2017 Mar;15(2):124-134

BACKGROUND:

Propolis, a natural resinous substance made by bees from material extracted from plants, flowers and bee's wax, has shown great therapeutic effects and been widely used in food and drug industries. Recently, some researchers have studied the effect of this substance in the treatment of diabetes.

OBJECTIVE:

The purpose of this trial was to determine the effect of bee propolis on glycemic control, serum lipid profile and insulin resistance indices in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D).

DESIGN, SETTING, PARTICIPANTS AND INTERVENTIONS:

This randomized clinical trial involved 66 patients with T2D, which were randomly divided into two groups of intervention (IG) and placebo (PG). IG received 300 mg three times a day for a total of 900 mg/d of propolis pills, while PG received similar pills, lacking propolis, on the same schedule for 12 weeks.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Fasting blood glucose (FBG), hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), high-density lipoprotein (HDL), triglyceride (TG), serum insulin and insulin resistance indices were the main outcome measures.

RESULTS:

The mean change in FBG between the IG ((17.76 ± 27.72) mg/dL decrease) and the PG ((6.48 ± 42.77) mg/dL increase) was significantly different (P = 0.01). Change in mean HbA1c had a similar pattern to FBG. The mean change in TC between the IG ((5.16 ± 43.80) mg/dL increase) and the PG ((28.9 ± 27.4) mg/dL increase) was also significantly different (P = 0.01), showing the protective role of propolis against the increase in TC. The change in mean LDL was similar to mean TC. There was no significant difference in other lipids or insulin resistance indices between the two groups.

CONCLUSION:

Based on this study, the daily intake of 900 mg of bee propolis supplement for 12 weeks results in improvement of glycemic and some serum lipid levels in patients with T2D.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Thyme Honey Effective in Treating Radiation-Induced Xerostomia

The effectiveness of thyme honey for the management of treatment-induced xerostomia in head and neck cancer patients: A feasibility randomized control trial.

Eur J Oncol Nurs. 2017 Apr;27:1-8

PURPOSE:

Radiation-induced xerostomia is one of the most common side effects that head and neck cancer patients experience during and after treatment. Despite the various methods for the prevention and treatment of radiation-induced xerostomia, it remains highly prevalent among patients treated for head and neck cancers negatively influencing their lives. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of thyme honey as a means for managing radiation-induced xerostomia.

METHOD:

This was a parallel randomised controlled trial with two equal arms, the experimental arm (thyme honey) and the control arm (saline). 72 head and neck cancer patients receiving radiotherapy or/and chemotherapy or/and surgery were recruited in a specialised cancer centre. Patients in both arms followed the same administration protocol with thyme honey and saline respectively. Identical assessments at baseline, 1 month and 6 months following completion of the intervention were performed in both arms including the National Cancer Institute (NCI) xerostomia scale and the Xerostomia Questionnaire (XQ) additionally to weekly oral clinical assessments. The ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier for this study is NCT01465308.

RESULTS:

Linear Mixed Models revealed the statistically significant effect of the intervention on xerostomia (F = 8.474 p < 0.001) and overall quality of life (F = 13.158 p < 0.001). Moreover, Generalised Estimating Equations revealed a statistically significant effect on strong and unbearable pain (F = 10.524 p < 0.001) and dysphagia (F = 4.525 p = 0.033).

CONCLUSION:

The study has demonstrated the safety and efficacy findings of Thyme honey in head and neck cancer patients for the management of treatment induced xerostomia.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Strawberry-Tree, Manuka Honey May Help Prevent Colon Cancer


Strawberry-Tree Honey Induces Growth Inhibition of Human Colon Cancer Cells and Increases ROS Generation: A Comparison with Manuka Honey

Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(3), 613

Honey is a natural product known to modulate several biological activities including cancer. The aim of the present study was to examine the phytochemical content and the antioxidant activity of Strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo) honey (STH) and its cytotoxic properties against human colon adenocarcinoma (HCT-116) and metastatic (LoVo) cell lines in comparison with Manuka (Leptospermum scoparium) honey (MH).

Several unifloral STH and MH were analyzed for their phenolic, flavonoid, amino acid and protein contents, as well as their radical scavenging activities. STH from the Berchidda area showed the highest amount of phenolic, flavonoid, amino acid and protein content, and antioxidant capacity compared to MH. Both STH and MH induced cytotoxicity and cell death in a dose- and time-dependent manner in HCT-116 and LoVo cells, with less toxicity on non-cancer cells. Compared to MH, STH showed more effect at lower concentrations on HCT-116 and LoVo cells. In addition, both honeys increased intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation. In HCT-116 cells, STH and MH induced similar ROS production but in LoVo cells STH induced a higher percentage of ROS compared to MH.

