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.