Our results indicate that STH and MH can induce cell growth inhibition and ROS generation in colon adenocarcinoma and metastatic cells, which could be due to the presence of phytochemicals with antioxidant properties. These preliminary results are interesting and suggest a potential chemopreventive action which could be useful for further studies in order to develop chemopreventive agents for colon cancer.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Bacterial Isolates from Honey and Bee Gut Show Antimicrobial, Probiotic Activity

Possible correlation between levansucrase production and probiotic activity of Bacillus sp. isolated from honey and honey bee


World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology
April 2017, 33:69

Five bacterial isolates from honey and bee gut were selected based on their high levansucrase activity and levan yield which were strongly positively correlated. All isolates showed good tolerance to temperature up to 70 °C, to NaCl up to 3 M and to 0.1% H2O2. They maintained over 59 and 64% survival at pH 9.0 and 2.0 respectively, but showed varying tolerance to 0.1% bile salts and pancreatic enzymes. Most isolates were susceptible to widely used antibiotics, but demonstrated diverse antimicrobial activity. Non hemolytic isolates were identified on the basis of 16S rRNA sequencing as Bacillus subtilis HMNig-2 and B. subtilis MENO2 with 97% homology. They exhibited promising probiotic characteristics and achieved highest levansucrase activity of 94.1 and 81.5 U/mL respectively. Both exhibited highest biofilm formation ability in static microtiter plate assay. Also, they achieved 34 and 26% adhesion respectively to Caco-2cells and had highest free radical scavenging activity of 30.8 and 26.2% respectively. The levans of the two isolates showed good antimicrobial activity against some pathogens and exhibited positive prebiotic effect (prebiotic index >1) with Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus reuteri. Results suggest a correlation between levansucrase production, levan yield and pre-probiotic activities of the studied strains.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Honey Bee product Mixtures Show Antioxidant Activity

Antioxidant activities of honeybee products and their mixtures

Food Science and Biotechnology
February 2017, Volume 26, Issue 1,  pp 201–206

In this study, the total phenolic content (TPC), antioxidant activity, and free radical scavenging activities (FRSA) of 70 samples comprising honeybee products (honey, pollen, royal jelly, and propolis) and their mixtures were determined. The TPC was determined in accordance with the Folin–Ciocalteu method, antioxidant activity with phosphomolybdenum, and FRSA with the 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl hydrazyl (DPPH) assays.

Honeybee propolis showed the greatest TPC, antioxidant activity, and FRSA followed by pollen, honey, and royal jelly, respectively. A positive correlation was observed between TPC and antioxidant activity of honey, pollen and mixed samples (respectively, r= 0.91, r= 0.93 and r= 0.92) (p < 0.01). Similarly, honey and mixed samples exhibited positive correlations with TPC and FRSA (respectively, r= 0.98 and r= 0.92) (p < 0.01).

It was concluded that honeybee products and their mixtures have antioxidant activity and FRSA and these effects may be attributed to their phenolic content.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Bee Bread, Propolis Boost Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Properties of Honey

Functional properties of honey supplemented with bee bread and propolis

Nat Prod Res. 2017 Feb 6:1-4

The aim of this work was characterisation of functional properties of honey enriched with propolis and beebread. In first step of experiment, soft propolis extract (SPEx) was obtained by extraction of propolis with ethanol. SPEx (0.25 to 1.0% w/w) as well as beebread (5 to 15% w/w) were implemented into natural honey.

Fortified honeys were investigated in terms of total phenolic content, radical scavenging activity and ferric reducing antioxidant power, also their effects on the micro-organisms growth was examined.

It was found that beebread had the most significant influence on antioxidant properties. On the other hand, all tested honeys showed antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli but not against Micrococcus luteus. Honeys with 1% of propolis addition were the most effective in this case.

Research has indicated that for antioxidant and antimicrobial properties of honey, it is beneficial to enrich it in both beebread and propolis.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Brazilian Green Propolis May Help Treat Alzheimer's Disease

The Neuroprotective Effects of Brazilian Green Propolis on Neurodegenerative Damage in Human Neuronal SH-SY5Y Cells

Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2017;2017:7984327

Oxidative stress and synapse dysfunction are the major neurodegenerative damage correlated to cognitive impairment in Alzheimer's disease (AD). We have found that Brazilian green propolis (propolis) improves the cognitive functions of mild cognitive impairment patients living at high altitude; however, mechanism underlying the effects of propolis is unknown.

In the present study, we investigated the effects of propolis on oxidative stress, expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein (Arc), the critical factors of synapse efficacy, using human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells.

Pretreatment with propolis significantly ameliorated the hydrogen peroxide- (H2O2-) induced cytotoxicity in SH-SY5Y cells. Furthermore, propolis significantly reduced the H2O2-generated reactive oxygen species (ROS) derived from mitochondria and 8-oxo-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-oxo-dG, the DNA oxidative damage marker) but significantly reversed the fibrillar β-amyloid and IL-1β-impaired BDNF-induced Arc expression in SH-SY5Y cells. Furthermore, propolis significantly upregulated BDNF mRNA expression in time- and dose-dependent manners. In addition, propolis induced Arc mRNA and protein expression via phosphoinositide-3 kinase (PI3K).

These observations strongly suggest that propolis protects from the neurodegenerative damage in neurons through the properties of various antioxidants.

The present study provides a potential molecular mechanism of Brazilian green propolis in prevention of cognitive impairment in AD as well as aging.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Propolis and Dental Health

Oral Health of Patients Treated with Acrylic Partial Dentures Using a Toothpaste Containing Bee Product

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2017;2017:4034179

This study was carried out to investigate the influence of a propolis and tee tree oil-containing hygienic agent on selected oral health parameters, oral microflora, and the condition of periodontal health.

Thirty-seven patients who underwent oral rehabilitation with a removable acrylic denture were selected and randomly assigned into two groups: study group (A) which received a newly formulated propolis and tee tree oil-containing toothpaste or a control group (C) without an active ingredient. API, S-OHI, and mSBI were assessed in three subsequent stages. During each examination swabs were employed for microbiological inoculation: in the study group after 4 weeks use of the active toothpaste showed a decrease in the number of isolated microorganisms. In the control group, after 4 weeks use of the toothpaste without active ingredients resulted in increase in the number of the isolated microorganisms. Improvements in hygiene and the condition of periodontium were observed in patients using active toothpastes.

In the study group the oral flora diversity was reduced by the decrease in the number of cultured microorganism species, while in the control group an increase in the number of cultured microorganisms and their species was observed.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Propolis Protects Liver, Kidneys

Protective Effect of Propolis in Proteinuria, Crystaluria, Nephrotoxicity and Hepatotoxicity Induced by Ethylene Glycol Ingestion

Arch Med Res. 2016 Oct;47(7):526-534

BACKGROUND AND AIMS:

Propolis is a natural honeybee product with wide biological activities and potential therapeutic properties. The aim of the study is to evaluate the protective effect of propolis extract on nephrotoxicity and hepatotoxicity induced by ethylene glycol in rats.

METHODS:

Five groups of rats were used. Group 1 received drinking water, group 2 received 0.75% ethylene-glycol in drinking water, group 3 received 0.75% ethylene-glycol in drinking water along with cystone 500 mg/kg/body weight (bw) daily, group 4 received 0.75% ethylene-glycol in drinking water along with propolis extract at a dose of 100 mg/kg/bw daily, and group 5 received 0.75% ethylene-glycol in drinking water along with propolis extract at a dose of 250 mg/kg/bw daily. The treatment continued for a total of 30 d. Urinalyses for pH, crystals, protein, creatinine, uric acid and electrolytes, and renal and liver function tests were performed.

RESULTS:

Ethylene-glycol increased urinary pH, urinary volume, and urinary calcium, phosphorus, uric acid and protein excretion. It decreased creatinine clearance and magnesium and caused crystaluria. Treatment with propolis extract or cystone normalized the level of magnesium, creatinine, sodium, potassium and chloride. Propolis is more potent than cystone. Propolis extract alleviates urinary protein excretion and ameliorates the deterioration of liver and kidney function caused by ethylene glycol.

CONCLUSIONS:

Propolis extract has a potential protective effect against ethylene glycol induced hepatotoxicity and nephrotoxicity and has a potential to treat and prevent urinary calculus, crystaluria and proteinuria.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Honey Wars: Pollen War Breaks Out Between New Zealand Landowners

TVNZ

A pollen war has erupted between two landowners in the lower North Island – exposing an industry-wide problem as demand for Manuka honey soars.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Major Royal Jelly Protein Examined

Characterizing the Structure and Oligomerization of Major Royal Jelly Protein 1 (MRJP1) by Mass Spectrometry and Complementary Biophysical Tools

Biochemistry. 2017 Mar 2

Royal jelly (RJ) triggers the development of female honeybee larvae into queens. This effect has been attributed to the presence of major royal jelly protein 1 (MRJP1) in RJ. MRJP1 isolated from royal jelly is tightly associated with apisimin, a 54-residue -helical peptide that promotes the noncovalent assembly of MRJP1 into multimers. No high resolution structural data are available for these complexes, and their binding stoichiometry remains uncertain. We examined MRJP1/apisimin using a range of biophysical techniques.

We also investigated the behavior of deglycosylated samples, as well as samples with reduced apisimin content. Our mass spectrometry (MS) data demonstrate that the native complexes predominantly exist in a (MRJP14 apisimin4) stoichiometry. Hydrogen/deuterium exchange (HDX) MS reveals that MRJP1 within these complexes is extensively disordered in the range of residues 20-265. Marginally stable secondary structure (likely antiparallel -sheet) exists around residues 266-432. These weakly structured regions interchange with conformers that are extensively unfolded, giving rise to bimodal (EX1) isotope distributions. We propose that the native complexes have a "dimer of dimers" quaternary structure where MRJP1 chains are bridged by apisimin. Specifically, our data suggest that apisimin acts as linker that forms hydrophobic contacts involving the MRJP1 segment 316VLFFGLV322. Deglycosylation produces large soluble aggregates, highlighting the role of glycans as aggregation inhibitors. Samples with reduced apisimin content form dimeric complexes with a (MRJP12 apisimin1) stoichiometry.

The information uncovered in this work will help pave the way towards a better understanding of the unique physiological role played by MRJP1 during queen differentiation.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Manuka Honey May Help Treat Colitis

Successful treatment of persistent Clostridium difficile infection with manuka honey

Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2017 Feb 28

Clostridium difficile-associated disease is an increasingly common health problem. C. difficile is a causative agent of antibiotic-associated pseudomembranous colitis, antibiotic-associated colitis and antibiotic-associated diarrhoea. C. difficile overgrowth usually occurs during antibiotic therapy as the normal gastrointestinal flora is disrupted. Discontinuation of antibiotics does not lead to symptomatic improvement, and new strains of the pathogen have a substantial failure rate after therapy cessation.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Beeswax May Help Treat Skin Diseases

Topical Formulation Containing Beeswax-Based Nanoparticles Improved In Vivo Skin Barrier Function

AAPS PharmSciTech. 2017 Feb 17

Lipid nanoparticles have shown many advantages for treatment/prevention of skin disorders with damaged skin barrier function. Beeswax is a favorable candidate for the development of nanosystems in the cosmetic and dermatological fields because of its advantages for the development of products for topical application. In the present study, beeswax-based nanoparticles (BNs) were prepared using the hot melt microemulsion technique and incorporated to a gel-cream formulation. The formulation was subsequently evaluated for its rheological stability and effect on stratum corneum water content (SCWC) and transepidermal water loss (TEWL) using in vivo biophysical techniques. BNs resulted in mean particle size of 95.72 ± 9.63 nm and zeta potential of -9.85 ± 0.57 mV. BN-loaded formulation showed shear thinning behavior, well adjusted by the Herschel-Bulkley model, and a small thixotropy index that were stable for 28 days at different temperatures. BN-loaded formulation was also able to simultaneously decrease the TEWL and increase the SCWC values 28 days after treatment.

In conclusion, the novel beeswax-based nanoparticles showed potential for barrier recovery and open the perspective for its commercial use as a novel natural active as yet unexplored in the field of dermatology and cosmetics for treatment of skin diseases with damaged skin barrier function.

Friday, March 03, 2017

32 Compounds Identified in Portuguese Bee Bread

Flavonoid Composition and Antitumor Activity of Bee Bread Collected in Northeast Portugal

Molecules. 2017 Feb 7;22(2)

Bee bread (BB) is a fermented mixture of plant pollen, honey, and bee saliva that worker bees use as food for larvae, and for young bees to produce royal jelly. In the present study, five BB samples, collected from Apis mellifera iberiensis hives located in different apiaries near Bragança, in the northeast region of Portugal, and one BB commercial sample were characterized by high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to a diode array detector and electrospray mass spectrometry (HPLC-DAD-ESI/MS) in terms of phenolic compounds, such as flavonoid glycoside derivatives.

Furthermore, the samples were screened, using in vitro assays, against different human tumor cell lines, MCF-7 (breast adenocarcinoma), NCI-H460 (non-small cell lung cancer), HeLa (cervical carcinoma) and HepG2 (hepatocellular carcinoma), and also against non-tumor liver cells (porcine liver cells, PLP2). The main phenolic compounds found were flavonol derivatives, mainly quercetin, kaempferol, myricetin, isorhamnetin and herbacetrin glycoside derivatives.

Thirty-two compounds were identified in the six BB samples, presenting BB1 and BB3 with the highest contents (6802 and 6480 µg/g extract, respectively) and the highest number of identified compounds. Two isorhamnetin glycoside derivatives, isrohamnetin-O-hexosyl-O-rutinoside and isorhamnetin-O-pentosyl-hexoside, were the most abundant compounds present in BB1; on the other hand, quercetin-3-O-rhamnoside was the most abundant flavonol in BB3. However, it was not possible to establish a correlation between the flavonoids and the observed low to moderate cytotoxicity (ranging from > 400 to 68 µg/mL), in which HeLa and NCI-H460 cell lines were the most susceptible to the inhibition.

To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report characterizing glycosidic flavonoids in BB samples, contributing to the chemical knowledge of this less explored bee product.